GM "old-look" transit bus

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GM Old Look Bus
New York City Omnibus GMC Old Look TDH-5101 2969.jpg
A GM "old look" 5101 coach, built on a 4509 chassis.
Overview
Manufacturer Yellow Coach (1940-1943)
GMC Truck and Bus (1944-1969)
Production 1940-1969
Assembly Pontiac, Michigan
Body and chassis
Class Transit bus
Powertrain
Engine Detroit Diesel 4-71 or 6-71
Transmission Hydraulic or Manual
Dimensions
Length 25 ft (7.62 m), 28 ft (8.53 m), 30 ft (9.14 m), 33 ft (10.06 m), 35 ft (10.67 m), 37.75 ft (11.51 m), 40 ft (12.19 m), or 41.5 ft (12.65 m)
Width 96 in (2.44 m) or 102 in (2.59 m)
Height 113 in (2.87 m)
(roofline)
Chronology
Successor GM New Look

The GM "old-look" transit bus is a transit bus that was introduced in 1940 by Yellow Coach beginning with the production of the model TG-3201 bus. Yellow Coach was an early bus builder that was partially owned by General Motors (GM) before being purchased outright in 1943 and folded into the GM Truck Division to form the GM Truck & Coach Division. The Yellow Coach badge gave way to the GM nameplate in 1944. Production of most "old-look" models was stopped upon the release of the GM New-Look bus in 1959, however some smaller "old-look" models continued to be built until 1969. Approximately 38,000 "old-look" buses were built during the 29-year production run. The "old-look" name is an unofficial term that was applied to this series of GM buses after the release of the GM New-Look, with "New-Look" being an official term used by GM to describe their new line of buses that superseded the "old-look". This is an example of a retronym.

Design[edit]

The GM "old-look" bus was somewhat streamlined in appearance (resembling the PCC streetcar in styling), similar in shape to a loaf of sandwich bread, and had windows that were smaller than those found on more modern bus designs produced after the 1950s. Unlike most earlier buses, the GM "old-look" bus was built using a monocoque design, rather than a body-on-frame design, and it helped shepherd the change from gasoline to diesel-powered buses. Most "old-look" buses were powered with the Detroit Diesel 6-71 inline six-cylinder diesel engine, the exceptions being the shorter models that were powered by the four-cylinder version of the same diesel engine, and buses that were equipped with gasoline engines. Manual and automatic transmissions were available, with the Spicer angle-drive two-speed transmission being used on automatic-equipped buses built prior to 1948. After 1948, the 2-speed Allison V-drive transmission was used on automatic-equipped buses.[1] In 1940 and 1942, a small number of buses were built with electric propulsion systems instead of a transmission. The "old-look" was available in several lengths ranging from 25 feet (7.6 m) to 41 feet 6 inches (12.65 m), though the most common models were 35 feet (11 m) and 40 feet (12 m) feet long. Most "old-look" buses were 96 inches (2.4 m) wide, but 102-inch-wide (2.6 m) models were available beginning in 1948. In 1946 GM began offering its Thermo-matic heating and ventilation system, and in 1952 started making suburban models (identifiable by larger passenger windows, and equipped with high-backed forward-facing seats and optional luggage racks). Beginning in 1953, air-ride suspension became standard on all but the smallest model buses, and in 1958, air conditioning was added as an available option.

In 1959, GM introduced its New-Look bus with the "fishbowl" style front window, and production stopped on all "old-look" buses other than the "second-generation" models: the 28-foot (8.5 m) TGH-3102 which was built until 1963 and the 30-foot (9.1 m) 35xx models which were built until 1969.

Model designations[edit]

The model designations used for GM "old-look" buses consisted of a series of two or three letters followed by a series of four numbers (for example, TDH-4512). The letters and numbers gave a basic description of the type of bus as follows:

Type Fuel Transmission Nominal seating capacity Series
T = transit bus
  • GM also built parlor coaches (designated by P) and, beginning in the 1960s, suburban buses (S), however neither prefix was used for any "old-look" models).
D = diesel
G = gasoline
H = hydraulic (automatic) transmission
M = manual transmission
E = electric propulsion
  • This letter was omitted for buses built prior to 1947, except for those with electric propulsion.
27 = 25 feet (7.6 m)
31 or 32 = 28 feet (8.5 m)
35, 36 or 37 = 30 feet (9.1 m)
40 = 33 feet (10 m)
45 = 35 feet (11 m)
48 = 37 feet 9 inches (11.51 m)
51 = 40 feet (12 m)
54 or 55 = 41 feet 6 inches (12.65 m)
  • Two digits.

Production[edit]

The following buses are listed by ascending model number. All buses are 96 inches wide unless noted.[2] Note that Yellow Coach realigned all models to series 05 in 1941.

