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GM NEW LOOK ODDITIES
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RailBus63
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Joined: 16 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is well known in the streetcar enthusiast community that Pittsburgh's PAT rebuilt several PCC cars in the 1970's with modern LRV-style fronts. Less well-known is that the authority also performed surgery on several GMC New Look buses. 1971 model T8H5307A #2441 received this rather large destination sign which undoubtedly frightened more than a few passengers on the 51C Carrick route where it was normally assigned:



The bus and at least one other New Look coach were later rebuilt with a less-garish but equally large headsign:



Large destination signs would eventually come into vogue a few years later starting with the Grumman-Flxible 870, but we should be thankful that those designers would find a more tasteful way to incorporate a large sign into the front face of the coach!

Both photos by Joe Caronetti from the BusTalk galleries.

Jim D.
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frankie



Age: 71
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

These two buses look like they are one and the same (#2441).

Some more interesting observations: The top photo looks like it retained it's original destination with the box attached to the front of it. In the bottom photo, the destination looks likes it's been redesigned and now integrated to the front of the roof completely replacing the original.

Also note the secondary destination sign inside the bus to the right of the driver. Top photo replicated the route wheres the bottom reads CHARTERED.

A minor observation: Looks like the GMC emblem was a replacement for the one sans the letters from the top photo - probably during the repainting process.

Frankie
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Mr. Linsky
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Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's our nations Bicentennial year as we see fleet # 806 - a 45 passenger GM Coach of the 'new look' era standing at readiness for its next assignment under the flag of San Diego Transit of San Diego, California.

# 806 is carrying what is purported to be a bike rack at its rear but, until I can figure out how it works, I reserve judgement!

What I don't understand is what function the five small single gang boxes along the rails with knobs on them perform?

Whatever the contraption is, it must have a simple and rapid disconnect system to allow access to the engine.

I would say that if I drove that bus I'd certainly want a TV monitor for the rear for backing up and to make certain that a bicyclist has cleared the equipment (if it is for bicycles) before I would move forward.

What's your opinion?

Photo courtesy of 'pl8dog' and is up for auction on eBay as item # 321103350946.

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

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traildriver




Joined: 26 Mar 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. Linsky wrote:
It's our nations Bicentennial year as we see fleet # 806 - a 45 passenger GM Coach of the 'new look' era standing at readiness for its next assignment under the flag of San Diego Transit of San Diego, California.

# 806 is carrying what is purported to be a bike rack at its rear but, until I can figure out how it works, I reserve judgement!

What I don't understand is what function the five small single gang boxes along the rails with knobs on them perform?

Whatever the contraption is, it must have a simple and rapid disconnect system to allow access to the engine.

I would say that if I drove that bus I'd certainly want a TV monitor for the rear for backing up and to make certain that a bicyclist has cleared the equipment (if it is for bicycles) before I would move forward.

What's your opinion?

Photo courtesy of 'pl8dog' and is up for auction on eBay as item # 321103350946.

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



My opinion is that it would never 'fly' here in New York....did you say quick-disconnect? I could just see it going thru the "'hood", and having the bikes disappear from the racks at a red light..... Wink
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timecruncher



Age: 67
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hell, bikes have been known to "disappear" from the front of buses in the 'hood here in Louisville!

timecruncher

GO CARDS!
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GM Historian



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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 9:04 am    Post subject: Re: GM NEW LOOK ODDITIES Reply with quote

frankie wrote:
GM buses have many oddities that have seen daylight throughout it's production history - most if not all created from after market changes. We've seen a good many on this forum for the GM "old look", but now lets see what we can come up with for "new look" buses.

As you know air conditioning in city buses were mostly aftermarket applications until the first factory installed air conditioning were installed on some of the last old look buses. Here in St. Louis, old look buses has rear mounted units run by small engines that blew air through an intrusive roof top duct system into the interior of the bus. I believe Phoenix (I'm sure there were others) also had these units on their old looks.

Here we see Bi-State TDH-5301 number 3833 posed with one of these units - probably not an eye catcher at the time as it would have been years later. One wonders what other transit systems had these beside St. Louis.

Frankie

Photo courtesy of Mark Goldfeder (personal friend) for educational purposes.



Growing up in St. Louis, I remember this bus quite well, in Bi-State blue colors. It operated mostly out the DeBaliviere yard on the Page, Delmar, and Lindell bus lines. Originally, #3833 had a factory a/c unit. Bi-State's predecessor, St. Louis Public Service Company removed the factory a/c unit and installed a Thermo-King unit. My father remembered riding #3833 and told me it had a pole inside the rear passenger area, which supported the interior a/c compartment from the floor to the ceiling. Perhaps, this was done to keep the thing from falling through the roof onto some poor, unmerciful passenger. He also mentioned that #3833 was a raggedy bus, hinting that the installation was not a total success. Maybe, that's why #3833 was the only bus done this way.
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frankie



Age: 71
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm wondering if the integrity of the roofs on the new looks were different enough to not allow this type of AC installation when you compare and consider the hundreds of old looks before this that did.

