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'THE GM NEW LOOK BUS '
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Mr. Linsky
BusTalk's Offical Welcoming Committee



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 5071
Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:01 am    Post subject: 'THE GM NEW LOOK BUS ' Reply with quote

The GM 'New Look' bus, officially called the 'Dreamliner' but dubbed a 'Fishbowl' for its large panoramic six-piece convex windshield, was a transit coach introduced in 1959 by General Motors and produced until 1987.

More than 44,000 New Look buses in a number of versions were built during those years including over 11,000 in Canada for Canadian and later U.S. customers.

Its record production figures and long service career made a place for it as the most memorable in the history of North American transit buses with its design listed as U.S. Patent D182,998 by Roland E. Gegoux and William P. Strong.

Pictured in a photo taken in 1959 is an Air Conditioned Model TDH 5301 which was one of a number assigned to GM's sales department and is seen in demonstration for the Alameda/Contra Costa Transit District of Oakland, California.

Of note is the Michigan Manufacturer's license plate.

Photo thanks to NorCal Bus Fans.

Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, New York

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Hankg42



Age: 68
Joined: 19 Apr 2010
Posts: 94
Location: The Villages, FL

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a driver for the NYCTA on Staten Island, my dad's first reaction to the New Looks was perhaps a bit off-color when he said, "If I have an itch, I can't even scratch it!" Certainly the driver was far more visible than he was in an Old Look GM, or a Mack.
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frankie



Age: 71
Joined: 01 Feb 2011
Posts: 699
Location: St. Peters, Mo.

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was 12 years old when I encountered my first "fishbowl" - well, at least the sound of it. I lived on Madison St. in Brooklyn, a few doors north of Wilson Ave. which the 60 route followed. The 60 Wilson route were mainly Bingham Macks and you knew by the engine sound what it was. Occasionally you would hear the sound of a TDH-5101, but that was occasionally. Wilson never had TDH-4510's. Since the bus stop was at the corner, you always heard them accelerating.

I vividly remember one Saturday morning awaking to an accelerating sound that I was unfamiliar with. Looking from my window, I awaited for the next bus to past by Madison and then I saw it! Needless to say I spent half the morning on the corner just awed every time one would pass by. The design was too futuristic at the time. Coincidentally, the very first fishbowl that I saw was #1.

Frankie
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Q65A



Age: 61
Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 1652
Location: Central NJ

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember first seeing Fishbowls on the Q65A.
They were numbered in the 926 and higher number series.
The paint scheme at the time was solid orange with black lettering and numerals.
They sure looked sleek as compared to the rounded Old Looks, due to the silver siding and large windows.
QTC never had air conditioned TDH-5301's. The TDH-5303/4 were in the catalog by the time QTC bought A/C equipped buses.
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Q65A



Age: 61
Joined: 17 Apr 2007
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Location: Central NJ

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

frankie wrote:
Coincidentally, the very first fishbowl that I saw was #1.

Frankie
By the late 1960's, a lot of the low numbered 5301's were at Fresh Pond. I remember seeing single and double digit 5301's woirking the B58 Corona Ave line.
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Mr. Linsky
BusTalk's Offical Welcoming Committee



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 5071
Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had originally written this essay for BusTalk.net and would now like to reprise it for your enjoyment below;

MY FIRST LOOK AT A NEW LOOK

It had to be sometime in late 1959 when I had occasion to go into Brooklyn on personal business and spotted my first ‘new look’ dressed in dark green city colors and parked along Grand Army Plaza (probably on a layover). It had to have been among the first 5301’s delivered numbered 1 thru 190 that arrived toward the end of that year.

Of course, we had all heard about the ‘radical’ new buses from GM that were about to hit the streets but we had never seen any pictures and knew almost nothing of the details.

At first glimpse I was flabbergasted and thought that it was the ugliest thing I had ever seen. There was no question that it was ‘light years’ away from anything we were used to.

I was particularly taken by the starkness of the rear roof line and what seemed to be a completely misplaced window line (that was greatly improved and made much more handsome with the addition of the A/C units which came later on).

There was one other point that struck me as beyond revolutionary and bordering on dangerous; I was concerned about the larger then life windshield and how little protection it would afford a driver (we were all used to the ‘old look’ design with a front end wrapped around us like a tank!). Unbelievably though, I don’t think many if any drivers through the years suffered any great injury because of the added exposure.

While I was still with Green Line in 1961 new looks proliferated the company but were only originally assigned to Q10 and Q60 (Mr. Cooper’s pet lines) and I never had the opportunity to drive one (they would never have wasted them on the summer shuttles to the Rockaways). However, I did have occasion to ride in a new look sometime in the seventies on 34th. Street in Manhattan, and was very impressed by the smooth ride, the modern interior and especially the tinted glass windows that made everything outside look so clean and fresh!

The drivers gave them excellent reviews and, as history will reflect, the '5300’s' turned out to be the backbones of virtually every major fleet in the country for nearly three decades!

Note; if anyone would like to add a representative image of a 5300 to enhance my article, please be my guest.

Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, New York

P.S.; this was written before I knew how to apply photos!


