Magpul bus (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

When people want to do business at trade shows, there’s usually a limited range of options. You can scurry off to one of the dark corners of the convention center, I suppose. Or some companies just have a bunch of tables and chairs in their booth, but those are usually colonized by squatters and other passers-by looking for a quick break after hours on their feet. Then there are those who erect a sort of miniature office block, but that just seems so…tacky. Magpul, though, decided that they wanted to conduct their business in a more high-class environment, elegantly restoring a 1950’s era bus to do the job . . .

Magpul bus (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

Magpul bus (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

The boys in grey started with a 1952 Flxible Sightseer bus, then added all the bells and whistles that would possibly fit. All of the original badges and logos have been replaced with retro-stylized Magpul logos, including the embroidered leather trim on the driver’s chair. The interior of the bus has been completely restored, although as Drew says the bus wasn’t in that bad of shape to begin with when they started.

Magpul bus (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

The passenger area of the bus is finished in a rich red leather with soft and comfortable cushions. There’s a typical bus-esque seating area right behind the driver, and then a bar area just behind that with a fully stocked and operational bar. e a pair of love seats, and then there’s the baggage compartment. The back of the bus holds some treasures.

Magpul bus (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

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In honor of the company’s impending move to Texas, Drew has stocked the bar with a selection of fine Texas-made brown alcoholic beverages in addition to the normal fare. The glassware is housed in a lighted and windowed cabinet next to the booze, and on the other side is a dual-tap kegerator.

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Underneath the seats in the bar area is a humidor, fully stocked with fine Perdomo Reserve cigars. There’s a standalone cigar cutter for the table, and even Magpul branded cedar sticks to use to light your fine tobacco products.

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Just behind the bar is a face-to-face set of couches, but just behind that is the armory.

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On the inside, Magpul has stocked the cabinet with 1950’s era weaponry. The top row of the cabinet has a line of 1911 handguns, and below that are a slew of Thompson submachine guns — my favorite SMG of all time. There’s even a belt fed Browning M1919 strapped in.

Magpul bus (courtesy The Truth About Guns)P1060492

To the sides are panels that open up on the outside, allowing easy access when you’re around the bus and not on it. But instead of more retro firearms, Magpul has their latest and greatest creations on display. It’s a great idea for if they want to go head out to the range to show something off to a prospective client — or just have a fun day on the range amongst themselves.

Robert was not impressed. In his opinion, it doesn’t match with Magpul’s “fashion forward” styling. But I think the bus fits perfectly given Magpul’s general approach to the world; namely “we’re awesome, and we make really cool looking stuff.”

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56 Responses to A Look Inside Magpul’s Retro 1950’s Bus

  1. FYI – former Tactical tradeshow operator/Engineer here…

    In two words: Holy F*ck.

    Robert – I know that the aesthetic harkens back to a “simpler time” (nuclear war and race riots were simpler?) but in terms of what these guys are doing, this blows trade show design out of the water.

    I LOVE IT.

    • I dunno, it’s cool if you’re into the retro thing, but how is it any way relevant to the company or it’s product? I just don’t see why one would spend the advo cash for something that disconnected.

      As for tradeshow vehicles, I’ve become thoroughly jaded by PRI over the years. Everybody’s got a Prevost…

      • The bus itself is really, really nicely done. Super cool. But I agree, it has about zero overlap with Magpul’s products and corporate identity. There’s a big disconnect between plastic AR bits and a leather-and-chrome retro bus. Maybe it would fit better for a company that specializes in more traditional wood and blue steel firearms. But probably not even then, since there’s really no connection between an old bus and guns.

        Though, kudos to them for trying to think outside the box and not just going super-obvious and doing up an old military truck or something.

        • The idea of all advertising is name recognition. After seeing this glorious bus, will you ever forget Magpul?

        • True. Thank god it’s not just another bobbed duece-anna-half. Massive props for not going down that road.

          There is that school of advo thought wherein you get top-of-mind for associating with things that are completely irrelevant to your product and/or brand. The Budweiser frogs, Aflac duck, and those (*&*^#%$ Geico ads being cases in point. Maybe this was a deliberate attempt at that. Maybe it really does work for some guys who dig retro buses.

          As a convo piece, sure. As advo, eye of the beholder. I do like retro buses, but this a very common bus, associating it with polymer mags ain’t gonna happen for me anyway.

        • Name recognition isn’t the only measure of successful advertising and branding. Your advertising should at least be a tiny bit evocative of your product. There are plenty of company names out there I recognize but have very little idea of what they actually do. This is a trend that’s getting worse in the internet age, as companies scramble for goofy-ass names that mean nothing but are short and easy to remember.

