Iconic Repli­cas Grey­hound Bus Lines 1931 Mack BK Par­lor Coach

Grey­hound’s Golden Age on Wheels

Die Cast X - - HOT WHEELS HIGHWAY -

By the time Mack Trucks Inc. in­tro­duced its BK se­ries mo­tor coach in 1929, Grey­hound Lines was al­ready the big­gest name in in­ter­city and in­ter­state bus ser­vice. What be­gan as a se­ries of small re­gional bus routes was grad­u­ally con­sol­i­dated un­der the Grey­hound brand. And when the first BK rolled off the Al­len­town, Penn­syl­va­nia, assem­bly line, it be­came the flag­ship of the com­pany’s mo­tor coach line.

That was of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est to the Grey­hound com­pany, whose rep­u­ta­tion for fast, com­fort­able in­ter­city travel de­pended on buses that could de­liver that re­li­ably to the max­i­mum num­ber of pas­sen­gers. The BK Par­lor Coach boasted com­fort­able seat­ing for up to 33 pas­sen­gers, and its ga­so­line en­gine—a 525-cu­bic-inch in­line-6, which was Mack’s largest at the time—made 128hp, good enough to help the BK cruise at up to 70mph. Grey­hound put in its order and bought ev­ery one of the 544 BKs built dur­ing its fiveyear pro­duc­tion run. It might have been many more, how­ever, had the Great De­pres­sion not come crash­ing in just as BK pro­duc­tion was ramp­ing up.

What you see here is the

Iconic Repli­cas 1:50 model of the last re­main­ing Mack BK be­ing op­er­ated by Grey­hound’s his­tor­i­cal fleet out of Los An­ge­les. How the model came to ex­ist speaks to the pas­sion that

Jeff Sil­ver—founder of Iconic Repli­cas—has for buses in gen­eral and for the Grey­hound BK in par­tic­u­lar. You see, in the 1930s, his great un­cle Robert Sil­ver used to drive a BK for Grey­hound on the route be­tween Mon­treal and New York City. He worked for Grey­hound for 35 years and re­tired as gen­eral man­ager for eastern Canada. Jeff was in­spired to seek out the model bus his un­cle drove and cre­ate a pre­ci­sion replica of it. We’d say he suc­ceeded rather im­pres­sively.

The replica man­ages to cap­ture many of the smaller de­tails even at its 1:50 scale.

The de­cals match that of the BK in the his­toric fleet, with the ex­cep­tion of the des­ti­na­tion call­out above the wind­shield. That reads “New York Ex­press” just as his great un­cle’s did. The BK’s cabin sits low to the ground

for eas­ier pas­sen­ger ac­cess thanks to a kick-up frame. There are lit­tle cur­tains molded into each win­dow frame. Han­dles are cast into the doors, and care­fully molded mir­rors ex­tend from each side. On top, there are roof lights and above the driver’s side sits a pair of air horns. On the back sec­tion of the roof, there is a nicely cast lug­gage rack painted chrome and in­cludes a lad­der lead­ing up to it from a cage­like rear struc­ture. Painted chrome also cov­ers the ra­di­a­tor hous­ing, head­lights, and front bumper. The de­tail on the wheels and tires is also ex­cel­lent, right down to the two-tone paint. The wheel rims and cen­ter caps are Grey­hound blue, just like the bus’s flanks, whereas the dish sec­tion of the wheel is a con­trast­ing white, match­ing the roof panel.

The BK is a fas­ci­nat­ing piece; it looks more mod­ern than its 1931 vin­tage, to be sure. The 300+ pho­tos Jeff Sil­ver and his crew took of the orig­i­nal at the Grey­hound his­toric fleet in Los An­ge­les en­sure that it’s as ac­cu­rate as it is in­ter­est­ing. What it isn’t is avail­able in large num­bers. The model is lim­ited to just 999 pieces, so if you want to se­cure your own piece of Mack/ Grey­hound his­tory, bet­ter act now.

THE BK IS A FAS­CI­NAT­ING PIECE; IT LOOKS MORE MOD­ERN THAN ITS 1931 VIN­TAGE, TO BE SURE.

The ac­tual Mack BK in Grey­hound’s his­tor­i­cal fleet. Iconic Repli­cas took more than 300 pho­tos of this bus to pro­duce the model on these pages.

SOURCEIconic Repli­cas; dis­trib­uted by awe­some­diecast.com

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