This 1950s Bus Might Be Worth $4 Million, But It’s Making the Modern Bus Look Better Than Ever

If you’ve ever thought that old buses used during the 1940s and 1950s looked more than a little silly, it might come as a shock that one bus — just a single bus — was recently sold for $4 million at the 2015 Barrett-Jackson car auction.

The bus in question is an extremely rare (and extremely enormous, according to CNN Money) General Motors (GM) Futurliner bus that was used during the 40s and 50s as a bit of a propaganda tool for the giant car company. Only 12 of these Futurliners were ever produced, and the model recently sold is one of just three Futurliners that still exist and have been refurbished to reflect the bus’ original operating system.

The buses originally ran on two-stroke diesel engines, but CNN states that after 1953, the buses were equipped with 145 horsepower six-cylinder gas engines. The drivers of these buses sit about 10 feet off the ground, and eight gigantic tires are required to hold up the 30,000 lb. vehicle. Ironically, each bus was only capable of holding three people at one time (including the driver), making them virtually useless outside of parades, auto shows, and marketing stints at various events.

Lucky for us, GM took a step back from the coach bus industry, and motorcoach companies have come a long way with developing coach bus transportation so that buses are actually affordable, comfortable, and sensible methods of traveling.

Modern coach buses almost always come equipped with extra features like air conditioning, entertainment systems, on-board bathrooms, and wi-fi connections — making the trip incredibly comfortable, despite having to ride with more than two other people. With over 3,400 individual bus companies offering everything from local bus services to cross-country (or even international) group trips, it isn’t hard to believe that the industry provides over 600 million individual passenger trips in one average year.

Best of all, you won’t have to pay even a fraction of the $4 million Futurliner price when you grab a ride on your local bus line. Now more so than ever before, it’s clear that the U.S. bus industry has come a long way in just a few short decades — and the future is looking particularly bright.