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1946 Chevy COE Bus

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Leonardtown, Maryland


Owned by Randy Gruba
Stone Lake, Wisconsin
06 July 2008
# 2370

From Randy :

           Here is a very "RARE" 1946 Chevy COE bus. There is little to NO information on it out there ... AT ALL. I've spent years lookin' for information on it only to come up with nothin'. I have yet to see another like it. It's been interesting to have something there is no information on.

           It was made in Atlanta. There were 137 made -- 100 long wheel base (195"), two short wheel base (160"). Mine is 174".

           It is an ugly bus but so neat. [ Full side view ] The color under all colors is a dark green. it was common for the green back then. I suspect it was for the military (not due to the green) but not sure. It had the 235 Loadmaster engine, 2 speed rearend.

           It's YEARS from getting on the road but I sure can't wait to get it there!

           I have a disabled 21 year old son and I restore these for him as a hobby (a SPENDY one at that). I have two trucks (one for parts), both 1954 Chevy COE's. About five years or so ago, I had the COE's in the yard and a guy came over and said, "I have a 1946 COE bus."

           Yea right. I thought maybe he had no idea what he had (like a Greyhound rear engine bus). So I kinda blew him off. Well, he was dead set -- it was a COE!

           So I went to look at it. It was only about two miles from my house ... WAY back in the woods. The second I saw it, I knew he was right. I asked him, "How much?" He said, "$175."


           I had a heck of a time gettin' it home (farm tractor had to pull it). Then I set out for information on it ... ZERO. I even looked for pictures that were like it. In these five-plus years of owning it, I contacted museums, even GM -- nothing out there on it.

           I want to redo it original but NO ONE knows what "original" is. [ Interior pictures back | front ] So here I go with both feet in the fire restoring it the way I'd of liked to have seen it in the day.

           I'm a one man band here. Everything is done by me and me only -- no help. I do everything start to finish on all I have here (use to have over 40 old cars-n-trucks but now I'm down to about 15).

           I just can't wait for info on it anymore. I had to start redoing it now due to rust (either do it or loose it to rust).

           The body style is UNKNOWN (Superior, Ward, Peerless) but it might be one of the few GM themselves built. Again, NO ONE KNOWS.

           I was able to get two tags off the bus. One is from the manufacturer (Chevy). The other is the bus company but it has little info on it, though Chevy is on it.

           The red truck in the pic is a 1951 Ford F-8 big job wrecker / towtruck with air brakes and a hand crank weaver wrecker. There is a green 1954 Chevy COE and a green 1955 GMC 550 tandem axle. Then there's a 1951 Ford Panel, a 1929 A on a 4 x 4 frame, a 1969 Mustang, and a 1971 Chevy Nova.

           If there is anyone out there that has seen one or knows anything about this type of bus, I'd like to hear from you.

           It would be so cool if one of our Bolters had some info to help out here! Randy isn't too keen on "forums" ... maybe we can make him a believer on this site! ~ Editor


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