Futuristic movie-prop bus from 1935

In July, 1935 Modern Mechanix magazine brought this fantastic movie-prop-bus to light -- this is what public transit needs:

UNIQUE in design is the multiple-wheeler shown below, which was designed for a film now being made at the Paramount studios. The 36-passenger vehicle is operated by a driver who sits in a glass-enclosed crow’s nest jutting out from the 15-foot roof. The road liner has an oddly-shaped tail fin which extends high over the rear observation platform. The bus has four rear wheels and a circular vent in front in order to cool the radiator.


  1. That would make the best RV ever. When I have unlimited money I will find or recreate that bus, outfit it like one of those Marathon coaches, then spend years driving all over the continent.

  2. This reminds me of some old film from the 30’s. No idea what the name was, but the final scene had W.C.Fields sitting in an open air deck, caboose style at the back of an airplane.

  3. This bus is from Stolen Harmony, made in 1935. I don’t remember Fields in this one, but I could easily have missed it or the bus could have been used in another production.

  4. It’s kind of sad that thanks to CGI these kind of things would never be built today.

    Of course there a still a wide variety of non-Hollywood craftsmen (craftspeople?) filling the void…

  5. Wow!!
    As if Buckminster Fuller made a Dymaxion Bus!
    Definitely watch the YouTube vid of it. Gangsters kidnap the bus!

  6. Oh. My. God.

    Just a few hours ago, I read Gibson’s The Gernsback Continuum which deals with exacltly this sort of design. There are even cars with fins mentioned.

    That’s quite some coincidence.

  7. Anyone remember a 70’s “Airplane”-style parody film called “The Big Bus”? —Huge nuclear-powered passenger bus with swimming pool, bar, suites, etc. destined for “Poseidon Adventure”-type disaster on its non-stop cross country trip.

  8. Great for cruising the interstate but I see urban pedestrian carnage due to the operator’s bubble.

  9. why do set designers and magazine authors always assume that designers of the ‘future’ lose all sensibility and taste?

  10. The Big Bus is one of my favorite films nobody has ever heard of. It’s hilarious! Joseph Bologna and Stockard Channing star, but it’s got cameos from Ruth Gordon to Ned Beatty to Lynn Redgrave and more. Favorite line: “Eat one lousy foot and they call you a cannibal.”

  11. my favorite part of The Big Bus is where the stewardess calmly explains the complicated process of putting on the hazmat suit when the bus goes out of control.

    for a silly movie it was unexpectedly good!

Comments are closed.