(All photo credits: Mecum Auctions)

In Yellowstone National Park’s earlier days, there was a battle between outfits vying to be the official transportation provider throughout the park’s massive acreage. Apparently the Yellowstone Park and Transportation Company was the most successful, thanks in part to this White Model 706 bus-SUV hybrid thing.

Later this month, Mecum Auctions will be helping to facilitate an obscene amount of money being exchanged for old cars at auction events in Northern California going down around the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

You can just smell this thing through your computer, can’t you?

Mecum’s listing for this particular vehicle, a 1937 White Model 706 Yellowstone Park Bus, estimates the value at between $300,000 and $350,000. They identify the truck as one of 98 shuttling Yellowstone guests around between 1936-1938. The National Parks Service tells us that made it the largest fleet of park transportation vehicles in the country, with similar vehicles in service at Yosemite and Glacier National Parks.

(Image credit: YNP Archives, Letter Box 21, Folder 1/Geyser Bob)

White some earlier Yellowstone guest-transporters too, in 1916. Though the NPS records that many were destroyed in a 1925 fire. That seemed to have created the opportunity for the truck company to innovate and build vehicles like this one that’s up for auction.

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The new-generation Whites ran flathead and overhead valve engines.

This particular bus is running a 318 cubic inch six-cylinder engine, that probably would have been pinned to move the mass of the vehicle plus 14 passengers and their luggage. But how cool is that canvas roof?

“Some of the buses were still being used during the late sixties and early seventies. They were very gradually phased out of use by the company,” writes the NPS.

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Sure, this thing will take two spaces in your glorious collector-car garage. But you will be the hero of the family reunion when you take everybody out for ice cream in this baby!

I don’t usually go crazy for cars of this era, but something about the livery and the lights and length on this bus just makes it perfect. I hope it lives out the rest of its days shuttling people around somewhere.