I can’t say that I have been in Glacier National Park, but if it’s even half as pretty as western Montana on the whole is, you need to make it one of your bucket-list stops. For the gearhead in you, they have a treat: the vehicles that they do tours with are 1936 White Motor Company Model 706 buses, thirty-three of them in total. They’ve gone through upgrades over the years, with the buses currently riding on Ford E-Series commercial chassis, running on propane after an overhaul that took place between 1999-2002. This time, the park has entered into an agreement with Legacy Classic Trucks for a full-fleet overhaul that will see all of the trucks fitted with an updated Ford chassis, a Ford 6.2L V8, and a hybrid system that is fairly hush-hush. The system is expected to use regenerative braking as part of the program and is expected to drop emissions by 25%. Other changes will include a new wheel that mimics the original design, gauges that look more period-correct, and any repairs, painting, or rustproofing as each truck is looked over.
The “Red Jammers”, as they are known, are an iconic part of Glacier National Park and we’re glad to see that the buses are cared for lovingly. It’d be too easy to replace vehicles from the 1930s with something more modern and capable of handling many more people, but just look at these things and tell us how anyone in their right mind could replace this kind of character!