Category Archives: Berliet

News from the Continent June 2019 – Norev

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

All text by, and copyright of the Author. All photographs provided by the Manufacturer.

This article looks at models released in April and May 2019. Norev models are diecast in China for France in various scales.

April Releases

1:18 Scale

182771 Ford Sierra RS Cosworth 1986 – white

187436 Porsche 935

24h France 1979 – Newman/Barbour/Stommelen


1:43 Scale

151509 Citroen Type A 1919 – red

153172 Citroen B2 Caddy 1923 – maroon

153029 Citroen Traction /7C Faux-cabriolet 1937 – dark blue

200000 Delamare Deboutteville & Malandin 1884

This is a model of the first french petrol powered vehicle.


1:87 Scale

159925 Citroen U23 Autocar 1947 – yellow and grey

1:64 Scale Minijet series

310910 Citroen CX saloon 1974 – sand beige metallic

May Releases

1:18 Scale

183489 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class 2018 – silver

183488 Mercedes-Benz V-Class 2018 – grey metallic

185182 Renault Floride 1959 – Bahama yellow metallic

185152 Renault 5 1972 – red

1:43 Scale

070014 Austin Healey 3000 Mk 3 1964 – black with red sides

1:43 Scale – Norev Classics Series

CL6921 Berliet Stradair Tipper -orange and blue

1:18 Scale Maxi Jet Series

182065 Solex 1966 – black

1:64 Scale Minijet Series

310506 Citroen 2CV Charleston 1982 – yellow and black

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Hachette Italy World Buses Part 27

By Fabrizio Panico

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

Parts 79 and 80

Here is the 27th and last part of my summary of the Italian Hachette partwork “Autobus dal mondo”, a collection of eighty 1:43 scale bus models, very similar to the French one “Autobus et autocars du monde”, produced in Bangladesh for Ixo. Here we’ll see two more French buses, a Berliet and a Chausson, but on the other hand we must remember that it is basically a collection of French origins. As an add-on we’ll also see a Fiat 418 Cameri, a model Italian Hachette offered only to the subscribers to the whole Italian collection, but which was available as a standard issue in the French collection.


No. 79 (no. 102 in the French collection) Berliet PCS 10 RATP 1960 – We have already seen the Berliet Crusair 3 (see part 8, no. 22), the PHL 10 (see part 10, no. 30), the PR100 range (Jelcz version, see part 14, no. 40), the PLR 10 (see part sixteen, no. 47), the original 1969 Crusair (see part twenty-one, no. 62) and the 1956 PLR 8 MU (see part twenty-three, no. 69). Berliet is one of the oldest automobile manufacturer, part of Citroën from 1967, then acquired by Renault in 1974 and merged with Saviem into the new RVI in 1978. Berliet produced many different vehicles, but after the Second World War only commercial vehicle production was resumed, and Berliet had to face strong competition from Chausson and Renault. Indeed Berliet had no experience outside the field of heavy commercial vehicles, and choose then to buy Rochet-Schneider for its capacity and it’s ‘know-how’. In 1951 it launched the PLR 8, a very powerful bus, but already dated. It was only in 1955 with the PCP 10 that Berliet was able to enter the profitable Parisian transport fleet, until then dominated by Renault. After the Second World War the RATP (Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens) had expanded its suppliers list, and from 1950 started to use the Somua OP5 (see part seven, no. 20), an innovative bus with an almost all-steel closed body by Million-Guiet-Tubauto (MGT), which was more comfortable for driver and passengers. A very reliable bus, the OP5 modernised the Parisian fleet, slowly replacing the old open platform buses, which had been a real Parisian trademark. In 1955 the RATP choose to try the Berliet PCP10, using the same body of the OP5-3 by MGT (only the front grille was different), and ordered 100 buses, with a diesel Berliet six-in-line engine developing 145 CV placed longitudinally in the front of the chassis, and fitted with a Wilson pre-selector gearbox. In 1960 a further 50 buses were supplied by Berliet, named PCS10 and using a Somua chassis, easily identified by a more prominent front grille, a reduced front overhang and some minor details. More liked than the Somua, the Berliets were phased out in 1972.

The scale model sports the classic dark green and cream livery of the RATP. It is quite a large model with a plastic body, a metal chassis and the usual plastic added parts. Underside details are present, the exhaust is silver painted and there is a rear tow hitch. On both sides there are “Conord” ads, while in the rear there is a “Chantelle” one, all very agreeable.

The destination plate reads “#73 – Puteaux – Louis Blanc”, the route starting at the Paris Hotel de Ville and ending at Puteaux, a commune in the western suburbs of Paris, located in the heart of the Hauts-de-Seine department. It is host to La Défense, Paris’ business district with the tallest buildings in the metropolitan area. There isn’t a standard registration plate, because until March 2003 RATP buses used special registration plates with their own serial number. The interior is fairly detailed and it is fitted with nice four-leaf doors and large windows. No apparent differences to the French edition exist. Indeed another beautiful model, very likely a smart re-use of a previous mould (no. 20, Somua OP5).


No. 80 (no. 103 in the French collection) Saviem E7 1970 – We have already seen the 1965 Saviem SC10 U (see part thirteen, no. 39) and the 1960 SC1 (see part twenty-four, no. 71), and how at the end of 1955 Renault, facing strong competition from Berliet and lacking factory capacity decided to unify its forces with Somua and Latil creating LRS Saviem (Latil-Renault-Somua Société Anonyme de Véhicules Industriels et d’Equipments Mécaniques), later incorporating Isobloc and Chausson. But during the 1960s the competition was changing, and the ‘battlefield’ was now the whole of Europe. The innovative products from Setra and Van Hool were international successes and both Berliet and Saviem soon realised the urgent need for a rear engined vehicle, with sufficient power, large luggage spaces beneath the floor, large windows and, very important, a higher level of passenger comfort. Berliet’s prompt answer was the Crusair range (see part eight, no. 22, and part twenty-one, no. 62), but Saviem was seriously disadvantaged : it was lacking the ‘know-how’ (Isoblocs were its last rear engined buses), had to build a new assembly line and was forced to launch the new bus if possible at the same time as Berliet. The result was the E7, presented in May 1969, a bus with a modern angular shape, a modular body for different versions, large windows and symmetrical front and rear sides, excellent comfort, a powerful longitudinal rear engine by MAN, but …. the vehicle suffered from the hasty development. Problems quickly appeared in service: with the electrical system, the heating system, and even the body structure itself. Disappointed users’ complaints soon became public and, despite making changes to resolve the problems, market confidence evaporated. Less than 3,500 units were produced, with many exported to Africa.

