Wayne Buses

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Wayne Body Company



Wayne is a name in school transportation that predates the familiar yellow school bus seen all over the USA and Canada. Beginning in the 19th century, craftsmen in Richmond, Indiana at Wayne Works and its successors built horse-drawn vehicles, including kid hacks, evolving into automobiles and virtually all types of bus bodies during the 20th century. Wayne products eventually included school buses, transit buses, highway coaches, military and shuttle buses, ambulances and even huge bus bodies pulled by tractor trailers used to haul oil field workers in the Middle East.

Among many innovations, Wayne pioneered the guard rails on the sides of all school buses today, inboard wheelchair lifts, and even high-headroom doors (a special accommodation for mobility-challenged persons requiring head and neck support from above). The company was the first with a school bus based upon a cutaway van chassis, the Wayne Busette, a chassis design which more than 35 years later remains one of the most popular in use in North American markets. The crowning safety achievement was the Wayne Lifeguard structural design introduced in 1973, which featured continuous interior and exterior longitudinal panels. The Lifeguard’s design helped pave the way for the all-important U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) for school buses, most of which became applicable on April 1, 1977. In the years after, Wayne continued to be a leader in bus safety engineering.

Wayne went through many owners. During the second half of the 20th century, the business underwent periods under Divco-Wayne, Boise Cascade, Indian Head, and Thyssen-Bornemisza conglomerate ownership, and moved to a greatly expanded facility adjacent to Interstate 70 in 1967, where it became a familiar landmark to millions of travelers. After encountering a difficult market cycle and industry downturn due to over-capacity beginning in the early 1980s, Wayne Corporation finally closed up and went out-of-business in 1992. Several efforts to continue to utilize portions of the assets and build school buses ended in 2000.

As of 2006, thousands of Wayne buses remained in service, although the numbers are dwindling each year as new buses replace them in school and commercial operations. Some have been converted to motor homes and other uses. The former Wayne Corporation property along Interstate 70 is becoming re-utilized for a number of retail and industrial enterprises.


(Thanks to Wikipedia for allowing the use of company history)



1980 Lifeguard, Chevy chassis.


East Liverpool OH. had this 1994 Lifeguard, complete with International Chassis.


1990 Lifestar.


1982 Lifeguard.


89 Lifestar drivers area.


Lifeguard on Chevrolet Chassis.


Wayne Interior.


1989 Lifestar.


Superior bus has this 89 Lifeguard.


89 Lifeguard on Chevy Chassis.


1965 Wayne Conventional.


Wyoming Valley (PA) 1992 Lifeguard.


1989 66 passenger Lifeguard.


1973 conventional on GMC Chassis.


1962 Wayne on International chassis.


Lifeguard drivers area, GMC chassis, 1989.


1986 Lifeguard, International “S” series chassis.


1988 Lifeguard in NYC.


Lifeguard from 1973. GMC Chassis.


More to Come!





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