Frankie
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Mr. Linsky
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

frankie,

BTW; before I began I have to mention that the St. Louis photo with the aftermarket A/C above is a great find - don't remember ever seeing one before.

If you've followed my writings here at BusTalk you'll remember that the first phase GM New Looks suffered from 'roof shimmy' which was discovered when the large rear window glasses kept cracking diagonally.

GM eventually put out a recall and set up contractors across the country to make the necessary repairs which included additional bracing both at the front and rear of the buses (the jobs on Long Island were done in West Hempstead).

That bracing caused the elimination of the short piece of standee glass just over the driver's side window and the corresponding piece by the front door (the St Louis model above had not as of the date of the photo had that alteration made.

To bolster the strength even further on later models, the 'see through' steel openings for the standee glasses were made slightly smaller but did not change the size of the glasses themselves which were imbedded in the outer skin.

So your question about support for the Thermo King equipment in this case does very much matter!

Good observation.

Regards,

Mr. 'L'
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GM Historian



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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

frankie wrote:
I'm wondering if the integrity of the roofs on the new looks were different enough to not allow this type of AC installation when you compare and consider the hundreds of old looks before this that did.

Frankie


Quality Shops, as St. Louis Public Service Company's main garage was called, were very innovative with GM buses, both old and new look buses. They also installed a Thermo-King a/c unit on PCC #1799, the very last of 300 PCC's ordered by St. Louis. Both installations were experimental and perhaps, after testing was completed on #3833, the idea was scrapped. The roof support may have been the reason, why other buses weren't done. Also, Thermo-King a/c units were much cooler than GM's factory installed a/c units. This may explained why Quality Shops experimented with this installation.

Beginning in 1960, STLPC began repainting a number of GM Old Look (50 passenger) buses in the red and white paint scheme of their then-new GM New Look buses, nicknamed the "Crystaliners". They also installed fluorescent lights and new seats to match the new buses. According to fellow historian, Mark Goldfeder, these re-painted, re-styled Old Look GM buses were nicknamed the "Copyliners". I guess for obvious reasons.

I should also note, #3833 kept the Thermo-King a/c unit to the very end of service. I remember seeing #3833 in service on the 94 Page-Wellston bus line in the early 70's.
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Mr. Linsky
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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GM Historian,

I'm sorry - I should have done this earlier but better late than never!

Welcome to BusTalk - glad to have you aboard.

We look forward to your valued contributions.

Best regards,

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



Age: 71
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Location: St. Peters, Mo.

PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Same here with me! Welcome to BusTalk GM Historian. Just out of curiosity, do you live in the St. Louis area? I live in St. Peters. Mark Goldfeder is a good friend of mine. I assume you know him well.

Looking forward to your contributions. The forum is a wealth of information and photos galore. Never a boring moment here.

Frankie
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frankie



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just when you think you've seen it all, this comes along! Only in Cuba mind you - home of many tractor-trailer conversions, this has got to be the oddest use for a fishbowl if not the oddest fishbowl so far. What looks like a TDH-6501 (Yep! I made it up considering the stretch job), riders in Havana gets to enjoy the luxury of a GM new look but with the smooth ride of a Fruehauf steel sprung trailer.

Frankie

Photo courtesy of Flicker Rogali's Photostream for education purpose

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Mr. Linsky
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

frankie,

This one takes the cake!!!!!!! - I would call it a GM New Look 'Stretch Coach'!

They obviously added one window which really wouldn't have given them much more seating.

I can almost understand the double set of rear wheels but why the extra steering wheels in the front?

The Versare Corporation manufactured buses with a similar configuration back in the late twenties that turned out to be a complete flop!

Regards,

Mr. 'L'
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frankie



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. Linsky wrote:
frankie,

They obviously added one window which really wouldn't have given them much more seating.

I can almost understand the double set of rear wheels but why the extra steering wheels in the front?

Regards,

Mr. 'L'


Mr. L: It's obvious that they mated two 5300 series fishbowls - you can see the vertical seam between large windows 3 and 4.

If you look close, you'll notice that this is a "trailer" unit, not a bus with double front steering. You can see the tractor unit in front with the bus fifth-wheeled over the double bogies of the tractor. As mentioned in my original message, Cuba is well known for its tractor-trailer buses. This one as you say, takes the cake.

One wonders if the original doors are still present on the right side and I'm curious as to what the front of the bus looks like.

Frankie
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JimmiB



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like to see the right rear corner. Must have battle scars with that overhang.
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