The quite large scale model shows faithfully the E7L‘s angular shape. As usual there is a plastic body and metal chassis, and it is finished in a cream and gold livery. The interior is basic though there is a nicely detailed driver’s cockpit. There are very detailed side windows and roof lights. Many separate small plastic parts are used, and excellent decoration, even the small details between the side windows are captured.

However, the Saviem logo is difficult to read (silver print on gold paint). It is a replica of a bus of the Société des Transports Allauzen, based in Joyeuse, a commune in the Ardèche department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in southern France. Voyages Sotra are now part of Voyages Ginhoux, a family business founded in 1830 to transport goods and passengers in the Ardèche region. It is fitted with a correct “07” registration plate. There are no apparent differences to the French edition. It is a worthy reproduction of an “unlucky” bus.


Unnumbered (no. 53 in the French collection) Fiat 418 AC Cameri 1972 – As already stated in part five, Italian Hachette offered its subscribers a model of a Fiat 418, a 1972 Cameri from the AMT of Genova, (no. 53 in the French collection). I did not qualify to receive one as I prefer to buy collections at a news stand in order to avoid delays, or problem with the mail. Luckily it was quite easy to find the 418 Cameri on eBay to complete the collection.

We have already met the Fiat products and in particular the 418 (see part five, no. 13), a typical urban bus adopted in all the large cities of Italy to replace the ageing 409 and 410. It was of the same general design, a separate chassis fitted with a longitudinal engine placed centrally under the floor. The usual body was by Cameri, already absorbed into Fiat Group in 1936 and operating under the CANSA name (see part 10, no. 28), but the chassis was also made available to outside specialised bodywork manufacturers like Portesi, Pistoiesi, Breda, Dalla Via, Padane and Menarini. The 418 was equipped with the Fiat 8200.12 diesel engine, a flat straight six, of 9,819CC developing 143 kw of power. Some versions had an automatic gearbox, but a manual gearbox was also available.

The scale model, based on a preserved vehicle, has a plastic body and a metal baseplate with little detail. It is finished in an orange and grey livery, typical of Genoa (Genova) in the North of Italy, one of the most important ports on the Mediterranean. The shape is well reproduced, with nice details, but inside the seats are poorly coloured (it could be specific to this example). It has very nice front and rear ends, and the rear lights are excellent.

The destination plate reads “Brignole – San Nicolò”, where Brignole is the main railway station and San Nicolò is a village belonging to the municipality of Genova, on its west side. A correct registration plate is featured. A good choice, a bus warmly remembered.

Conclusions

The collection has now ended and it is time to draw some conclusions. The choice of subjects was quite interesting and rightly included all the Italian buses from the French collection and a selection of all the others. Though it must be said that after the decision to extend the partwork from sixty to eighty models, it then copied the French one, offering the same models issued in France a couple of weeks later. It is very likely that Italian collectors might have preferred some of the previous models from the larger French collection whichdid not appeared in the first 60 of the Italian collection, like the Hispano Suiza or the Floirat.

It is possible to see the whole French collection on the web on a very interesting site. All the models have been of really high quality and have been excellent value for money. Packaging was quite basic, but was effective at avoiding any damage, but due to the wildly different sizes and shapes no clear plastic box was provided. If the collection had one problem it is the sheer size of the collection’s models. You need a very large space to display or even just to store them! A problem well known to a lot of collectors. Happy collecting!


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Berliet 6×4 Mixer – Updated

By Mick ‘Mixxy’ Russell

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

Editors Note: This article has been revised and re-issued as the Editor had introduced issues into the article during the editing process. Our apologies.

The last of the Berliet Site Trucks

Hachette produced a series of Berliet trucks to 1:43 scale with at least 30 parts issued to date. The model shown below was issued as #24 in the series in late 2018.

Berliet GRH 230 6×4 MIXER

This model was the first 6×4 lightweight Berliet with a tilting cab. It was a useful size, economical, and one of the last Berliet trucks made from 100% Berliet parts. The next series marketed by owners Renault V.I. will have a Berliet driveline, but will be fitted with a Saviem cab.

To counter the competition of Daf 2205 trucks in France and the Mercedes 2624B in Germany, Paul Berliet launched a truck targeted at the construction industry in 1976. This was the GRH 230 6×4. It was aimed at providing a truck that could cope with difficult sites. This mid-range truck was intended to operate on construction sites in urban or suburban areas. The chassis was equipped with various types of bodies: a light tipper; a tanker, or a concrete mixer of 6 to 7 cubic meters.

In 1974 Michelin owners of Citröen and Berliet sold Berliet to the State so that it merged with State owned Renault‘s truck division. An injection of resources allowed Berliet to design a new engine which would last in Berliet derived vehicles for over twenty years. This was the engine, the MIDS 06.20.30 equipped with a turbocharger, that was fitted to the GRH 230 6×4 when it was launched at the Expomat Show in May 1976. The GRH 230 x4 was the first vehicle to benefit from this new high-performance, economical and lower emissions engine.

The engine is coupled to a ZF S.6.90 gearbox plus a gearbox giving twelve “forward” and two “rear” gears to give a maximum road speed of 92 km/h. The two rear wheels feature double reduction (gearbox in the hubs), and they transmit only half of the final effort to the wheels. A total payload of up to 19 tons is possible.

