Red Buses Return to Glacier Park

After getting face-lifts in Detroit, the 70-year-old White Motor Company buses have
returned to Montana’s Glacier National Park. The 33-bus fleet was retired two years ago
after structural problems were discovered in some of the chassis. Last summer, the
convertibles were donated by Glacier Park Inc. to the National Park Foundation’s Glacier
Fund, with Ford Motor Company agreeing to pay for their complete restoration. The
restoration process has been complicated, taking about five weeks for each bus, said Rich
Williams, Ford’s new market development project manager. “There’s a lot of variation from
bus to bus,” he said. Windows were different sizes from bus to bus, and each had to be
replicated with modern safety glass. Rotted wooden floors were replaced with honeycombed
aluminum, and door handles were retooled with modern materials. “When we initially looked
into it, we thought it was about a $3 million to $3.5 million program,” said Beryl Stajich,
business strategy manager for Ford, “but we grossly underestimated that. It turns out that
it was about a $6.5 million program.”

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