L.A. Transit Paintjobs Of The Past: King Tut, Disneyland & Other Notable Livery

King Tut Bus, late 1970s. (Click to enlarge)

If you’ve been dipping into our extensive Flickr online photo collection or reading about it elsewhere, you may know that it now holds well over 7,500 images.

As we add to this growing repository of the past, present and future of Southern California transit and transportation, we create new sub-groups of images that can be brought together into their own topical or themed set.

One such grouping would be special paint schemes for buses and rail cars.

King Tut Bus at LACMA (Click to enlarge)

After celebrating the onset of summer with revisiting the colorful “rolling submarines” of the 1974 beach buses earlier this month, we wanted to highlight other buses and railcars that had been painted to look like or promote other events and activities.

“King Tut Fever” swept the country in the late 1970s, as a traveling exhibit of Egyptian antiquities organized by the New York Metropolitan Museum Of Art. captured the imagination of Americans.

More than 8 million attendees visited a national tour which included a stop at the Los Angeles County Museum Of Art.

When Tut stopped at LACMA, record crowds flocked to the museum…and aboard specially painted buses to promote the exhibit.

Metro Blue Line 10th Anniversary celebration, 2000 (Click to enlarge)

Last June, we revisited the 20th anniversary of the 1990 Metro Blue Line opening between Los Angeles and Long Beach.

We thought we’d fill in the blanks for part of the 10th anniversary celebrations in 2000, when railcars were painted to look like historic Pacific Electric livery.

Blue Line "Red Car" rolling down Washington Blvd., July 14, 2000 (Click to enlarge)

And after Disneyland opened in July 1955, the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority got into the act with buses painted to promote The Magic Kingdom as well as taking a bus to The Happiest Place On Earth.

LAMTA Disneyland Bus in front of "City Hall," August, 1955 (Click to enlarge)

 Many more Disneyland-related photos from our Flickr collection can be found here.

Today, buses and rail cars are more likely to be wrapped with advertising or promotional messaging.

We previously covered some eyepopping “subway wraps” and the role they play in transit revenue, and invite you to revisit those creative advertising campaigns.

Walt Disney & Mousketeers christening a Disneyland bus, November, 1955 (Click to enlarge)