The new truck is equipped with the KB 2 200 Berliet- Citroën tilting cab designed by Louis Lucien Lepoix (Form Technic International in Neuilly) in 1968. Built from sheet metal, the cabin can be tilted 55%, enabling easy access to the engine. For day-to-day checks, the front panel has two stacked doors behind which you find all the tank fillers: hydraulic circuits, wiper motor, windshield wiper, heating, dipstick, etc.

The model is a nice representation of the real thing in 1:43 scale. It has some cast-in under chassis details such as the prop-shaft, engine and air cleaner. The mixer unit is also a good representation of a drum of that period.


News from the Continent February 2019 – Norev

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

Here are the models announced by Norev for introduction in January 2019. As usual these are diecast models made in China for France unless otherwise stated. Many pictures are of pre-production samples and those are over printed to make it clear that changes may occur before the models ship.

1:18 Scale Models

181730 Citroen SM 1971 – Gold Leaf


183701 Benz Patent Motorwagen 1886 – green


183492 Mercedes-AMG GT3 2016 – Team Akka


184856 Peugeot 205 GTI 1,9 1992 – Miami Blue


184770 Peugeot 905 Winner France 24 hours 1992

Winner driven by Dalmas / Warwick / Blundell


184773 Peugeot 905 Le Mans 1993

Third placed driven by Bouchut / Brabham / Helary


1:43 Scale

151397 Citroen 2CV Citroneta 1963 – blue


155328 Citroen C3 Aircross 2017

Grey and white roof with orange decoration details


270320 Bentley Continental GT 2018 – black


509003 Dacia Duster 2018 – Dune beige


509004 Dacia Duster 2018 – Cosmos blue


351341 Mercedes-Benz G-Class 2018 – black


473888 Peugeot 3008 GT 2016 – Platinium grey


517790 Renault Megane Estate 2016 – Cosmos Blue


517792 Renault Megane Estate 2016 “Gendarmerie”


517789 Renault Megane Estate 2016 “Police Nationale”


517797 Renault Megane Estate 2016 “Fire Brigade”


NOREV CLASSIC 1:43

This range is modelled on the Atlas Dinky or Dan Toys ranges both actually made in Norev’s Chinese plant too. These versions carry interesting period liveries in boxes in a style used by Norev when they made their models in plastic.

CL6911 Berliet GAK pick up with canvas cover “Moutarde de Dijon”


CL6912 Berliet GAK “Sirop des Comptoirs Francais”


Hachette Italy World Buses Part 23

By Fabrizio Panico

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

Parts number 67 to 69

This time we’ll look at another scarce Belgian bus (almost unknown outside France and Belgium), a recycled German giant (up to the Second World War it was one of the largest buses ever produced) and an innovative French one, alas a missed bestseller. All of them are from the Italian Hachette partwork “Autobus dal mondo”, a collection of eighty 1:43 bus models, very similar to the French one “Autobus et autocars du monde”. The models are produced in Bangladesh for Ixo.

No. 67 (no. 90 in the French collection) Brossel BL55 1966 – With the 1962 Brossel A92 DARL (see part twelve, no. 36) we have already seen a short review of the Belgian automotive industry and the Brossel history. The A92 DARL fully respected the specifications of the Compagnie Générale Industrielle de Transports (CGIT) of Lille: a modern 100-seater urban vehicle with one man operation. The body was from Jonckheere, a coachbuilder founded in 1881 and still active today after a fusion with the VDL group.

In 1966 an improved version of the A92 DARL was produced, called BL55 : the differences were limited to the spherical cylindrical windshield (already seen on the last A92 produced), the transmission system was now based on a Voith-Diwabus electric gearbox and the Leyland engine now delivered 135 CV. The BL55 was well received by many municipalities, especially its high roof version, and soon it could be also found in Liège, Charleroi, Arles, Brest, Nice and Montpellier. But the BL55 was never replaced as in 1968 Brossel was bought by British Leyland and its name disappeared the following year.

Like the real bus the scale model has very few differences when compared to the previous A92 DARL. The shape of the windshield is now a spherical cylinder, and the front and rear sides are slightly modified. Very likely the plastic body’s mould is partly re-used from the A92 DARL. At the front a new panel with a grille is fitted and “Leyland” has replaced “Jonckheere”, whist at the rear a new pattern of rear lights are fitted. The livery is the usual olive green and cream, the metal baseplate has been modified and the new version name printed. Usual small plastic parts have been added: lights, mirrors, bumpers, etc. However, the wipers are now engraved on the windshield.

The bus is from the town of Valenciennes, in the Nord department in northern France, about 50 km from Lille, and sports the CEN (Compagnie des Chemins de fer économiques du Nord) logo. The automotive industry was a key source of support for the local transport services, both Peugeot Citroën (PSA) and Toyota have manufacturing plants in the area.

The destination board reads “Saint Amand”, a city located about 10 km north-west of Valenciennes, almost in the heart of the Scarpe-Scheldt regional Natural Park. The registration plate is from Lille. As usual the red spot designates a regular scheduled service. There are no apparent differences to the French edition. A fair reproduction of a bus well known in northern France.


No. 68 (no. 91 in the French collection) Mercedes Benz O 10000 Osterreichische postbus 1938 – We have already met many times the “star” of Stuttgart: the gargantuan 1938 O 10000 (see part one, no. 2), the midget 1936 Lo 3100 (see part four, no. 11), the bright 1972 O 302 (see part eleven, no. 31), and the urban 1979 O 305 (see part twentytwo, no. 65). This time we’ll return to the giant O 10000 and one of its variants, the 1938 Osterreichische postbus. As already seen, the O 10000 chassis was derived from that of the
L10000 truck, modified for use as a passenger vehicle. All chassis had three axles, with single wheels, better for handling and a relatively high speed (max 75 km/h). The bus had lower side rails lowered and a longer rear overhang making it up to twelve metres in length.

When production began in 1937 the engine was a 12.5 litre diesel straight six, but as early as 1938 it was replaced by a “fast” 11.2 litre one. The body was by Kassbohrer, better known as Setra after the war. This bus was designed mainly for long distance routes. It was seriously handicapped by both its length and its high fuel consumption, and a total of less than 400 units was produced, of which 160 ordered by the Reichpost, to use for its mixed postal and passenger services on the new “autobahns”. After the Second World War some of them were sold to the Postamt, the new Austrian Postal service, to be used for mail sorting whilst en-route and to carry out subsequent distribution.

