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GM / MCI / Nova Classic
Calgary Transit 5002-a.jpg
Years of manufacture 1982 to 1997
Length 40 or 60 feet
Width 102 inches
Power/Fuel Diesel

The Classic was an updated design of the popular General Motors New Look transit bus. The Classic was produced from 1982 to 1997 by three manufacturers: General Motors, MCI, and Nova Bus.


General Motors in the United States decided to replace the New Look with the RTS series in 1977, however the so-called Advanced Design Bus was not embraced by Canadian transit operators. GM Canada's Transit division continued producing the New Look until 1986, and in 1982, developed an updated model called the Classic.

Motor Coach Industries (MCI) took over production of the Classic after GM sold its transit bus division in 1987. MCI withdrew from the transit bus market and the Classic was inherited by the newly created Nova Bus in 1993. The Classic was produced by Nova Bus at their Quebec and New York facilities until it was discontinued in 1997 in favour of the Nova Bus LFS. The last Classics ever built were in Canada, for the Société de transport de l'Outaouais in Gatineau, Quebec.


The new front end of the Classic allowed for a wide front door, and on later models produced for the United States, a wheelchair lift. Classics with wheelchair lifts have a noticeably taller front door. The rear doors were available in wide, double stream or narrow, single stream configurations.

Until 1990, the front destination sign was smaller. Later models had a wider and taller sign space. However, it is noted that Montreal Area Classics retained the smaller front destination sign until the end of production.

The 60-foot, articulated version of the Classic was introduced in 1992. Only 16 of these TC60-102N buses were ever sold: 14 to Halifax Transit in Halifax, Nova Scotia and two to the Réseau de transport de la Capitale (RTC) in Quebec City, Quebec. Nova Bus discontinued the 60-foot articulated version when it took over production from MCI. This bus is not to be confused with the General Motors TA60-102N, which was a 60-foot articulated version of the New Look with the front end of a Classic. This allowed GM to test the newly designed Classic front end on the tried and tested New Look body.

Model designation

Classic model numbers use the following format:

The first letter indicates the type of bus it is (T for transit), followed by the model (C for Classic), the length in feet, the width in inches, and an A for air conditioning or N for no air conditioning. There were only two primary models of Classic buses produced; a 40-foot and 60-foot. Both of which were 102-inches wide. Thus, the 40-foot Classic model number was TC40-102A or N and the TC60-102N.

Series Type Length - Width Air conditioning
T = transit bus A = articulated
C = Classic
60 = 60 feet (18 m)
40 = 40 feet (12 m)
- 102 = 102 inches (2.6 m) A = air conditioned
N = non-air conditioned

Manufacturing history

Manufacturer Year TC40-120A/
General Motors 1983 104 1,090
1984 318
1985 248
1986 281
1987 139 271
Motor Coach Industries 132 2,382 12
1988 481
1989 449
1990 585
1991 467
1992 256 9
1993 012 125 3 7
Nova Bus 113 1,192 4 04
1994 480
1995 150
1996 425
1997 024
Total 4,664 16