SUPERIOR Coach Company Ohio USA

Superior Coach Company

sup1

Superior Coach was once a school bus body and professional car manufacturer, but today it focuses on building hearses and is located in Lima in Allen County, Ohio.

superior 6 Lima, Ohio plant.

History

1912 Garford-trucks_1912-09_logo

Garford Motor Truck Company – logo 1912
Garford-Putilov Naval Uralets
 Russian WWI Garford-Putilov armoured car based on Garford truck 1912

Garford Motor Truck Company

In 1909, the Garford Motor Truck Company was established in Elyria, Ohio, a small town 30 miles outside Cleveland.

By June 1912, the company was awarded a lucrative contract with the United States Post Office. The first order called for 11 trucks; the following for 20 trucks, for a total of 31 trucks. “This is very significant of the practical efficiency of this most advanced commercial car.” The post office had experimented for two years “with practically every truck made.” They tried not only all the leading American trucks but the foreign trucks as well. The test resulted in the Garford being awarded first honors. The Garford proved to be the most practical truck under all conditions.

1916 Garford 4x2

 Truck of Garford 4×4 Motor Truck Company 1916
1912 Garford-truck
 Garford Motor Truck Company 1912

Superior Coach

ord Motor Truck Company

In 1909, the Garford Motor Truck Company was established in Elyria, Ohio, a small town 30 miles outside Cleveland.

By June 1912, the company was awarded a lucrative contract with the United States Post Office. The first order called for 11 trucks; the following for 20 trucks, for a total of 31 trucks. “This is very significant of the practical efficiency of this most advanced commercial car.” The post office had experimented for two years “with practically every truck made.” They tried not only all the leading American trucks but the foreign trucks as well. The test resulted in the Garford being awarded first honors. The Garford proved to be the most practical truck under all conditions.

Superior Body Company

In 1925, the company changed its name to the Superior Body Company and moved its operations to Lima, Ohio, where it occupied a new plant housing a large manufacturing facility and administrative offices. The company diversified, introducing a line of hearse and ambulance bodies (known as professional cars and becoming a major producer of school bus bodies for the U.S. and Canada as well as export markets. For its professional-car platforms, Superior signed an agreement with Studebaker, thus gaining instant access to some 3000 dealers and Studebaker’s chassis engineering. The company saw continuing success for several years and, on the strength of this arrangement, rose to a prominent position in the professional-car business; by 1930 Superior and Studebaker had the only complete line of professional cars in the North American market. In 1938, having achieved success and having established a dealer network of its own, Superior left the partnership with Studebaker and began building bodies on General Motors platforms.

Superior Coach Company

The company changed its name to Superior Coach Company in 1940. And the years that followed saw hearses styled on Cadillac, LaSalle and Pontiac chassis. By 1949, the company had added Chrysler, DeSoto and Dodge chassis to its funeral coach line, offering customers a smaller investment and lower overhead. School bus bodies were built primarily on Chevrolet/GM, Dodge, Ford, and International Harvester truck chassis. In 1951 the Lima facility was expanded and a new facility in Kosciusko, Mississippi was dedicated.

Sheller-Globe Corporation

In 1969, Superior Coach Company was acquired by an industrial conglomerate and auto parts maker, the Toledo, Ohio-based Sheller-Globe Corporation. The 1977 model year saw a major downsizing in the automobile chassis used for the professional car business. The ambulance sector switched to larger vehicles based upon van, cutaway van chassis, and truck chassis. The watershed year of 1977 also brought new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards-(FMVSS) for school buses built after April 1, which increased both costs and engineering challenges. In addition to higher costs, at the same time, a downturn in North American school bus purchase volumes began as the children of the Baby Boom completed their elementary and secondary educations.

By 1980, Superior was one of the “Big Six” school bus body manufacturing companies in the United States, competing with Blue Bird Body Company, Carpenter Body Company, Thomas Built Buses, Inc., Ward Body Company, and Wayne Corporation, as well as Gillig Corporation and Crown Coach Corporation (manufacturers which traded primarily on the West Coast). Bidding competition for reduced volumes became devastating to profits and even liquidity. In 1979, Ward declared bankruptcy, reorganizing as AmTran the following year which later became IC Bus.

Faced with these challenges, industry over-capacity among school bus manufacturers, and the loss of ambulance business in the professional car sector, Sheller-Globe Corporation liquidated its Superior-related investments in late 1980, and portions of its assets were sold.

 1950's Supercruiser.

1950s-supercruiser

1964 SUPERIOR 3100-5200 a

1964-superior-3100-5200

1964 SUPERIOR 3100-5200 GMC

1964-superior-3100-5200-gmc

1964 SUPERIOR 5000 op Bedford a

1964-superior-5000-op-bedford

1964 SUPERIOR IH-Saigon

1964-superior-international harvester-saigon

1964 SUPERIOR Traveler Colombia

1964-superior-traveler-colombia

1964 SUPERIOR Traveler Manila

1964-superior-traveler-manila

1964 SUPERIOR Traveler Venezuela

1964-superior-traveler-venezuela

1966 on a Dodge chassis.

1966-on-a-dodge-chassis

1967 SUPERIOR Series (USA 10-67)

1967-superior-series-usa-10-67.

1970's era Supercruiser on GMC chassis.

