Carpenter Body Works Inc. - 1919-2000 - Mitchell, Indiana

    Carpenter Buses 1919-2000

see ad in 1953 Silver Book pp62-63

ad 1963 GMC Truck Equipment Catalog pp64-65


Ralph H. Carpenter learned the blacksmith's trade from his father, began making horse-drawn wagons on the side, and set up his own wagon business in Mitchell, Indiana in 1918. The first school bus body built for a truck chassis was produced in 1923, almost entirely of wood, principally oak, with a wood-sheeted roof protected by canvas that was coated with a preservative. Gradually composite bodies replaced the early wood designs, and all-steel construction was standard after 1935.

Carpenter is not an assembly-line producer, and al­though its conventional school bus bodies are largely standardized, there is a wide range of custom accessories and design variations. Passenger capacities range from 29 to 72 children, overall vehicle lengths from 15' 9" to 32' 8" and headroom can be either 74 or 79 inches. All maj or truck manufacturers offer chassis suitable for use under Carpenter (and other) school bus bodies, with gas or diesel engines, often these days with automatic transmission.

In the 1970's Carpenter has introduced three new types of buses. The Cadet CV is a small bus seating up to 26 passengers (or 32 children if outfitted for school trans­portation) that was introduced in 1969 because of increas­ing demand for small buses of various types; it is designed for the so-called Step-Van type of chassis that is sold by Chevrolet and GMC but made for them by A.D. Smith of Milwaukee. A similar but forward control bus with the typical Carpenter curved windshield is mounted on the Oshkosh V-series chassis, available in wheelbases from 139 to 246 inches and with Ford or International gas engines or diesel engines from Cummins, Caterpillar or Detroit Diesel. The same range of power plants and a similar size variety characterize the Carpenter Corsair series on a pusher chassis designed by the company and built by Hendrickson.



For more information please read:

Ed Strauss & Karen Strauss - The Bus World Encyclopedia of Buses

G.N. Georgano & G. Marshall Naul - The Complete Encyclopedia of Commercial Vehicles

Albert Mroz - Illustrated Encyclopedia of American Trucks & Commercial Vehicles

Donald F. Wood - American Buses

Denis Miller - The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Trucks and Buses

Susan Meikle Mandell - A Historical Survey of Transit Buses in the United States

David Jacobs - American Buses, Greyhound, Trailways and Urban Transportation

William A. Luke & Linda L. Metler - Highway Buses of the 20th Century: A Photo Gallery 

William A. Luke & Brian Grams - Buses of Motorcoach Industries 1932-2000 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Greyhound Buses 1914-2000 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Prevost Buses 1924-2002 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Flxible Intercity Buses 1924-1970 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Buses of ACF Photo Archive (including ACF-Brill & CCF-Brill)

William A. Luke - Trailways Buses 1936-2001 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Fageol & Twin Coach Buses 1922-1956 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Yellow Coach Buses 1923 Through 1943: Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Trolley Buses: 1913 Through 2001 Photo Archive

Harvey Eckart - Mack Buses: 1900 Through 1960 Photo Archive

Brian Grams & Andrew Gold - GM Intercity Coaches 1944-1980 Photo Archive

Robert R. Ebert  - Flxible: A History of the Bus and the Company

John McKane - Flxible Transit Buses: 1953 Through 1995 Photo Archive

Bill Vossler - Cars, Trucks and Buses Made by Tractor Companies

Lyndon W Rowe - Municipal buses of the 1960s

Edward S. Kaminsky - American Car & Foundry Company 1899-1999

Dylan Frautschi - Greyhound in Postcards: Buses, Depots and Post Houses


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