The Ohio Museum of Transportation

Museum Roster

Coach 641 - Details

Restored CTS Coach 641 on a Museum Fantrip in Cleveland Coach 641 during the restoration process
Our restored CTS Coach 641 on a recent fantrip in Cleveland. Coach 641 undergoing it's restoration. Taken just prior to painting.
Coach 641 as we acquired it from Fullington Trailways

Coach 641 as received from Fullington Auto Bus Co before restoration.

Make : GMC
Year : 1959
Model : TDH 5301
Serial Number : 119
Length : 40'
Width : 102"
Height : 118"
Destination Sign : 1/4 - 3/4 split manual
Seating : American Seating 51 passenger capacity
Engine : Detroit Diesel 6V-71N
Transmission : Allison V-Drive 2 speed electric governor
Air Conditioning : No
Center Doors : air type bi-fold
Acquired From : Fullington Auto Bus Co. - Clearfield PA
Condition : Restored - Minor interior work and underside work needed
Period : 1959 Cleveland Transit System livery


A part of the second order of "New Look" coaches from GM, 641 was the first order for Cleveland. This coach served CTS and later the GCRTA until approxiamtly 1978. From research done, it appears this coach had an accident around 1973 and had front end work done to repair it.

This coach went to North Olmstead Municipal Bus Lines from July to October 1976 (then a part of the RTA system) and then back to the GCRTA before it was retired. Destined to be scrapped, this coach ended up in a junk yard in New Brighton, PA in 1978. Still in good condition, Fullington Auto Bus Co of Clearfield, PA purchased this coach from the junk yard.

Fullington converted 641 into the Penn State University "Party Bus" which was used for football games and other PSU events. Painted in dark blue and white, the outlandish paint scheme applied had a lions face on the front and diagonal blue and white stripes along the sides and back.

In restoring this coach, all of this paint had to be removed and the easiest way was to strip the bus down to it's shell on the exterior. All windows and trim were removed and some needed body work was done around the window areas. The interior was cleaned up and seats repositioned to the correct configuration. Several of the seats were missing but we were lucky enough to find an ex-WMATA coach that had the same style seats so now we have a complete set.

After the bus was put back together, we were able to work out an arrangement so that the engine could be rebuilt and some understructure work done. The parts were not difficult to find but due to the age of the bus, there were lots of little problems such as a pin hole leak in the fuel line that took time to locate and a suspension leveling valve that snapped off during a Museum fan trip. That was quickly repaired so that the trip could continue and a proper valve was installed later.

As originally delivered, 641 had no Michigan marker lamps installed as Ohio did not require them at that time. Modern style markers were added to the bus by Fullington Auto Bus (as part of the Pennsylvania motor vehicle code requirements) and since they were in place, we decided to replace them with the proper style for the 5301 model since this coach would be on the road.

Now the jewel of the Museum fleet, 641 shows what our organization and it's members are capable of doing. This was the first major undertaking by our group and we now have several other coaches now undergoing various restorations.

In 1996, shortly after 641 was restored, our organization was contacted by a movie production company requesting a "period" bus from the early to mid 60's. It was for a movie entitled "Telling Lies In America" which was to be filmed in Cleveland. Our coach 641 made several appearances in that movie which starred Kevin Bacon, Brian Renfrew, Maximillian Schell and Calista Flockhart. The movie is available at most video rental shops for those of you that wish to see 641 in action.

The early "New Look" GM Coaches were the most attractive of all the "New Look" coaches built. Square marker lights accented with aluminum trim, tail and stop lamps being housed in a fancy fiberglass case along with the center markers being housed in an aluminum cases made these coaches stand out in a crowd. True 50's styling.

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Page updated on August 13, 2004