Bus 651
Kenyon F. Karl on 7/31/20
Suburban "New Look" sightseer bus
Motor Buses
Acquired by the Museum
No. 651 has several broken windows and needs cleaning.

Gray Line 651

From New York, New York


The Truck and Coach Division of General Motors (GMC) built over 44,000 "New Look" buses beginning in 1958 and continuing to 1977 in the U.S. and 1985 in Canada. The "New Look" buses were also called "fishbowl" buses because of their angled windshields. The buses featured lightweight aluminum construction and good visibility for the driver due to the windshield design. The GM "New Look" bus was the most popular transit bus of its era. GM offered "New Look" buses in many variations including 29-foot, 35-foot and 40-foot lengths, transit and suburban configurations and through four "generations." No. 651 is a model SDM-5302 bus indicating the following: S - Suburban D – Diesel engine M - Manual transmission 53 - 53 seat, 40-foot length 02 - series 2 GMC and General Motors Canada built 1,183 SDM-5302 model buses between 1963 and 1968. No. 651 is “sightseer” variation with added windows in the roof. Gray Line started business with a modified Mack truck chassis giving tours in Washington, DC in 1910. Gray Line evolved into a global sightseeing bus tour brand with independent licensees in each city. Gray Line Tours New York Tours began in 1929 with double decker tour buses. In 1946, Isidor Engelhardt acquired Gray Line New York. Englehardt had began business at age 19 with a jitney service in Jersey City, NJ and eventually controlled a variety of bus, taxi, rental car and real estate operations in New Jersey and New York. He sold Gray Line New York to Greyhound in 1968. In 1964, Gray Line New York Tours and affiliated firms acquired 20 G.M.C. SDM-5302 coaches, Nos. 640 – 659. Nos. 651 – 658 were owned by Recreation Lines, Inc, but operated by Gray Line New York, and No. 659 was owned by Royal Blue Tours of New York and operated by Gray Line New York. In 1978-79, Gray Line New York, while under Greyhound ownership, replaced its G.M.C. buses with coaches from Motor Coach Industries (MCI). At this time, Vanderhoof Transportation, of West Orange, NJ, purchased No. 651 and renumbered it to No. 92. No. 92 operated in local charter service. Vanderhoof had started in the charter bus business in 1918, the same year that Englehardt started his transportation business. No. 92 received an orange, yellow and silver paint scheme in place of the Gray Line white, gray and silver. No. 651 came to Seashore in 2006. It is Seashore’s only “sightseer” bus.

Technical Information

  • Seats: 53
  • Engine: Detroit Diesel

Weight and Dimensions

  • Length: 40’ 0.00"
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