Last edited by Mr. Linsky on Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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frankie



Age: 71
Joined: 01 Feb 2011
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Location: St. Peters, Mo.

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. Linsky wrote:





Note; if anyone would like to add a representative image of a 5300 to enhance my article, please be my guest.

Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, New York



It's hard to believe that this bus is 52 years old!

Currently in the NYCTA historic fleet.

Frankie



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Q65A



Age: 61
Joined: 17 Apr 2007
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Location: Central NJ

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, Frankie; that bus looks brand new.
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traildriver




Joined: 26 Mar 2011
Posts: 1129
Location: Queens, NY

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I only saw them from the outside, as our family drove to Brooklyn to visit relatives in 1959, when they first appeared. I finally got to ride them on the Q65A when they appeared on that line later on. I remember the distinct sound of their Detroit Diesel 6V71 exhaust note as compared to the 'old look' straight 6-71. It sounded more 'throatier' than the melifluous straight six. I remember how excited us JHS students were on boarding one for the first time. All the details. The airy interior with the hugh windows on all sides. The flourescent lights down the center of the ceiling. The patterned aluminum interior walls below the windows. The passenger operated safety exit. The tinted green standee windows, etc.
A year or so later, on a school trip to DC, I saw my first air conditioned versions operated by DC Transit, who dubbed them 'Articoolers'.
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JimmiB



Age: 75
Joined: 19 Apr 2011
Posts: 516
Location: Lebanon, PA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the time I got to drive a fishbowl, they were already 20 years old. Started driving for Lebanon (PA) Coach Co. as a contract driver for the County of Lebanon Transit Authority. They had purchased two 4517's from BARTA in Reading, PA. These were originally from Tidewater Transit in VA., part of a fleet Reading bought for a program to rehab and sell used buses. The program was a flop, and the two that we had were "as-is". Still had no smoking signs inside with the Tidewater name on them.
In spite of being in rather rough shape, I enjoyed driving them. A lot easier to drive than the old looks I was used to. Took me a while to get used to the floor mounted turn signal switches! What a dumb idea that was.
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HwyHaulier




Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 932
Location: Harford County, MD

PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All Hands -

Thanks to Mr. 'L' for revisiting the new TDH-5301. O. Roy Chalk's D C T S an early adopter. I recall a railfan charter,
marking demise of rail on a group of routes. It gave us an opportunity to ride the new TDH-5301 coaches, just received
and placed in service.

In the D C T S colors, the coaches were a sensation! Proved there was much more to Chalk than just talk and chatter!
Ah, "...those were the days!..." (Tks to Archie Bunker)...

..........................Vern........................
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Q65A



Age: 61
Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 1652
Location: Central NJ

PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some product designs just seem ageless. As a truck fa, I always felt that way about Mack's R series.
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traildriver




Joined: 26 Mar 2011
Posts: 1129
Location: Queens, NY

PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HwyHaulier wrote:
All Hands -

Thanks to Mr. 'L' for revisiting the new TDH-5301. O. Roy Chalk's D C T S an early adopter. I recall a railfan charter,
marking demise of rail on a group of routes. It gave us an opportunity to ride the new TDH-5301 coaches, just received
and placed in service.

In the D C T S colors, the coaches were a sensation! Proved there was much more to Chalk than just talk and chatter!
Ah, "...those were the days!..." (Tks to Archie Bunker)...

..........................Vern........................


And didn't O. Roy Chalk also own Trans-Caribbean Airways, whose aircraft were painted in the same colors as DC Transit buses?
TCA was later sold to American Airlines....
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HwyHaulier




Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 932
Location: Harford County, MD

PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Traildriver -

A.: YES! But wait! There's more! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O._Roy_Chalk

For a smart guy, he surely was slicked by the low life PTB in DC! Chalk scammed big time, with
a ruinous deal for the old Capital Transit. In fairness, the guy didn't need the abuse!

Compare. The National City Lines guys surely knew of the Washington deals, when available.
Wisely, it wanted no part of any of it. No percentage in going to DC with new and positive ideas...

........................Vern......................
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Mr. Linsky
BusTalk's Offical Welcoming Committee



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 5071
Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a couple of odd ball New Looks from north of the border;

Thanks to Toronto Transit Commission historian Mike Boone, we see in upper photo fleet # 2459 - a 1982 GMDD Model T6H-5307N.

# 2459 has been sliced and diced to become a shadow of its former 40 foot self and now appears in a 32 passenger configuration with conventional folding doors.

Of note on # 2459 is the obvious removal of standee glasses, the appearance of what may be an Old Look standee glass as a side destination sign, almost vertical passenger windows (not of GM design), an exceptionally deep recess for the rear door with body extensions below and one 'sealed' passenger window.

In the lower photo, we see fleet number 955 - a 1980 GMDD Model T6H-5307N operating for Edmonton Transit System of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

What makes # 955 most unusual (for a New Look) is the set of 'double stream' rear doors (note the shorter passenger window just aft of the door to accommodate the wider opening).

Also of note on both buses are the similarly placed roof escape hatches which may have been a Canadian requirement.

Lower image borrowed from Google Photos for educational purposes only.

Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, New York


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