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The International 3800 is a Type C (conventional) bus chassis that was manufactured by Navistar International for school bus and commercial bus applications. It was produced from 1989 until 2004. The replacement for the S-Series "Schoolmaster", the 3800 used powertrains and components from the 4700 and 4900 lines of medium-duty trucks. In 2005, the 3800 was replaced by the 3300, a design based on the 4000-Series (now known as the DuraStar).

International 3800
International 3800 AmTran.jpg
A International 3800 bodied by AmTran


Navistar International



Body Manufacturer

See Listing


School Bus

Transit Bus

Specialty Vehicle



  • DTA360 (1989–1994)
  • DT408 (1994–1995)
  • DTA466 (1989–1998)
  • DT466E (1996–2005)


  • IHC 7.3L IDI (1989–1994)
  • T444E (1994–2005)


International 3800


International-Harvester S-Series


International 3300


International 4900


In 1989, Navistar redesigned the S-Series medium-duty conventionals for the first time since 1979; the medium-duty trucks were renamed the 4000 Series. The 3800 (and lighter-duty 3700) were introduced in 1989 and sold alongside the S-Series school bus chassis until it ended production. Over its production life, the 3800 (and its variants) received few visible changes throughout its production run. For 1992, it received a redesigned instrument panel with larger gauges. In 1995, along with all other International medium-duty trucks, the 3800 received chrome hood badges denoting the model series and its engine type; the grille badging changed from red to chrome.

In 2002, Navistar made the first visible styling changes to the 3800 (or any 4000-Series truck); to mark the transition of its subsidiary body manufacturer from AmTran to IC Corporation, the hood was redesigned for its conventional-style school bus. Dubbed the International IC, these wore vertical grille slats instead of horizontal ones seen for over a decade.

The 3800 was discontinued by Navistar in 2004, after outliving the International 4000-Series by three years; it marked the end of the International Harvester S-Series, introduced a quarter-century earlier.

When the 3800 was replaced in 2005, the school bus industry had changed from its introduction. In 1989, it was a common practice for buyers of conventional-type school buses to select different types of chassis for a given body manufacturer (for which there was a wide variety); there was a large number of possible combinations of Type C buses available. By 2004, there were only three body manufacturers (Blue Bird, IC Corporation, and Thomas) and three chassis manufacturers (Blue Bird, Freightliner, and International). International, the parent company of IC Corporation, was the lone chassis manufacturer that sold bus chassis to other body manufacturers. Declining school bus sales during the 1980s and 1990s and corporate politics led to Ford Motor Company and General Motors to stop producing full-size bus chassis altogether.

The older International 3800

The 2001-2004 facelift version



An International 3400 by Mid Bus

The 3400 was a chassis designed in the same fashion as a Type A cutaway school bus, but with a heavier-duty vehicle (the Navistar 4900) as its base. Today, school buses like these are known as Type A-2 buses. In the school bus industry, Mid Bus and U.S. Bus both developed products based on the 3400, but the chassis became more popular in the transit and specialty vehicle industries instead. The 3400 was replaced by the 3200 when the 4000-series trucks were replaced by the DuraStar; currently, the 3200 is used only for transit bus, commercial bus, and specialty vehicle applications.


See Also: Thomas Vista

The 3600 was used exclusivley for The Thomas Vista

The 3600 was a chassis custom-designed for the Vista from Thomas Built Buses. The Vista combined design elements of a conventional and a forward control school bus. In comparison to a conventional, the driver sat further forward, closer to the front axle. Although much of the engine was located next to the driver like a transit-style bus, access from the front was also maintained via a traditional (although much-shortened) hood. The 3600 chassis was designed in much the fashion of International's step van chassis, borrowing many components from the 3800.

As it was originally designed specifically for the Vista's body, no other body manufacturers developed their own product lines based on the 3600. It was produced from 1991 until 1998 when Thomas chose to discontinue Vista production after the body manufacturer's purchase by Freightliner.


A International 3700 bodied by Ward

From 1989 to 1994, International offered two versions of its conventional school bus chassis as it had with the S-Series. The 3700 was the lighter-duty model of the lineup; only minor differences in powertrain and weight ratings differentiated it from the 3800. The 3700 only was produced with the 7.3 engine. After 1994, the 3700 was dropped.

List of body manufacturers[]

Manufacturer Model Name Variants Production Notes





Blue Bird Conventional



Carpenter Classic



1989-2001 From 1996 to 1999, Carpenter used the Crown by Carpenter brand name on their buses
IC Bus CE 3800 2001-2004 The version of the 3800 used by IC wore a modified hood.
Les Enterprises Michel Corbeil



1990-2004 Corbeil Type C buses were not sold in the United States
Mid Bus SC 3400 mid 1990's cutaway bus, has cab of International 4900 called 3400
Thomas Built Buses








replaced by Freightliner-based buses (FS-65 and C2).
US Bus 3400 ?
Ward Body Works Volunteer



1989-1992 The Ward brand was replaced by AmTran in early 1992.
Wayne Corporation Lifeguard




A Drivers view


A 1989-1995 Thomas Based International 3800

A 1996-2002 Thomas Based International 3800

A 1992-1995 Thomas Vista

A 1996-1998 Thomas Vista

A Blue Bird Based International 3800

A Wayne Based International 3800

A Corbeil based International 3800 This is the only version that is not sold in the United States

A Carpenter based International 3800

A AmTran based International 3800

A Ward Based International 3800

A IC Bus based International 3800 this version had the Facelift which was exclusive to the IC Corporation

A Mid Bus based International 3400

A US Bus based International 3400