Amtran retires GMC New Looks
Altoona Metro Transit retires GMC New Looks
June 1, 2018 was an historic day for Amtran (Altoona Metro Transit) in Altoona, Pennsylvania. It was the last day that their GMC New Look buses from the 1970’s operated in revenue service. These buses are affectionately known as “Fishbowls” nationwide because of their curved six-piece windshield. Amtran is replacing them with six new Gilligs.
Donating six buses to museums
Six of the historic buses will be donated to organizations with the resources and expertise to restore them. They include American Industrial Mining Company Museum in Buckeye Lake, OH; the Classic Bus Owners Association in Bronx, NY; Commonwealth Coach and Trolley Museum in Roanoke, VA; The New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center in Scotch Plains, NJ; the Museum of Bus Transportation in Harrisburg, PA; and the Trolley Museum of New York in Kingston, NY. All six donated buses were on the road as recently as June 1.
Public auction for three New Looks
The remaining three buses, useful mostly for parts, will be auctioned off to the highest bidder August 15-31 on the Public Surplus website.
Amtran’s history with GMC New Looks goes back 50 years to 1968 when they took delivery of 17 brand-new buses. Over the years, because of the outstanding reliability of these buses, Amtran also purchased 15 used Fishbowls from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania from 1989-1993 and 16 from Montgomery, Alabama from 2001-2003. These last nine buses were all from Montgomery.
“We’ve been told that we are the last public transportation provider in the United States to utilize these historic buses in revenue service although there are many organizations that have restored New Looks that they use for special occasions,” according to Eric Wolf, Amtran’s general manager. “It is a testament to our maintenance technicians that these buses lasted as long as they did in regular service. We are very pleased and proud to be donating these classics to six deserving organizations who will be giving them a good home.”