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.

  • Mt. Washington still a peaceful respite

    November 12th, 2014
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News November 12, 2014 This postcard published by the Webb-Freyschlag Mercantile Company shows a peaceful view […]


    Eagle’s lodge once a place of history

    November 5th, 2014
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News November 5, 2014 This week we take a look at the Queen Anne-styled James Ogelbay […]


    Haunting Halloween Greetings

    October 28th, 2014
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News October 29, 2014 Marked by old greeting postcards like these, the tradition of Halloween traces […]


    KC’s first fire fighters honored

    October 21st, 2014
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News October 22, 2014 In March 1867, the Missouri Legislature granted permission to allow Kansas City, […]


    Majestic hours once lived on Armour Blvd

    October 14th, 2014
    by

    This postcard published by the Elite Postcard Company of Kansas City doubles as an advertising postcard for the Jenkins Music […]


  • Parade's a downtown tradition

    October 7th, 2014
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News October 8, 2014 This week’s historic postcard is a Real Photo postcard that shows a […]


    It’s American Royal time again!

    September 30th, 2014
    by

    By Michael Bushnell Northeast News October 1, 2014 About two years after the opening of the “new” Hannibal Bridge over […]


    Oldsmobile Rhythmic ride!

    September 23rd, 2014
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News September 24, 2014 This marketing postcard was produced by the Oldsmobile Motor Company for Kansas […]


    Brush Creek synonymous with Plaza living

    September 16th, 2014
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News September 17, 2014 This Kodachrome postcard published in the late 1950s shows the numerous apartment […]


    Grand Old Opera house

    September 9th, 2014
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News September 10, 2014 The Grand Opera House located at Seventh and Walnut is this week’s […]


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    Liberty Memorial: A national tribute

    Northeast News The third annual convention of the American Legion was held in Kansas City, Mo., on Oct.

    Gov. Nixon visits Lincoln Prep to applaud school

    By Joe Jarosz Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Sometimes when you're doing something good, even those at the highest level have to say congratulations. Last Thursday, Gov.

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder [...]