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The GM/MCI "Classic" Series Buses

Text by Robert Lubinski

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Tried and True

Many Canadian properties did not wish to purchase the RTS model which was being offered in the United States, therefore in 1981 GM produced an updated prototype New Look with a new flat front end and larger window configuration, as well as a restyled back end. The engineering changes made to the buses could be considered ‘evolutionary’ rather than ‘revolutionary’, therefore GM decided to call this updated version the ‘Classic’.

In 1987 GM sold its bus building business to MCI, best known for building highway coaches. Classics were constructed at the former GM plant in St. Eustache, Quebec. MCI later sold this business to NovaBus of Quebec. NovaBus continued building Classics for several Canadian and US systems, and produced the last Classic for STO in Hull, Quebec in 1996.

In 1987 TTC took delivery of 84 ‘Classics’. Originally these buses were distributed across several divisions with 10-15 buses at each garage. By 2002, the Classics were consolidated into two garages, Eglinton and Birchmount. These buses were retrofitted with UWE connectors for outside storage. The Classics were rebuilt in 2000-2001 and were retired by 2008, except for two, 6221 and 6223, which were used for Toronto Island service until 2010 when they were stored at Mount Dennis until they were removed off the roster in early 2012 and sold to Belka in 2013.

The TTC nearly acquired another 135 Classics in 1995, however this order was as part of an agreement to save Orion Bus Industries. Instead, the Ontario government required that bus orders from Ontario systems would go to Orion and, as a result, the TTC acquired 135 Orion V buses instead (7000 - 7134).

Condensed Classic Roster:

  • Fleet Numbers: 6210 - 6293 - TC 40102N - Delivered 1987

GM Classic Image Archive


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