          “Magpul? Oh, yeah, aren’t they that company that restores old Winnebagos or something?” πŸ˜‰

  2. Gonna have to disagree with Robert on this one… the bus is just flat-out cool. I’m assuming that the sound system will only play Sinatra tunes?

  3. Having a few old cars that I work on as a hobby myself, I would love to see before/after shots of this bus – I definitely approve of it!

  4. Somebody in their marketing department deserves an award for this. I honestly wish I could have had that idea first. In the industrial sector, several companies already do this. They pull up to a plant with a dedicated bus where all their products are on display. Basically, the bring the trade show to large potential clients.

  5. IR profile reducing paint? Bullet proof custom glass? Ceracoated underside? Reinflatable after a blow out tires? Bomb proof plating underneath? How can you shoot the M1919 while rolling down the road? Tow package for your custom ammo trailer? And lastly… where is the Texas flag on top??? Keep beefing it up! πŸ™‚ I’m just playing it; is awesome the way it is!

  6. Thousands of pieces of waycool and the Magpul Bus was the neatest thing at the show. Being of the common sort I didn’t get to see the inside. That arms locker is awesome touch.

    Now if you got up before noon on Sat you would have seen at the Magpul bus the crowning touch. Two gorgeous retro attired “cigarette girls” passing out retro style cigarette boxes of poly 5.56mm dummy rounds. If someone found a clear area and got a shot of these babes send photo in for posting. The decorate of the bus selected booth babes that were 10s while appearing to be tattoo and silicon free, then designed custom retro yet sexy costume for them.

    Hats of to Magpul for great products and good taste. I did check and bus does have Colorado plates. A fail I pointed out to a Magpul guy in the booth..

  7. In the conf center lobby Magpul also had a beautiful restored early VW window bus. I’m not up on the details so had to look up online. I think was a sunroof Deluxe 21 window. (with a dummy minigun with thermals in the sunroof).

  8. WOW! Everything I like is in that Bus. When you thought there wasn’t possibly anything else you needed, now this….. Is that cool or what!

  9. Wow, if magpul designed this bus there products must be out of this world. I’ll start with the bus, change interior with more guns, lots a guns, how cool is this! One thing were is the ammo, hmmm, empty gun is just a club! Be safe out there, remember run away if you can, if not take a bus.

  10. Did you know there are regulations for Ash Trays.
    The ash tray in the photos are DANGEROUS.
    Where is MAUS.R (Mothers Against Unsafe Smoking Regulation)
    to protect Magpull bus visitors.
    Actual regulation below
    “These ashtrays must be of a β€œsafe design”, which has been interpreted to mean ashtrays
    designed so that cigarettes/cigars cannot be placed on the outer edge of the ashtray (as it burns down, a cigarette placed on the outer edge of an ashtray can fall out of the ashtray, potentially falling on something combustible and resulting in a fire).”

    • Oh sh**! That is like the most common type of ash tray in Bosnia, if those guys went there they would get a heart attack or something.

  11. Magpul Bus has a Nespresso machine, and Im drinkin one while I write this πŸ™‚

    Seriously, that was pretty sweet, not sure what I was hoping for in the Armory, the 1919 is SICK, but I was kind of disappointed with only Thompsons.

    So what happened to the mini bus with the minigun they had at SHOT 2013 IIRC?

  12. I was at the convention friday and saturday and the pictures do it no justice! It was gorgeous and avoided being just another tacticooled 4wd.

  13. Having worked and help set up for several conventions I can only imagine how much they charged Magpul to get that bus in there. I have had cars in booths before and been charged $12,000 just to get the car into the booth… and another $12,000 to get it out… when it was all of 30ft from the dock it drove into.

  14. A+ for the exterior, and A+++++ for the interior, which is reminiscent of a theme-appointed business jet.

    But they went with PERDOMO? I mean, they’re okay, but PADRON would be the classier touch this jewel needs.

  15. Maybe they were trying to cash in on that “Mad Men” vibe, which I suppose is more early 60s than 50s, but still. Even with the armory on board, there still isn’t much connection to their product. Really the only way I can make sense of it is that it’s very cool and Magpul wants to convey that both they and their products are cool. Cool is as cool does, if you will, and it is its own justification.

  16. The rheostat on my new Sightron S-TAC scope goes to 11. Also, who says you cant become a millionaire injection molding plastic?

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