Like the previous red and black passenger bus model, the miniature is really imposing with the protruding nose adding to the impression of brute power. The model consists of a plastic body and metal chassis as usual, with many added plastic parts. Hachette operated a very smart ‘recycling’ operation, using the chassis and some parts of the previous model and adding a new body to create a new model.

It is indeed a faithful reproduction of a real post bus that served the Austrian Postal Service as a parcel truck after the Second World War, plying the Salzburg-Vienna route. Later on it was converted into a mobile post office which was used at events like the Salzburg Festival or as a temporary post office. Saved from scrapping, it was restored in 1987 and exhibited in the Mercedes Benz Museum (see https://www.mercedes-benz.com/en/mercedes-benz/classic/museum/mercedes-benz-o-10000-mobile-post-office/).

There is a very nice little fire extinguisher on the right side, but the interior is quite difficult to appreciate, due to the small dimension of the side windows. On the left side there are three “fernsprechzelle”, phone booths. There are no apparent differences to the French edition. Thanks to Hachette for a nice reproduction of an emblematic version of this rare German bus.


No. 69 (no. 92 in the French collection) Berliet PLR 8 MU 1956 – Another Berliet, but on the other hand we must remember that it is basically a collection of French origins. After the Crusair 3 (see part 8, no. 22), the PHL 10 (see part 10, no. 30), the PR100 range (Jelcz version, see part 14, no. 40), the PLR 10 (see part sixteen, no. 47) and the original 1969 Crusair (see part twenty one, no. 62), it is now time to go back to the PLR 8 MU.

As you’ll remember Berliet was one of the first automobile makers, and was part of Citroën from 1967, and was then acquired by Renault in 1974 and merged with Saviem into the new RVI in 1978. After the Second World War only commercial vehicle production was resumed, and Berliet had to Face intense competition from Chausson and Renault both of whom had a new self supporting bodies. Indeed Berliet didn’t had any experience outside the field of heavy commercial vehicles, and choose to buy the whole company and know-how of Rochet-Schneider.

In 1951 it launched the PLR 8, a very powerful bus, but already out of date: its heavy welded box frame, its dual rear wheels and horizontal engine meant high costs, both to buy, to operate and to maintain. The PLR 8, a 90-seater urban bus, was equipped with a 125CV five cylinder horizontal MDUH diesel engine fitted slightly on the right side of the vehicle, while the PLR 10, an intercity bus, had a 150CV six cylinder MDZH diesel, which was later also used on the urban version. Produced from 1952 to 1963, this vehicle was the first model of the brand equipped with a horizontal motor under floor. In 1958 a new generation of very low consumption engines was developed thanks to the MAN injection system, called “Magic” by Berliet. But this evolution did not save the bus from its fate, and it missed the commercial success it deserved.

The scale model represents an urban bus from Nice, department of Alpes Maritimes, in the south of France. The destination board reads “Trinité”, a town a few kilometers from the center of Nice and reached by climbing the first hills that surround the city,. Within is located the sanctuary of Notre Dame de Laghet, whose Baroque church, a famous destination for pilgrimages, dates back to 1656. The model has a plastic body, very likely derived from no. 47 and slightly modified, and a metal baseplate. The plate is still engraved “PLR 10”.

Dark green and white livery, with the Nice crest on the sides, together with the route board “Madeleine Massena Trinité”. A very nice front grille is fitted, suitably pierced. Good wheels are fitted. A neatly reproduced driver’s cab area is included though the rest of the interior is basic. It is at least different internally to the PLR 10. There are the usual added parts like lights, bumpers, mirrors and wipers. Again there is no apparent difference to the French edition. A bit disappointing, the livery is the only significant change.


Hachette Italy World Buses Part 21

By Fabrizio Panico

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

Number 61 to 63.

Three more European buses : a German, and two French. A strange mix as we have already met all of them in this collection, in one form or another. They are from the Italian Hachette partwork “Autobus dal mondo”, a collection of eighty 1:43 scale bus models, very similar to the French one “Autobus et autocars du monde”, produced in Bangladesh for Ixo.

No. 61 (no. 84 in the French collection) Renault R 4192 1952 – We have already met Renault and the AGP Saharien (see part seven, no. 19), the TN6-C2 (see part twelve, no. 34) and the R4192 (see part nineteen, no. 55). Renault is one of the oldest automobile manufacturers, always facing strong competition and, thanks to its many successes, able to slowly incorporate many of its commercial vehicle making competitors after the Second World War.

The R4000 series was the first “modern” Renault bus, previously based on truck chassis, heavy and uncomfortable. Facing the Isobloc challenge (use of a self-supporting structure) in 1949 Renault presented the R4190 with a chassisless structure and the engine placed horizontally under the floor on the right side between the two axles. It was an instant success and was produced in many different versions (the R 4192 was a low roof version with a more powerful diesel engine), and it went on until 1993, with periodic updates.

The model is shaped accurately. The body is plastic whilst the chassis is metal with lot of detail. It has single rear wheels. Many additional small parts are fitted as usual: lights, front bumper, mirror (one only) and registration plates, plus a large ladder to reach the luggage area on the roof.

As already noted the mould was used on no. 55 (see part nineteen), no changes are apparent, only the livery is new, this time from Ets. Gonthier & Nouhaud, an urban and suburban passenger transport company from Periguex, a small town located in the Dordogne department in the New Aquitaine region (capital Bordeaux), south west of France.

It seems that the company was active from 1959 to 2012, when it was absorbed in the larger Régie Péribus, the transit network serving Périgueux and its wider community.

On the internet it is possible to find pictures of the real vehicle, with the same green and cream livery, the same strange advert on the front bumper and the same registration plate (24), correct for the Dordogne. No apparent differences to the French edition. A faithful reproduction of an once quite common sight on French roads.

