This whole thread reminds me of how pleased I am that my wife’s Hyundai has a “connected car” feature that allows me to start the car and turn on the climate control from anywhere via an app on my phone.
For reasons I don’t understand, the school buses I had to ride in the late 1940s through the mid 1950s when I was in elementary and junior high school were really cold. The only heater core was up in the front of the bus. I could never understand why additional heater cores with fans couldn’t be placed further back in the bus unless the electrical systems were inadequate.
At least our school buses back then had ash trays. It was great when I was in 3rd grade spending a school day mastering long division to be able to light up and unwind on the way home or light up on the way to school to somewhat relax if we were going to have a test. This helped make the long ride in the cold school bus somewhat tolerable.
I’m no expert, but I think I would attribute that to the fact that big diesel engines like that stay pretty cold when it is cold outside, even when they’re running. That’s why you’ll see some northern truckers cover parts of their radiators in the winter. I used to see it a lot more in the past than I do now. I’ve seen semis that had big snap-on canvas covers on the big square hood trucks, and I’ve seen newer aerodynamic trucks with cardboard attached to the grill using zip ties.
Anyway, the point I’m making is that, when I was a child, I was happy if the school bus was warmer than it was outside. Nobody took their coats off on the bus, so we didn’t want it to be as warm as it is indoors.
When I briefly worked as a long haul truck driver in 2006 and 2007, I never had issues with the truck I drove. It was always as warm as I wanted it to be without having to block airflow to the radiator, but my sleeper cab didn’t have nearly as much cubic volume as a bus.
@Whitey. The buses I rode to school weren’t diesel. The bus I rode through 4th grade was on a 1939 GMC chassis. The next bus was on a 1946 Chevrolet chassis. There were no diesel school buses back then. The drivers owned their buses and bid in the routes. Often, when the bus was too old for service, the body was removed from the chassis, a cab was purchased from a salvage yard and a grain bed built on the chassis behind the cab. The seats were removed from the bud body and it became a chicken coop or tool shed. The chasses were, after all, truck chasses. The buses I rode had neither power steering nor brakes. After I started riding the school bus, a high mounted stop light on the front and rear of the bus was mandated. A couple of years later, turning signals became a requirement. Turn signals were installed on the second bus I rode a year after that driver took over my route.
I am impressed with today’s diesel powered school buses with air brakes, power steering, automatic transmissions, and strobe lights. I think these buses do have a better heating system. However, they don’t have ash trays.
I know on my diesel, it would run so loose that I would always have to have cardboard in front of the radiator in the winter to get it up to operating temperature. Bus heaters reminds me of the story of Buddy Holly on their last tour, traveling from Duluth and south eventually to Iowa for the crash. The bus broke down half way at about -20 and the heater didn’t work. Then again heading to Marshall, MN, they had to have the heater in the replacement bus fixed. Must have been an on-going issue back then.
Back in the 50’s I heard of the head bolt heater but never really knew anyone that had one. Probably prior to freeze plug heaters because people would do all sorts of things to be able to start the cars in the morning. Blankets, even hot coals. Detached garages usually didn’t have power wired to them. The ultimate was taking the car out for a drive in the middle of the night. In school I used to have to get up and drive my Pontiac every four hours at night or it would not start in the morning when it was cold. For my air cooled VW I used a dip stick heater. Oh those were the days. Now my garage rarely gets below 40 regardless of what the outside temp is.
I hope you meant to say it had neither power steering nor power brakes.
@Whitey. I think the buses I rode back then had brakes, but I was too engaged in having a smoke to notice.
I know that one owner/operator bought a new bus in 1951. It had a Superior body on an International chassis. We rode that bus on field trips. It had vacuum assisted brakes and it had a vacuum gauge on the dashboard.