1970s-era-supercruiser-on-gmc-chassis

1972 Superior International.

1972-superior-international harvester

1972 Superior on Chevrolet Chassis.

1972-superior-on-chevrolet-chassis

1974 GMC from Moffat County.

1974-gmc-from-moffat-county

1976 Butterfly hood Superior from Ohio.

1976-butterfly-hood-superior-from-ohio

1976 International Superior.

1976-international harvester-superior

1977 and a 1979 Superiors, but with different style International Chassis.

1977-and-a-1979-superiors-but-with-different-style-international-chassis

1977 Ford Superior from Rowan County.

1977-ford-superior-from-rowan-county

1977 superior line up 11

1977-superior-line-up-11

1978 International on Loadstar Chassis.

1978-international-on-loadstar-chassis

1979 Small Superior GMC 36 passenger.

1979-small-superior-gmc-36-passenger

1980 S series Superior International drivers area.

1980-s-series-superior-international-drivers-area

1980 S series Superior International outside

1980-s-series-superior-international-outside

1986 DK conventional bus.

1986-dk-conventional-bus

SUPERIOR  (USA)

superior-usa

sup1

1928 Eckland Bros Bus of Duluth-Superior Bus Co (Minnesota)

Eckland Bros

1931-bus Fargo-Dodge Bus 1933 Superior School Bus Brochure 1935 Dodge Superior School Bus Sales Brochure 1935 Ford Chevrolet Superior School Bus Brochure 1936  Superior Metropolitan Streamline Street Car Transit Bus Brochure 1936 Chevrolet Superior School Bus Factory Photo 1936 Dodge Superior Parlor Intercity Bus Brochure 1936 Superior Pioneer School Bus Brochure 1937 Studebaker J25MB Superior Bus Photo Poster

Studebaker

1938 Ford Superior School Bus Ad 1946 Superior Avenue Coach Transit Bus Ad 1947 Superior Pioneer School Bus Brochure 1947 Superior School Bus Ad Wickwire Spencer Fence 1948 Ford Superior School Bus Brochure 1948 Superior Pioneer School Bus Sales Brochure 1948 Superior Transit Bus Magazine Ad 1949 Superior Reo 3000 & 3100 Intercity Bus Brochure Spanish 1951 Matchbook Superior Trip-L-Safe School Bus Lima OH Langlois Bros Los Angeles 1951 Superior School Bus Sales Brochure 1952  Superior Pioneer School Bus Pencil Eraser 1952 Superior Commutor Bus Brochure 1952 Superior Pathfinder School Bus Brochure 1953 Dodge Superior bus 1953 Ford F6 Superior Bus Factory Photo 1953 International Superior Bus Factory Photo Sheet 1953 Superior 4100 Metropolitan Coach Bus Brochure 1953 Superior Ford Pathfinder School Bus Brochure 1953 Superior Pathfinder Commuter Transit Bus Brochure 1955 GMC Superior School Bus Sales Brochure 1955 Superior 45 & 67 Passenger Superliner Bus Brochure 1955 Superior School Bus Sales Brochure 1955 Superior Superliner 73 Passenger Bus Brochure 1956 fordbus-6 1956 Superior School Bus 1956 1957 Superior School Bus Brochure 1958 Superior Pioneer School Bus Prestige Brochure 1966 on a Dodge chassis. 1966 Superior School Bus Photo Poster 1974 Superior Bus Magazine Advertisement 1975 Superior Transit Shutle Bus Van Brochure Chevrolet 1976 Butterfly hood Superior from Ohio. 1977 and a 1979 Superiors, but with different style International Chassis. 1977 Ford Superior from Rowan County. 1978 International on Loadstar Chassis. 1978 Superior Chevrolet Van School Bus Factory Photo 1979 Small Superior GMC 36 passenger. 1979 Superior Transit Bus Sales Brochure 1980 Superior Pioneer FC Shuttle Bus Brochure 1980 Superior Transit Bus Brochure 1986 DK conventional bus. logoflat sup1 WBsup157 WBwayne

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Author: Jeroen

In Dutch, my homelanguage: Ik ben Jeroen, tot januari 2015 was ik al dik 26 jaar werkzaam in een psychiatrisch ziekenhuis in een stad vlakbij Werelds grootste havenstad Rotterdam. Eerst als verpleegkundige/begeleider op high care, later op afdeling dubbeldiagnose (verslavingen) en ook nog een tijdje als administratief medewerker. Ik heb een spierziekte "Poli Myositis" (alle spieren zijn ontstoken) daardoor weinig energie. Sinds augustus 2015 is daarbij de diagnose Kanker gesteld, en ben ik helemaal arbeidsongeschikt geworden en zit middenin de behandelfase. Gelukkig ben ik daarnaast getrouwd, vader, en opa, en heb de nodige hobby's. Een daarvan is transportmiddelen verzamelen en daarmee een blog schrijven. Dit blog begon met bussen, maar nu komen ook sleepboten, auto's trucks en dergelijke aan bod. Kijk en geniet met me mee, reageer, en vul gerust aan. Fouten zal ik ook graag verbeteren. In English: I'm Jeroen, till januari 2015 I was already 26 years working as a nurse in a psychiatric hospital, near Rotterdam, Worlds biggest harbour with more than 98 nationalities living within it's borders. First I worked on closed high care ward and the last years on a ward with mainly addicted people. I liked my work very much. In 2007 I got ill. I got the diagnose Poli Myositis, a musscle dissease. Al my mussles are inflamed. And last august I got another diagnose. Cancer. It's plaveicelcel carcinoma and treated with Chemo and radioation. So I've even less energy than the last years. Still I try to make something of my life and the blog is helping with surviving with some pleasure.

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