 

 

No. 62 (no. 85 in the French collection) Berliet Crusair 3 1969 – We have already seen the Berliet history and its Crusair (see part eight, no. 22), the PHL 10 (see part ten, no. 30), the PR100 ranges (Jelcz version, see part fourteen, no. 40) and the PLR 10 (see part sixteen, no. 47). Founded in 1899, like Renault, Berliet is one of the oldest automobile manufacturer, part of Citroën from 1967, then acquired by Renault in 1974 and merged with Saviem into the new RVI in 1978.

After the Second World War only the commercial vehicle production was resumed, at first it was highly successful, but in the sixties the competition was very tough and resources to innovate were lacking, leading to the loss of its independence. The Cruisair range, developed from 1966, offered innovative technical solutions (rear engine) and a new aesthetic (straight lines and large windows), fixing new standards for the European buses.

 

Comfortable, reliable and profitable, but not free from defects, the Crusair was limited by its max length (11 metres), but achieved widespread success, and was assembled by Porto in Portugal, Heuliez in France and also in Algeria. Produced, under the Renault badge, until 1989, the Cruisair underwent few aesthetic changes: you could date the models only on the basis of updates to the front panels with a major modernisation made in 1972.

The scale model has a plastic body and a metal chassis. As usual there are small additional parts, like the front grille, bumpers, mirrors and wipers. As previously noted the mould was already used for no. 22 and no differences can be seen, only the front grille and light assembly is new, while the wheels are lacking chromed hubcaps.

According to Hachette no. 22 and no. 62 are both from 1969, but the different front grille and lights assembly dates no. 22 as a post 1972 version, while no. 62 is the original one. Also the livery is new, no. 62 sports the white and blue colours of Air France, in this case a shuttle service between the Orly and Le Bourget airports. The registration plate is coded 75, correctly from Paris (Île-de-France). Also for the Cruisair it is possible to find on internet some pictures of the very same real vehicle. No apparent differences to the French edition. A nice souvenir for lots of tourists of the Concorde years.

 

No. 63 (no. 86 in the French collection) Setra S14 1961 – We have already met the Setra company and its S215 HD, and the S14 by the Spanish Seida licensee. In 1951 the Wagenfabrik Kässbohrer in Ulm decided to create a new company dedicated only to buses. It was named Setra, short for “selbsttragend” (self supporting), referring to the integral nature of the construction. The modular system (same structure’s elements and same cockpit) allowed to change only the wheelbase, the engine power and the interior fittings.

The S14, presented in 1961, is considered one of the first modern European buses. Featuring a high windshield, with a thin central pillar, and a longitudinal rear engine by Henschel, a straight six diesel delivering 170 CV, the S14 was the mould for the whole range of Setra buses in the 60s. The S14 was a full-length 12-metre 55 seats vehicle, and despite being rather expensive it was very successful. In 1963 an agreement with Seida allowed to license-build chassisless coaches in Spain. They were equipped with Pegaso engines and marketed with simultaneous double badge as Setra Seida and Pegaso.

The model is accurately shaped and the livery seems to be authentic, on internet you could find many pictures of similar real vehicles. Anker Reisen is a travel company from Lüneburg, a “Hanseatic” town in the German state of Lower Saxony, located about 50 km southeast of the more famous Hamburg, and belongs to that city’s wider metropolitan region. The registration plates are correctly coded LG. As usual there is a plastic body and a metal chassis, The body is quite bright, helped by the red and light grey livery and plenty of windows, which are also fitted to the roof. Many small separate parts are fitted: front and rear bumpers, lights, front grille, wipers and rear view mirrors.

Hachette has created the original Setra version and partly modified the mould used for no. 24. The original details were erased from the baseplate and and new ones printed on. The body has been slightly changed with lights amended. The Kassbohrer logo has replaced the Pegaso one on the front grille and on the hubcaps. All the Seida logos have been replaced by the Setra ones. The side windows have been changed to show a different split design. There are no apparent differences to the French edition. After the integral (and a bit disappointing) re-use of the Renault R 4192 mould, it is heartening to see the effort made by Hachette to differentiate between the two S14s. We’ll see more mould re-use, it’s logical, but thankfully in some original and interesting ways. Altogether a nice and welcome model.


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Hachette Italy World Buses Part 16

By Fabrizio Panico

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

Nos. 46  to 48

This time we visit fabulous India with a Tata bus, France again with another Berliet and step behind the Iron Curtain with a postwar Skoda. All of them are from the Italian Hachette partwork ‘Autobus dal mondo’, a collection of sixty 1:43 scale bus models, very similar to the French partwork ‘Autobus et autocars du monde’, produced in Bangladesh by Ixo. At the time of writing Italian Hachette has announced that the partwork will be extended to eighty models (the French one is marching towards 120), but the first two models (nos. 61 and 62) are nothing more than new liveries on old castings: not a good start, let’s hope we see something new.

No. 46 (no. 45 in the French collection) Tata LPO 1512 1990 – The origins of Tata can be traced to a company founded in 1868 by Jamshedji Tata : today Tata Group is an Indian multinational conglomerate holding company, headquartered in Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay), and owned by Tata Sons, a registered charity. One of its members is Tata Motors Limited (formerly TELCO, short for Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company) a multinational automotive manufacturing company producing passenger cars, trucks, vans, coaches, buses, sports cars, construction equipment and military vehicles,. The group includes Jaguar Land Rover, with manufacturing and assembly plants in India, as well as in Argentina, South Africa, Great Britain and Thailand.

Founded in 1945 to produce locomotives, the company manufactured its first commercial vehicle in 1954 in a collaboration with Daimler-Benz AG (which ended in 1969): the chassis was a copy of the Mercedes L 3500, and from it was derived a whole series of bus and truck chassis, like the Tata 1210 and then the 1510, and its more modern variant the 1512. The Tata 1510/1512 was the largest selling bus in India and neighbouring countries, combining good features and low ownership cost. Built on a sturdy frame with parallel side members, suited to the difficult local conditions, and equipped from 1993 with a Cummins straight six diesel engine (previously with a Tata-Mercedes Benz 697 engine), the 1512 was usually bodied by contracted suppliers to customer requirements. Alas in later years its reliability was often hindered by poor maintenance causing frequent accidents, notwithstanding a legal maximum speed of 40 km/h.

