Vintage-Bus-Nostalgia-Special_New-York-City_Untapped CitiesImage via Bhushan Mondkar.

In case you were more curious about the subways and buses running for the MTA Nostalgia Special this month, the MTA has provided historical details about each of the vintage vehicles.  The buses run along the M42 line and the trains will replace M train service between 10am and 5pm on Sundays this month. In addition, there will be avintage swing and blues party to accompany the festivities at the Second Avenue stop (F & M lines) on Sunday, December 8th which will feature music and dancing on the platform and trains.


Bus No. 2969 – Manufactured by General Motors, this Model TDH 5101 was specifically designed for New York City in 1949, which featured the double-width front door to expedite the loading and unloading of customers. This bus is known as the Jackie Gleason bus, which the comedian portrayed as the bus driver “Ralph Kramden” in the classic television show “The Honeymooners.”

Bus No. 3100 – Manufactured by General Motors in 1956, this Model TDH 5106 was the first air conditioned transit bus to operate in New York City. The bus was designed and built to demonstrate updated features. Other features introduced in the 1950’s were the push-type rear exit doors, wrap-around rear soft seating, fluorescent lighting, and the air-ride suspension that is still the standard today on today’s transit buses.

Bus No. 6259 – Manufactured by Mack Truck and Bus Company, Model C49DT first arrived to the fleet in 1956 and was in operation until 1969 in Staten Island and Brooklyn routes. The “DT’ in the model number stand for “Diesel Transit,” this model was delivered with cushioned seating but converted to hard plastic in the mid-1960s because of vandalism.

Bus No. 9098 – Manufactured by General Motors, this Model TDH 5106, introduced the two-tone green color scheme (the era’s standard) and was the first NYC bus equipped with sliding windows. These were the last order of “Old Look” style buses from GM to NYCTA.

Bus No. 8466 – Manufactured by General Motors, this Model TDH 5303 were ordered in 1966 for MaBSTOA & NYCT to replace 1940s and 1950s vintage buses acquired by the City after the Fifth Avenue Coach Company takeover in 1962. This series was the first new fleet of NYC buses designed and built with air-conditioning and also featured large illuminated advertising signs on each side. These buses proved to be so reliable and durable that several were selected to be rebuilt in 1984 to extend their useful life.

Bus No. 8928 – Manufactured by General Motors, this Model TDH 5305A was purchased by NYCT in 1968 to begin replacement of its 1956 vintage Mack C-49 fleet. Thirteen of the new buses were equipped with high-back upholstered, forward-facing seats for the new Staten Island to Manhattan express service, which debuted in late 1968. Furthermore, this bus with modifications made to accommodate luggage, was chosen to be utilized as the connecting JFK Express bus service for “The Train to the Plane,” which began operating in 1978.

Vintage-Bus-Nostalgia-Special-Closeup_New-York-City_Untapped Cities
Image via Bhushan Mondkar.


Car No. 100 – Manufactured by American Car and Foundry, this R1-type car was the first car in the initial order of 300 cars placed in service for the opening of the IND subway.

Car No. 484 – Part of a 500-car order of R4 cars manufactured by American Car & Foundry. In 1946, this car received a retrofit of bulls-eye lighting and a public address system.

Car No. 1575 – Originally manufactured as an R7, this car was involved in a wreck in 1946. Sent to the American Car & Foundry factory, the car was rebuilt as prototype of the next generation R10 subway car.

Read more about the vintage subway swing party, vintage buses along the M42, the Transit Museum’s Vintage Bus Festival, and double-decker buses from 1930s to 1970s. Hat tip to Justin Ferate for sharing the details.