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Yellow Coach Model 706, the first Queen Mary

 
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MaBSTOA 15



Age: 65
Joined: 27 Feb 2013
Posts: 633

PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:20 pm    Post subject: Yellow Coach Model 706, the first Queen Mary Reply with quote

The original “Queen Mary” was a Yellow Coach model 706. This bus, the one and only, was built as demo and exhibited at the Century of Progress in Chicago in 1933-1934 wearing fleet number 103 and labeled for Chicago Motor Coach.

The dimensions of this bus were the same as the production models 720 and 735, however, it had nothing else in common.

As of now, no photos of model 706 have surfaced showing this bus in revenue service. After evaluation by Chicago Motor Coach and the Omnibus Corporation (Fifth Avenue Coach), Yellow Coach built a prototype, #104 a model 720, which eventually, after serving as a demo in New York and labeled Fifth Avenue Coach, join the fleet in Chicago.

So, what happened to #103? It appears that 103 found its way to Hollywood and became a “star”. This bus appeared in many of Hollywood classics, such as Cluny Brown (1946), The Snake Pit (1948), On the Town (1949), The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), and Torn Curtain (1966).
It’s incarnation as a Fifth Avenue Coach is most apparent in On the Town as background when Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, Jules Muchin, and their dates dance down the sidewalk.

If you watch the film, look closely and you’ll see the bus has no rear door, the windows on the lower level are all on a straight line (production models 720 and 735, the windows between the wheels dip down and are lower than the other windows). It also has two protruding air-intakes on the rear below the upper level windows. BTW, the side windows on the upper deck were of the sliding type rather than lift as in the production models.

In the film, The Day the Earth Stood Still, the bus does double duty. It appears in a New York setting and later as a London double decker with a London bobby, who obscure the fact that driver is on the left side!

It was on the Universal Studio lot still painted in Fifth Avenue colors with an added rear door when in 1966 it had its best incarnation in the Paul Newman/Alfred Hitchcock film, Torn Curtain. A fake engine hood was attached to the front of the bus to make it look like an East Berlin Waggonbau Bautzen Do56!!

Unfortunately, model 706 was destroyed in a museum fire in California.

The first photo is from “The Snake Pit”

The second and third photos are from “The Day the Earth Stood Still”



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MaBSTOA 15



Age: 65
Joined: 27 Feb 2013
Posts: 633

PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The following three photos are from...

At Universal Studios

Torn Curtain as an East Berlin bus



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traildriver




Joined: 26 Mar 2011
Posts: 1223
Location: Queens, NY

PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great shots and story, thanks so much for posting!

I didn't know those were first developed in 1933...
did they have a transverse or straight-in rear engine?
I am curious, since that was about the time that engineer Dwight Austin had developed the famous "Angle Drive"....

The linked "Coach-Built" article tells Austin's story, along with his Pickwick Duplex design, which predates the Queen Mary...

http://www.coachbuilt.com/des/a/austin/austin.htm
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