By Michael Bushnell
“See Kansas City and know what you’re seeing,” states the description on the back of this Curt Teich vintage 1920’s color postcard showing the Yellow Cab Company’s touring Parlor Coach. “An instructive, enjoyable 2 1/2 hour trip, thirty miles of the most interesting sections of Kansas City’s parks, boulevards, business and residential sections.”
According to equipment records of the Kansas City Public Service Company, such parlor coaches were built by a variety of manufacturers, including the American Car Company, Mack International Bus Co., Yellow Coach Company and the Safeway Six Wheel Company.
Gross Vehicle weight was 18,700 pounds and each coach cost $12,404.52. Interior complements included horsehair carpeting, mahogany wood trim throughout and seats covered with fabric in the “Chase Alhambra # 1012” in #1130 Blue.
Each coach had a capacity of 30 passengers and cost roughly 32.77 cents per coach mile to operate. Double-decker models built by the St. Louis Car Company were also used in Kansas City along primary bus routes operated by the Kansas City Public Service Company.
The equipment records were “donated” to The Northeast News by a Northeast resident about 15 years ago who called our office and indicated that she had about five tubs of old magazines and pictures from the old Trolley Car Company.
We went to the residence just prior to the city trash truck and saved hundreds of volumes, circa 1928-1946, of old Railwayan magazines, the monthly newsletter for the Kansas City Public Service Company. Additionally there were two books specifically dedicated to photographs and blueprint specs of buses and coaches operated by the KCPSC, including the two photographs of Coach 503.
The stats for Gray Line Tours, Parlor Coaches 501-505 are as follows:
No. of Coaches purchased: 5
Engine: Continental Motor Company, 6 cyl producing 105 bhp at 2,000rpm
Chassis: Safeway Six Wheel Company, 55”
Body: American Car Company, Steel Parlor Car.
Floor Covering: Rubber tile and horse-hair carpet.
Overall Length: 31’ 9” (over bumpers)
Overall Height: 8” 8 ¾ “
Overall Width: 8’ 3 ¾ “
Seating Capacity: 30
In Service: Sept. & Oct. 1925