The scale model represents a 1990 large capacity long distance bus where, lacking any air conditioning, the side doors (obviously on the left side) have been deleted, at the expense of safety. There is the usual combination of a plastic body and a metal baseplate, which is well detailed. It is painted in a bright livery in white, yellow and light green. On the sides there is the “Stage Carriage” writing, meaning it is a vehicle stopping at designated places, plus others printed in Indian characters, which the Author cannot decipher. The registration plate is one from the Delhi Regional Transport Office, correctly printed in black over yellow, as required for a public use. The prefix DL-1P is specifically allocated to Delhi commercial buses.

The angular shape of the bus is well reproduced, with large windows and many separate plastic parts, like lights, bumpers, mirrors and wipers, plus a chromed side exhaust. Very nice wheels and driver’s ‘cab’ area. The seats are only basic. Note the shadows on the windows representing the safety bars on their lower side. No apparent differences to the French edition. A nice model of an almost unknown bus, at least in Europe.


 

No. 47 (no. 36 in the French collection) Berliet PLR 10 1955 – We have already seen the Berliet history and its Crusair (see part 8, no. 22), PHL 10 (see part 10, no. 30) and PR100 ranges (Jelcz version, see part 14, no. 40) and how after the Second World War only commercial vehicle production was resumed, but that Chausson, Isobloc and Renault buses were much more innovative. In 1951 Berliet launched the PLR 8, a very powerful bus, but old fashioned even before it was launched: its heavy welded box frame, its dual rear wheels and horizontal engine meant high costs, both to buy, to use and to maintain. The PLR 8, an urban bus, was equipped with a 125 CV five cylinders MDUH diesel engine, while the PLR 10, an intercity bus, had a 150 CV six cylinders MDZH diesel, later used also on the urban version of the PLR 10. In 1958 a new generation of very low consumption engines was developed thanks to the MAN injection system, but this evolution did not save the model from its fate, as it was not the commercial success the new engine deserved.

With the cooperation of Vétra for the electric systems, Berliet produced a trolleybus version of the PLR 10, named ELR, a variant appreciated in Nice and Marseille.

The scale model represents an urban version (the correct name should be PLR 10 U) of the Monegasque CAM (Compagnie des Autobus de Monaco) with only 20 seated places and large central and rear platform for 70 standing places. The model is in a very elegant white livery with the coat of arms of the Principality on the roof. There is the usual plastic body with metal baseplate, and the exhaust is enhanced in silver.

The red circle on the front means that the vehicle runs a regular service, but it is in contrast with the “Special” in the destination board. The registration plate is not correct for the year, it should be white on blue, the blue on white was released only from 1978. Very likely it is a copy of a preserved and re-registered bus.

A nice front grille is provided, suitably pierced, and good wheels. A well reproduced driver’s cockpit is present as well as a basic interior. Usual added parts like lights, bumpers, mirrors and wipers are fitted. No apparent differences to the French edition. A good choice, fifties buses are the most loved.


 

No. 48 (no. 37 in the French collection) Skoda 706 RO 1947 – In 1859, Count Wallenstein-Vartenberk, owner of an already established foundry and engineering work, set up a branch in Pilsen, then in the Kingdom of Bohemia, part of the Austrian Empire. In 1869, the plant was taken over by Emil Škoda, who soon expanded the firm, and in the 1880s founded what was then a very modern steelwork, which was a leader in arms manufacturing. Exports included heavy castings, such as parts for the Niagara Falls power plant and for the Suez Canal sluices. In 1924, Škoda Works acquired the Laurin-Klement car manufacturer, later known as Škoda Auto.

The companies were separated after 1945, when the whole Czechoslovak economy came under government control : the car works in Mladá Boleslav became AZNP (Automobilové závody národní podnik or National Automobile Manufacturing Industry) today’s Škoda Auto, while the truck plant became part of a conglomerate of nine truck producers headquartered in Liberec as LIAZ (Liberecké automobilové závody), although the trucks and buses were still marketed as Škodas. Later, Škoda became well known in the USSR and other countries as a trolleybus manufacturer, but when in late 1989 the company was privatised very soon mismanagement, and the loss of guaranteed access to the East-European market, led to a collapse. In 1991 the Czech government sought a foreign partner for the passenger car works, choosing Volkswagen with a 30% initial stake, rising to 100% ownership by 1999.

The Škoda 706 RO is an urban bus produced from 1947 on the frame of the 706 R truck, and bodied by Sodomka (from 1948 named Karosa). In 1896 Josef Sodomka founded a manufacturing plant for coaches, and producing automobile bodywork of its own design from 1925, designed to be mounted on automobile chassis produced by Praga. In 1948, the company was nationalised and incorporated into a ‘National Enterprise’, which was then given the name Karosa (acronym for “Factory for carriages, cars, rotors, machine tools, cutting machines and buses”). Karosa become the sole manufacturer of buses in Czechoslovakia, but in 1989, after the fall of the communist regime, Karosa had to reduce its production. Help came from Renault, Karosa later becoming part of Irisbus and then of Iveco Bus. At the time the RO was a modern high capacity bus and was exported to many countries within the communist block, China included. The engine, a Skoda straight six diesel engine with 145 CV, was placed in front next to driver, and the rear axle was propelled by a long driveshaft. The body presented a very long rear overhang. Its heir, the RTO (quite similar, but much more comfortable with a lowered frame), was presented in 1958 and continued serial production until 1972, while it was produced under licence until 1977 by Jelcz (see part 14, no. 40) in Poland.

The scale model represents quite accurately a bus exported to China, with a red and white livery, and a dark grey roof. The Author apologises but he is unable to translate the Chinese characters. At the time China encouraged the workforce to live close to work to limit need for transport to work. Nowadays their cities are blocked by traffic like ours, and worse.