Yellow Coach[edit]

Model Quantity Built Notes
TD-2701 55 1940–1941
TG-2701 245 1940–1941
TD-2705 60 1941–1942
TG-2705 2 1941
TG-2706 422 1941–1942
TD-3201 141 1940–1941
TG-3201 63 1940–1941
TD-3205 194 1941–1942
TG-3205 71 1941–1942
TG-3601 36 1940–1941
TD-3602 67 1940–1941
TG-3602 233 1940–1941
TG-3603 81 1940
TD-3605 82 1941–1942
TG-3605 150 1941–1942
TD-3606 75 1941–1942
TG-3606 250 1941–1942
TD-4001 174 1940–1941
TDE-4001 30 1940
TG-4001 13 1940–1941
TDE-4002 7 1940
TD-4005 155 1941–1942
TDE-4005 16 1942
TG-4005 147 1941–1942
TD-4006 60 1941
TD-4502 354 1940–1941
TG-4502 35 1940–1941
TD-4503 2 1940 suburban
TD-4505 733 1941–1942
TG-4505 4 1942
TD-5401 1 1940
 

General Motors[edit]

Model Quantity Built Notes
TGH-2708 302 1949–1951
TD-3206 675 1945–1946
TG-3206 175 1945–1946
TDH-3207 737 1947–1948
TDM-3207 38 1947–1948
TGH-3207 269 1947–1948
TGM-3207 101 1947–1948
TDH-3209 53 1949
TDM-3209 27 1949
TGH-3101 751 1950–1952
TGH-3102 1,605 1953–1963
TG-3607 50 1944
TG-3608 200 1944
TD-3609 325 1945–1946
TG-3609 1,200 1944–1946
TDH-3610 1,771 1946–1948
TGH-3610 5 1947–1948
TDM-3610 55 1947–1948
TGM-3610 100 1947–1948
TDH-3612 1,949 1949–1953
TGH-3612 68 1949–1953
TDH-3614 825 1953–1960
TDH-3714 825 1953–1960
TDH-3501 1,049 1964–1968
TGH-3501 116 1964–1968
TDH-3502 181 1968–1969 45 were air conditioned TDH-3502As
TGH-3502 19 1968
TG-4006 290 1944
TD-4007 800 1944–1945
TG-4007 325 1944–1945
TDH-4008 1,491 1946–1948
TDM-4008 163 1947–1948
TDH-4010 115 1949–1950
TDM-4010 4 1949
TD-4506 1,200 1945–1946
TDH-4507 2,899 1946–1949
TDM-4507 146 1947–1949
TDH-4509 2,494 1949–1953
TDM-4509 555 1949–1955
TDH-4510 501 1948–1949 102 inches (2.6 m) wide
TDH-4511 120 1950–1951 102 inches (2.6 m) wide
TDH-4512 3,263 1953–1959
TDM-4512 252 1953–1958
TDH-4515 40 1953–1959 suburban
TDM-4515 412 1953–1959 suburban
TDH-4801 547 1953–1958 102 inches (2.6 m) wide; built only for California operators
TDM-4801 75 1954 102 inches (2.6 m) wide; built only for California operators
TDH-5101 400 1948–1949 for the City of New York; used a 4509 chassis
TDH-5102 1 1949
TDH-5103 951 1950–1953 102 inches (2.6 m) wide
TDM-5103 37 1951 102 inches (2.6 m) wide
TDH-5104 162 1952–1953
TDM-5104 5 1952
TDH-5105 3,630 1953–1959 102 inches (2.6 m) wide
TDH-5106 1,727 1953–1959
TDM-5106 110 1953–1959
TDH-5107 2 1952 suburban
TDM-5107 13 1952 suburban
TDH-5108 21 1953–1959 suburban
TDM-5108 461 1953–1959 suburban
TDH-5502 101 1948

Soviet versions[edit]

ZIS-154[edit]

A 16 kopek Soviet stamp issued in 1976 showing a ZIS-154 bus.

Following World War II, cities in the Soviet Union needed a modern transit bus. Agreement was reached to build GM's model TDH-3610 under license (but with diesel-electric propulsion, similar to that used for the TDE-40xx models), and production was assigned to ZiS (Zavod imeni Stalina: literally Plant named after Stalin) where it became their model number 154. The ZIS-154 was first assembled with a locally manufactured Yaroslavl YAZ-204 diesel, but supply problems caused ZiS to switch to the Detroit Diesel 6-71, also built under license. Continuing issues with the reliability of the drive-train components resulted in the ZIS-154 being discontinued after only slightly more than four years of production and 1,165 units.[3]

In some places these buses were nicknamed "lightning" because of the rapid acceleration provided by the diesel-electric drive.[4]

ZIS-154 Production
Year 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 Total
Quantity 1 80 404 472 207 1,165

ZIS-155[edit]

"Visitors at a stand with a motor vehicle in the Soviet exhibition hall (Soviet Pavilion), [sometime] between 7 September and 17 September 1952". Deutsche Fotothek

In an attempt to overcome the problems of the ZIS-154, the less-technically-advanced ZIS-155 was designed. In 1949 Moscow's Central Auto Repair Workshop (ЦАРМ: Центральные авторемонтные мастерские) constructed a batch of shortened ZIS-154 bodies and mounted them on modified ZIS-150 truck chassis. One source suggests that the "Moscow" prototypes had shrouds over the rear wheels, a more-stylized front wheel cut-out, and a larger radiator.[5] The prototypes were successful, and full-scale production began at ZIS.

