Pickwick Nite Coach luxury bus tour

Pickwick Nite Coach.jpg

By MICHAEL BUSHNELL
Northeast News
January 29, 2014

Pickwick Lines Nite Coach service made its debut at the Pacific Southwest Exposition in Long Beach, Calif., during the summer of 1928. Movie legend Clara Bow was pictured with one of the glistening new coast-to-coast coaches and that picture ran in newspapers nationwide, all heralding the arrival of luxury coast-to-coast bus service.

An excerpt from the Aug. 14, 1928, Madison Wisconsin Capital Times reads: “Newest Motor Coach Is Veritable Hotel on Wheels Has Dining Rooms, Berths and Balcony. $30,000 Vehicle Will Be Used On San Diego, ‘Frisco Trip.”

Blueprints of the monstrous bus show a central walkway down the middle of the bus, halfway between the upper and lower levels. This made it easier to slip down into or step up into the sleeping berths. The driver was situated above the motor, almost eight feet above the roadway. The steward had a small kitchen prep area at the front of the bus that served meals to the 28 guests upon request. Each delivered to your stateroom which incidentally featured running water and electric lighting. Each coach was equipped with two lavatories, too.

This black and white photo postcard was taken on Kersey Coates Drive here in Kansas City. The drive is now part of the western part of the downtown loop. The description of the card reads: “First Motor Bus Compartment Sleeper, The Pickwick Nite Coach is a beautiful streamlined vehicle with 28 air cushioned chairs by day and 28 comfortable berths by night. Hot meals prepared and served on board. Two lavatories, Crew of 3, pilot, steward and porter. In successful use over Pickwick-Greyhound and affiliated lines. Pickwick-Greyhound Lines, General Offices, Railway Exchange Building, Kansas City, Missouri.”

Pickwick Lines operated out of the Pickwick Hotel downtown that doubled as the Santa Fe Trailways Stage Lines Depot. References and information for this column were researched on Coachbilt.com, a comprehensive website archiving buses and motor coaches back to their introduction in the late 1800s.

Comments are closed.

  • Vanderslice made it big in the KC ice and coal business

    August 23rd, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This week, in celebration of the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote, we showcase an advertising postcard published for


    Highest point in Kansas City housed corruption cleanser

    August 16th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This advertising postcard from The Westmoreland Company shows a residence at 74th and Mercier streets.


    Benton Circle: the early days

    August 9th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This week, we feature a card John Straley published between 1925-1930 titled “The Benton Circle,” shown in its original configuration at the intersection of St.


    Neighborhood school built on history

    August 2nd, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Located on the corner of Prospect Boulevard and Amie Court, Garfield Elementary School was one of the first ward schools in Kansas City.


    Troost Lake connects to streetcar, Mormon histories

    July 26th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Opening to the public in 1888, Troost Park and adjoining Troost Lake were the ideas of the Kansas City Cable Railway Company (later known as the Kansas City


  • The wild waters of pre-levee Kansas City

    July 19th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Published by the North American Postcard Company of Kansas City, Mo., this week’s card is a Real Photo Postcard showing the West Bottoms area looking northwest toward the


    Christmas in July

    July 12th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This week, a rare treat — a Real Photo postcard showing a newly completed Penn Valley Drive in Penn Valley Park, Kansas City, Mo.


    Bible College once served Historic Northeast

    July 6th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Established in 1890 as a school for “girls,” the Scarritt Bible and Training Institute was located at Harris (now Norledge Avenue) and Askew avenues in Historic Northeast Kansas


    Celebrating with Uncle Sam: Happy Fourth of July!

    June 28th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Historians aren’t completely certain how the legendary character Uncle Sam was created, or for whom (if anyone) he was named.


    Kansas City’s old Convention Hall

    June 21st, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This week, we feature a rare advertising postcard showing the old Convention Hall, which was destroyed by fire in early April 1900 — just 90 days prior to


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    Area man injured in shooting behind Northeast News

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News August 25, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Just before midnight on Wednesday, August 24, KCPD […]

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder [...]

    Northeast railroad bridge continues to stifle motorists

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri - The sight is all too common; a capsized semi-truck blocking traffic along Independence Avenue. Northeast residents know the spot.