The bus has the usual form of construction with a plastic body and metal baseplate, which is well detailed. A side exhaust is added, as are front and rear tow hooks. Very nice doors and the wheels are fitted. Among the added plastic parts are the usual lights, bumpers, mirrors (five of them) and wipers. On the roof a triangle is fitted, very likely to be used to indicate the presence of a trailer. Another nice reproduction of a bus almost unknown in Western Europe.


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Hachette Italy World Buses Part 14

By Fabrizio Panico.

All text and photographs by, and copyright of the Author unless stated otherwise.

Parts 40 to 42

This time we travel to three continents : Europe, America and Australia. A French bus made in Poland, another American Greyhound and an Aussie Ford, all of them from the Italian Hachette partwork “Autobus dal mondo”, a collection of sixty 1:43 scale bus models, very similar to the French one “Autobus et autocars du monde”, produced in Bangladesh for Ixo.

No. 40 (no. 34 in the French collection) Berliet Jelcz PR100 1973 – We have already seen the Berliet history and its Cruisair (see part 8, no. 22) and PHL 10 ranges (see part 10, no. 30) and how during the fifties Berliet was successful, but then, lacking the resources to innovate, it was acquired by Citroën, already owned by Michelin. After the 1973 oil crisis, Michelin decided to concentrate on its tire business and Citroën was sold to Peugeot and Berliet  to Renault. Renault merged Berliet with Saviem to form Renault Véhicules Industriels (RVI) in 1978. After the merger, the Berliet name was phased out and the last Berliet bus in production, the 1971 PR100, continued to be sold as a Renault until 1993.

The PR100 was a full-size step-entrance single-decker city bus, with over 13,500 buses of the PR100 range produced in France alone. The original PR100 was developed and manufactured based on German practices of the late 1960s, with a self-supporting body and a chassis with a central beam and a welded framework of squared tubes. Available with a rear Berliet diesel V8 engine producing 170 bhp, it was 11.25 m long with three basic variations of seating/standing combinations.

The PR100 was mainly used in France, with some exported to Algeria, Australia (usually badged Mack) and Morocco. The design was licensed to Jelcz in Poland, and used in many Polish cities. Jelcz is a Polish company (Jelczanskie Zaklady Samochodowe) which produced trucks, buses and trolley buses in the communist era. It currently manufacturies offroad military trucks. In 1952 a former German armaments factory in Jelcz-Laskowice near Wroclaw, newly part of  western Poland, was selected to develop and build bodies for Lublin and Star trucks. A company called “Zaklady Budowy Nadwozi Samochodowych” (Car-body Construction Works) was established, and soon produced a small bus on a Star truck chassis. But there was no time to develop new prototypes and in 1958 it was decided to produce under license the Skoda 706 RO (we’ll see it as no. 48 in part sixteen).

In 1972 the Berliet PR100 was chosen for a mass production under license, but soon there were issues with the structure of the body itself as it was not suited to the rough Polish roads (same problem already seen with the ZIS 154, see no. 37 part thirteen) because of the poor quality of the Polish components and the welding process. In 1975 it was replaced by the PR110, now 12 m long, with an higher floor, a better structure, a third door and a more powerful engine, licensed from Leyland.

The scale model is probably based on one of the preserved buses (there are many pictures of it on the web). It feels the “right” weight as the plastic body is fitted with a metal baseplate. It has a bright livery in cream and red, typical of Warsaw (see its famous mermaid insignia on the sides). Many small separate plastic parts are fitted, like lights, bumpers, mirrors and wipers. The model has the correct “square” original shape and the large windows. It has a basic and authentic interior. Nice rear engine grilles are included as is a neat Berliet crest on the front. Correct black registration plates, WA for Warsaw, capital of the Polish Masovian voivodeship (an administrative subdivision, like Italian provinces, of Poland). There are no apparent differences to the French edition. A nice model of a bus quite common in Poland.


 

No. 41 (no. 54 in the French collection) GMC PD-3751 Greyhound 1947 – Greyhound and General Motors have already been our guests, the beautiful Super Scenicruiser as no. 4 in part two, and the GMC history in no. 29 part ten. Greyhound Lines Inc was born in Minnesota in 1914, adopting the famous Greyhound name and insignia from 1929, and after many spin-offs, mergers, and bankruptcies it is nowadays the largest motorcoach operator in the United States and Canada. Its whole history can be easily found on the web,

Here we have the famous “Silversides”, forerunners of the Scenicruisers and Super Scenicruisers. In 1936 General Motors and the Yellow Coach Company showed a groundbreaking coach, the 719 Super Coach, partly financed by Greyhound, an inter-city transport with aluminium semi-monocoque chassis, rear transverse engine, angle-drive transmission, raised platform with large underfloor luggage compartments and much more.

In 1939 it evolved into the PD/PG-3701 and PD/PG-4101, the iconic “Silversides” from their corrugated aluminium sheet side panels. Their name said all : P as Parlor Coach, D as Diesel, G as Gasoline, 37 or 41 as the number of seats. But the Second World War limited production to less than 1,000 units.

When Greyhound plans for a revolutionary postwar bus design did not materialise, 2,000 buses of the familiar prewar Silversides pattern were ordered from General Motors and delivered in 1947 and 1948 : the PD-3751 and PD-4151. The chassis was now 2 feet longer and the engine was the famous Detroit Diesel 6-71 producing 190 hp, a two-stroke inline six, used in many different military vehicles during the Second World War.

The scale model is named GMC, but in reality GMC badges did not appear until 1968, replacing GM, GM Coach and Yellow Coach badges previously fitted. Its striking styling is reproduced well. It has the usual plastic body and metal baseplate. It sports the “classic” blue and silver livery, beautifully reproduced, complete with all the Greyhound decorations. The 1947 registration plate is from California, while the destination board reads “San Francisco”. Very nice wheels, seats and the driver’s area. Many small separate parts are used and nicely “chromed bumpers”. The steering wheel seems to be a bit too big but that is a small point. No apparent differences to the French edition. A good model of an iconic bus, seen in many black and white US movies.