The most noticeable difference between the ZIS-154 and the ZIS-155 was the placement of the doors: since the ZIS-155 had a front engine, the doors were moved to behind the axles. The driver's compartment was completely separated from the passenger saloon by a bulkhead, so the buses were two-man operated, with a rear entrance and front exit. The 154 employed unibody construction, while the 155 was body-on-frame.

Besides being the standard city bus in the Soviet Union in the 1950s, a large quantity were exported to other Eastern Bloc countries, and are known to have been used in Warsaw, Berlin, Ulan Bator and Beijing. A twelve-seat long-distance version was also built. In Moscow a number of withdrawn units were rebuilt as trailers, but they were not a success as the ZIS-155 was underpowered and therefore had difficulty pulling a fully loaded trailer, too.

From 1955 the ZIS-155 was equipped with an alternator instead of a generator, the first Soviet bus to do so. After Stalin fell out of favour, the ZIS plant was renamed in 1956 to Zavod Imeni Likhacheva (ZIL), after its former director Ivan Alekseevich Likhachev.[6] As a result, late-production 155s were designated as ZIL-155.

ZIS-154 "Moscow" ZIS-155 MTB-82
Seats + Standees 34 + ? 23 + 21 28 + 22 38 + 18
Length 9.50 m (31 ft 2 in) 8.07 m (26 ft 6 in) 8.26 m (27 ft 1 in) 10.365 m (34 ft 0.1 in)
Width 2.50 m (98 in) 2.50 m (98 in) 2.50 m (98 in) 2.615 m (103.0 in)
Height 2.49 m (98 in) 3.11 m (122 in) 2.49 m (98 in) 3.67 m (144 in)
Wheelbase 5.46 m (215 in) 3.94 m (155 in)? 4.09 m (161 in) 6.00 m (236 in)
Rear Overhang  ? 2.85 m (112 in) 2.70 m (106 in)  ?
Weight 8,000 kg (18,000 lb) 6,000 kg (13,000 lb) 6,290 kg (13,870 lb) 9,250 kg (20,390 lb)
Engine DD 6-71
YAZ-204D
ZIS-120 ZIS-124 DK-202B
Horsepower 110 @ 2000 rpm
112
90 95 @ 2800 rpm 80 kW
Tires 10.50×20 9.00×20 10.00×20  ?
Produced 1946–1950 1949 1949–1957 1946–1961
Quantity 1,164  ? 21,741 5,000+

MTB-82 trolleybus[edit]

Preserved ZiU/Trolza MTB-82 trolleybus number 57 photographed at the Nizhny Novgorod Museum of Electric Transport in 2005. Photo by Сергей Филатов [Sergei Filatov].

in German

See also[edit]

United States
Competing bus manufacturers
Soviet Union

in Russian

References[edit]

  1. ^ >McKane, John H. & Squier, Gerald L. 2006. p. 14. 
  2. ^ "Yellow Coach & GM Old Look U.S. Production Lists". Coach Manufacturer Production Lists. The Ohio Museum of Transportation. August 13, 2004. Retrieved 9 December 2010. 
  3. ^ Dubrovin Yauheni (22 January 2006). барановичских автобусов история общественного транспорта [Public transport in Baranovichi, Belarus: ZiS-155] (in Russian). Retrieved 9 December 2010. 
  4. ^ Tallinna Autobussikoondise AS (2005). "TAK » Home » About the company » Rolling stock » History". Tallinna Autobussikoondise TAK. Tallinna Autobussikoondise AS. Retrieved 9 December 2010. 
  5. ^ Shugurova, L.M. Автомобили Россиии СССР [Soviet Russian Automobiles] (in Russian). 
  6. ^ Stéphane van Damme (18 February 1999). "Zil History: 1930's". Histomobile. Retrieved 9 December 2010. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Stauss, Ed (1988). The Bus World Encyclopedia of Buses, Woodland Hills, CA: Stauss Publications. ISBN 0-9619830-0-0.
  • Luke, William A. & Metler, Linda L. (2005). City Transit Buses of the 20th Century, Hudson, WI: Iconografix. ISBN 1-58388-146-8.
  • McKane, John H. & Squier, Gerald L. (2006). Welcome Aboard the GM New Look Bus, Hudson, WI: Iconografix. ISBN 1-58388-167-0.

External links[edit]

U.S.A.
U.S.S.R.