International Harvester S-Series "Schoolmaster"
Schulbus Hamburger Hummelbahn01 International S-Series school bus (Blue Bird body)
Manufacturer International Harvester (1979-1986)
Navistar International (1986-1989)
Also called S-1700
Production 1978-1989 (model year 1979-1989)
Predecessor International Harvester Loadstar
Successor International 3800
Class Type C (Conventional)
Layout 4x2
Body style(s)

Cowled chassis

Stripped chassis (1853FC)
Engine(s) Gasoline
Transmission(s) Manual
Vehicles see listing
Related International Harvester S-Series
International Harvester FC1853

The International S-Series "Schoolmaster" was a Type C (conventional) bus chassis manufactured by International Harvester, which became Navistar during its production run. It was introduced in 1979 as the replacement for the Loadstar bus chassis; it was used for both school bus and commercial bus applications. In 1989, it was replaced by the International 3800; both chassis were offered that year. The Schoolmaster was the last bus chassis designed by International Harvester.

Design HistoryEdit

The Schoolmaster used powertrains and components from the S-Series medium-duty trucks. Two models were available: the S-1700 and the heavier-duty S-1800.


The Schoolmaster changed relatively little over its production run. Many of these changes reflected the change from International Harvester to Navistar. In 1987, an updated International logo was added to the grille and the steering wheel. Also, in an industry first, all gasoline engines were dropped from the S-Series bus chassis powertrain lineup. In 1989, Navistar heavily upgraded the S-Series trucks, which had become the 4000-Series. The bus chassis was redesigned from the firewall forward and the entire dashboard was replaced. The new-generation bus chassis was called the 3800, which was produced into 2004. As such, the 3800 was the final S-Series variant to conclude production.


Alongside the conventional, International also offered a stripped chassis for Type D (transit style) school bus manufacturers. The 1853-FC (FC=Forward Control) was powered only by diesel engines. In 1989, the 1853FC was replaced by the 3900, which Navistar used until 2010.

International S-Series "Schoolmaster" Model Designations
Model Names S1700 S1800 1853-FC
S1723 S1753 S1823 S1853
Fuel Type Gasoline Diesel Gasoline Diesel Diesel
Years Produced 1979-1986 1979-1989 1979-1981 1979-1989 1981-1989

Body manufacturersEdit


The driver's compartment of an S-Series chassis school bus.

For its production run, the S-Series was used by many manufacturers of Type C school buses in North America.

Manufacturer Model Name Production Notes
Blue Bird Corporation Conventional 1979-1989
Carpenter Body Works Classic
1979-1989 The Cavalier was a transit-style bus that used the 1853FC chassis from 1983-1988
Gillig Corporation 1979-1981 The last Gillig Type C bus was built in 1981; very few were produced.
New Bus Company 1988-89
Superior Coach Company Pioneer 1979-1985 Superior ended production of Type C buses in 1985 to concentrate on Type A buses (see Mid Bus)
Thomas Built Buses, Inc. Conventional 1979-1989
Ward Body Works Volunteer
  • Non-school bus versions of the Volunteer built after 1980 were sold under the AmTran name.
  • The President was a transit-style school bus that used the 1853FC chassis from 1981-1986.
Wayne Corporation Lifeguard 1979-1989


  • International Harvester 345 cubic-inch V8 (1979-1986)
  • International Harvester 392 cubic-inch V8 (1979-1986)
  • International Harvester MV-404 6.6 liter V8 (1979-1981)
  • International Harvester MV-446 7.3 liter V8 (1979-1981) (gasoline ancestor of the International Harvester IDI engine)
  • International Harvester 9 L (551 cu in) V8 (1979-1987)
  • D-150/170/190 (September 1978-December 1979)
  • 9.0L (January 1980-1987)
  • International Harvester IDI 6.9 L (420 cu in) (1983-1987)
  • International Harvester IDI 7.3 L (444 cu in) (1986-1989)
  • Caterpillar 3208 10.4 L (636 cu in) (1979-1981)
  • International Harvester DT360 5.9 L (360 cu in) (1987-1989)
  • International Harvester DT466 7.6 L (466 cu in) (1979-1989)

See alsoEdit


Smallwikipedialogo This page uses some content from Wikipedia. The original article was at International Harvester S-Series (bus chassis). The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons by Attribution License and/or GNU Free Documentation License. Please check page history for when the original article was copied to Wikia

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.