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Moonless Fishbowls!

 
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frankie



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

PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:59 pm    Post subject: Moonless Fishbowls! Reply with quote

Sorry about the strange title, but as we all know, Fishbowls have a half-moon window directly behind the front door on the right and behind the driver's side window on the left. All of these were produced in the United States. Once production of the fishbowls ceased, many transit systems refused to go with whatever was available and decided to continue buying fishbowls from Canada.

For whatever reason, I know of at least two systems that their fishbowls came without the half-moon windows. Santa Monica was one of them as shown by this 1986 model T8H-5307A and one of the last new look buses built.

The lack of the half-moon windows was not a last minute decision as evident by St. Louis' Bi-State fishbowls that were bought new from Canada back in 1981. These were the last GM new looks by Bi-State and afterwards would concentrate on Flxibles. Note the lack of the window on both sides. Living here in St. Louis, I do remember these buses along with the unusual lack of those windows.

Are there others?

Frankie





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RailBus63
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Joined: 16 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe the missing window was due to the front doorway being widened to accommodate a wheelchair lift.
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JimmiB



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

PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably right RailBus. The front doors look to be about 6 inches wider than normal, gained by moving the door post back into the area where the window would be.
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Mr. Linsky
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Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 5071
Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe they may have been deleted to strengthen the roof which, as we all know, was a problem on New Looks that manifested itself originally with diagonal cracks in the main rear window which was found to be caused by roof shimmy due to lack of enough structural support.

Regards,

Mr. 'L'
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traildriver




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

PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't beleve I have ever seen any of these. They sure don't look 'right'.
Having that big blind spot in that area could present a safety visisbility issue for the driver in certain situations like merging into another road at an angle on his right, where the mirror would still leave a 'blind-spot'.
And it would not be too nice for passengers either. Kind of reminds me of early MCI coaches that had that wide area between windows in the center of the coach. Not pleasant to be in those seats....

As for the glass cracking due to roof stressing.....is that why they divided the large center section of the rear window in half after the earliest years of New Look production? I sometimes wondered about that....
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Mr. Linsky
BusTalk's Offical Welcoming Committee



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

PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

traildriver,

Yes, the cracking rear windows on the early New Looks precipitated a GM recall in which two glasses were supplied and divided down the center by a rubber gasket as can be seen on New York City # 3758 below.

However, while this did cure the cracking glass problem, it did not solve the shimmy and another major recall which entailed sending every bus to local GM appointed contractors for roof strengthening which included the elimination of a short piece of standee glass over what Frankie calls the 'half moon' window just aft of the front door.

The replacing of the glass with a square sheet metal patch which covered stiffening braces can be easily seen below on Green Line (NY) # 538.

The final step, which appeared on later phases of the model was to reduce the size of the standee glass sheet metal openings as seen from inside the bus while still retaining the same glasses outside.

Regards,

Mr. 'L'


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JimmiB



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

PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Traildriver. When I drove fishbowls, I often used those windows when merging. That blind spot would be annoying to me.
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dsevil



Age: 45
Joined: 10 Dec 2009
Posts: 24
Location: Louisville, KY

PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RailBus63 wrote:
I believe the missing window was due to the front doorway being widened to accommodate a wheelchair lift.


Look how close the doorpost is to the wheelwell in the photo of Santa Monica 5180 in the OP and then the one of Green Line 538 just above this post. Not saying they couldn't have moved the front axle back six inches on a bus, but...
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frankie



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

PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dsevil wrote:
RailBus63 wrote:
I believe the missing window was due to the front doorway being widened to accommodate a wheelchair lift.


Look how close the doorpost is to the wheelwell in the photo of Santa Monica 5180 in the OP and then the one of Green Line 538 just above this post. Not saying they couldn't have moved the front axle back six inches on a bus, but...


It may very well be an optical illusion. With the handwriting already on the wall about ceasing fishbowl production and concentrate on the Classic, why would GM Canada want to spend time and money to make structural modifications so late in the game?

Frankie
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Mr. Linsky
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Joined: 16 Apr 2007
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Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not an optical illusion - the front doors on Santa Monica's are wider than those of Green Lines but not by that much and certainly not enough to change the position of the front axle.

You can easily see the difference in the space between the door and the wheel well on the two models.

Regards,

Mr. 'L'
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frankie



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

PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. Linsky wrote:
It's not an optical illusion - the front doors on Santa Monica's are wider than those of Green Lines but not by that much and certainly not enough to change the position of the front axle.

You can easily see the difference in the space between the door and the wheel well on the two models.

Regards,

Mr. 'L'


Yeah, I can see the difference, although slight. Dang, I need to get new glasses!

Frankie
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frankie



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

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just confirmed with a friend of mine who is an expert with St. Louis transportation that the batch of 1981 fishbowls were intended to have front wheelchair lifts, but cancelled at the last moment. Those buses however were built with the wider front doors as cited here earlier and thus had their half moon windows deleted for structural reinforcement.

Another interested fact that I didn't know was that Bi-State replaced the standee windows on the interior with solid panels to further reinforce the structure. The outside remained the same, giving a false appearance of actual standee windows.

Frankie
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NorthShore



Age: 70
Joined: 18 Mar 2012
Posts: 113

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Queens Transit & Steinway Transit had similar Canadian-built GMD fishbowls (post-RTS era) from 1980. These buses had quarter windows but smaller than the originals. This was done to have a wider front door to accomodate a wheelchair lift which was required by Federal mandate by then.
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