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.

  • Winnwood has faded, but its legacy lives

    June 23rd, 2015
    by

    Northeast News A mere three stops after boarding the Interurban car of the KCCC&SJ’s Excelsior Springs line at 20th Street and Burlington Avenue in the then newly chartered North Kansas


    Flooding no is stranger to Kansas City’s West Bottoms

    June 16th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News This week’s postcard shows the result of countless days of rain and the lack of a levee system in the West Bottoms during a flood in June 1908.
    The


    Katz’s stores remain an architectural icon

    June 9th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News When Isaac “Ike” Katz was 13-years-old, he quit school and went to work for the Great Northern Railway to help support his family.
    Katz walked the aisles of passenger


    Memories of the 1908 flood

    June 2nd, 2015
    by

    Northeast News As we approach the rainy summer season, it is fitting that we run a postcard showing three scenes from the West Bottoms area immediately following the great flood


    Ruskin Heights tornado still conjers horror for some

    May 19th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News Fifty eight years ago today, a string of savage storms rose from the southern plains states and tore a devastating path across the Kansas City area that some


  • Motel Capri – Northeast’s Gold Standard for Motor Inns

    May 12th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News In the late 1950’s, an empty plat of ground just north of the old Boy’s Hotel at Admiral Boulevard and Highland Avenue caught the eye of three local


    Cursed be the villain who molests these graves

    May 5th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News In January of 1859, the town of Wyandot was incorporated and two streets were cut across what we now know as the Huron Indian Cemetery.


    Cliff Drive’s legacy endures time as a world-class park

    April 28th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News “Cliff Drive, Kansas City, Missouri.”
    So reads the description on the front of this postcard published by the Fred Harvey Company.


    As KC grew, so grew the City Market

    April 21st, 2015
    by

    Northeast News Building the imposing new City Hall at Fifth and Main Streets required the installation of roughly 60 circular caissons, five feet across, to support the massive structure.


    Fairyland lives on in photo postcard

    April 14th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News This week’s postcard shows the view of Fairyland Park from the top of the roller coaster in the 1930s.


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    East Patrol officer named 2015 Officer of the Year


    Northeast News June 29, 2015 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — The Missouri Peace Officers Association has named a Kansas City, Mo., […]

    KC Museum sign removal event to be rescheduled

    Joe Jarosz Northeast News June 26, 2015 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — The Kansas City Museum’s sign removal ceremony has been postponed. […]

    Motorcycle Ride will impact traffic Friday morning

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News June 25, 2015 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — On the morning of Friday, June 26, roughly 1,500 […]