The roots of Wayne Works, who were for many years the largest school bus body manufacturer in the United States, date back to 1837, when John Whippo and brothers Caleb W. and James Witt established a foundry in Dublin, Wayne County, Indiana to manufacture stoves.
During the war Wayne Works also constructed mobile machine shops, military buses and semi-trailer bus bodies for transporting war workers some of which could carry up to 150 passengers. The semi-trailer buses were built on deep-drop frame trailer chassis and included a streamlined front end module that was fitted above the fifth wheel of the semi-tractor two vehicle.
By late 1949 Wayne Works’ board of directors had grown tired of the stranglehold the United Auto Workers appeared to hold over the firm’s future, and decided to put the firm up for sale. An attractive prospectus was sent out to prospective buyers and in early 1950 an interested party made a visit to Richmond.
In December of 1950 the Jeffrey Ives Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of J.J. Little & Ives, purchased the Clements family’s holdings in Wayne Works and became its new owner.
In January of 1954, Wayne Works purchased the Meteor Motor Car Co. of Piqua, Ohio and on March 19, 1956 Wayne announced the acquisition of another Ohio professional car builder, the A.J. Miller Company of Bellefontaine, Ohio.
Under this new conglomerate, the company would now be called Miller-Meteor. A.J. Miller's Bellefontaine plant was sold and manufacturing was consolidated at Meteor's Piqua, Ohio plant which was located at 125 Clark Avenue.
(source: Coachbuilt) ©2004 Mark Theobald - All rights reserved.
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