Buses are rumbling into Evansville for this weekend's Vintage Bus rally. With over 100 classic, collectible and historical buses expected, it has the chance to be the largest rally of its kind ever assembled.
I hopped on a bus in Grayville, Illinios, a little under an hour outside Evansville, Indiana, and didn’t know exactly what to expect. Looking around the time capsule on wheels, from the passenger seats to the steering wheel, it was throw back to an earlier time in the history of transportation.
“I feel that vintage buses are kind of the unsung hero of transportation. Even though people travel frequently by bus, more so in the past I think than do now in general," said Event Coordinator Ross Gabrick. He hopes the rally gives the public a chance to understand and celebrate the value of this form of transportation. "People don’t think of vintage buses as something, ‘Oh that’s worth collecting or that was worth knowing the history of.’”
Organizing the event was the Busboys, a brother duo Stan and Dan Holter from Minnesota. The nonprofit group owns and operates what they say is the largest collection of operational vintage buses in North America.
“We want to preserve our industry," said Dan Holter. "The industry we’ve grown up in; the industry that has moved the country; provided transportation for all walks of life. The old buses are our passion and I don’t care what age you are, whether it’s a young child or an elderly person. Many people all ages enjoy buses, all ages, and we want to help maintain that for generations to come.”
Some of the buses that will be in attendance are a 1931 Greyhound bus, a coach that stared the Greyhound business, a 1979 MCI MC-5c Greyhound that served in Saudi Arabia, and many more.
While the buses are a focal point , another highlight is the location of the rally at the former Greyhound Station which is believed to be only one of two surviving examples left of Streamline Moderne architecture. The style consisting of curving forms and long horizontal lines along with nautical elements was used by Greyhound for the company's new terminals in the late 1930s.
And for one in the convey seeing the restored building lived up to his expectations.
“Wow! Fantastic!" exclaimed Gary Driver who is a bus operator that traveled all the way from Melbourne, Australia, to attend the event. He has a model of the facility back home, but seeing it in person was worth it. "You know why I love it? Because it’s the character of the bus station with a fantastic use to bring people to it. It’s great!”
The last rally held was in 2013 in Blytheville, Arkansas. The event kicks off Friday afternoon and continues through Sunday with highlights including vintage bus rides, memorabilia for sale, photo opportunities and a vintage bus parade Sunday at 2 p.m. CST.