No. 42 (no. 60 in the French collection) Ford Super Coach Greyhound 1937 – Another Greyhound ? not exactly, despite all similarities Greyhound Australia has never had any affiliation with the FirstGroup-owned Greyhound Lines, or their out of USA companies. Greyhound Australia is Australia’s only long national distance coach operator running services in all mainland states and territories. It was formed in 1928 with a service between Toowoomba and Brisbane, creating a full national coach company in the 1970s.

Today it is owned by KordaMentha, an Australian advisory and investment firm. Ford Motor Company of Australia Limited is the Australian subsidiary of US Ford Motor Company. It was founded in Geelong, Victoria, in 1925 as an outpost of Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited. At that time, Ford Canada was a separate company from Ford USA, Henry Ford having granted the manufacturing rights of Ford motor vehicles in the British Empire (later the Commonwealth), excepting the UK, to Canadian investors.

Ford Australia’s first products were Model Ts assembled from complete knock-down (CKD) kits provided by Ford of Canada, followed by Model A and V8. After the Second World War Ford Australia assembled imported Ford models. Initially, they assembled the UK sourced Pilot, then a range of British cars, including the Prefect, Consul, Zephyr and Zodiac. Ford also assembled the Canadian Ford V8 and later fully Australian design like the Falcon. Due to noncompetitive manufacturing costs and poor sales, production ceased in 2016, but Ford are continuing to design and develop cars and trucks for the Asia/Pacific region.

The Greyhound Super Coach is a one-off, built on the chassis of a truck and bodied by the Watt Brothers Coach of Brisbane, with a wood framework and plywood panels covered in sheet metal. Very likely the engine was the classic Ford V8 producing 85 hp. Chassis and body were found some time ago in a local junkyard (see pictures on the web), but it has not yet been restored. Due to its Australian origins, there is a central door on the left side only.

The scale model is true to the original streamlined shape and the white livery seems to be authentic judging by the many old pictures. A plastic body and metal baseplate are used, with an added “chromed” exhaust and front and rear plastic lower fairings. Some plastic parts are added like lights and bumpers. It is basic model with no rear mirrors and one wiper only. A basic interior is fitted but it does have a nice dashboard. A large baggage area with rails is fitted on the roof, but there is no ladder. The registration plates were issued by New South Wales, the “First State”, black on yellow with the prefix Metro, as required for commercial buses in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong districts. As usual there are no apparent differences to the French edition. A nice model of an almost unknown bus.


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Hachette Italy – World Buses Part 10

By Fabrizio Panico

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

Issues 28 to 30

Three more buses, each one from a manufacturer already previously met in this listing: Fiat, General Motors and Berliet, all from the Italian Hachette partwork “Autobus dal mondo”, a collection of sixty 1:43 scale bus models, very similar to the French one “Autobus et autocars du monde”, produced in Bangladesh for Ixo.

No. 28 (not yet issued in the French collection) Fiat 411/1 Cansa ATM 1962 – A typically urban bus, produced by the Italian Fiat Veicoli Industriali (see part 8 no. 23) from 1957 to 1970, replacing the 680RN. Adopted for mass transport in all large cities of Italy, it had a big commercial success : over 1,500 were produced and their legendary strength and reliability extended the working life until well after 1990.

The 411 represented a real revolution in public transport : despite having a front engine (and a large bonnet next to the driver) it had a very low floor, and it was the first to offer power steering and a semi-automatic gearbox. The usual body was by CaNSA (Carrozzerie Novaresi Società Anonima), an ex-aeronautical company, from 1936 in the Fiat Group, based in Cameri, near Novara, founded in 1913 as “Società Anonima Gabardinei” by Giuseppe Gabardinei, to promote and develop aeronautical activities (also a flight school), later CANSA (acronym for “Costruzioni Aeronautiche Novaresi Società Anonima“). In 1946 it started to produce coach bodies (becoming CaNSA or Cansa) as the official bodywork of the Fiat buses. In the late 1960s, the denomination Cansa was abandoned in favour of Fiat Cameri‘s bodywork. The 411 was also available with bodies by specialised bodybuilders like Menarini, Macchi, Piaggio, Portesi, Pistoiesi, Breda F.C., etc.

The first version had the Fiat 203 engine of 10.7 litres developing 150 hp (a diesel straight six, the same unit was also used in the 682 truck), in 1960 the second series, renamed Fiat 411/1, benefited from the Fiat engine 203A/61 of 11.5 litres developing 177 hp. At the same time there were some changes to the body, like the use of a three door front exit. On the same chassis Fiat produced the 2411, the most widely distributed trolleybus in Italy.

The scale model is a faithful reproduction of a restored vehicle, part of the ATM collection (Azienda Trasporti Milanesi). It has a plastic body and metal baseplate which has basic details of the chassis.

The livery and the registration plate are correct for the period. Nice doors and wheels and well modelled windows are evident. Small details like the roof exiting engine exhaust are captured as well. Two rear mirrors, front lights and bumpers are all made as separate parts. A scale model which represents this urban bus, so common everywhere in Italy, very well.

 

No. 29 (no. 22 in the French collection) General Motors TDH-3610 1955 – GMC (General Motors Truck Company) is a division of the American automobile manufacturer General Motors, its production focuses nowadays on trucks and utility vehicles.

General Motors was founded by William C. Durant in 1908, as a holding company for Buick. In 1909 GM purchased the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company, then the Reliance Motor Car Company was also purchased by GM, merged in 1911 with Rapid, and in 1912 the marque “GMC Truck” first appeared at the New York International Auto Show. In 1925 GM purchased a controlling interest in Yellow Coach, a bus manufacturer founded in 1923 by John D. Hertz as a subsidiary of his Yellow Cab Company. After purchasing the remaining portion in 1943 and merging it into their GM Truck Division, GM renamed it GM Truck and Coach Division. Although GM continued with the Yellow Coach product line, the Yellow Coach badge gave way to the GM Coach or just GM nameplate in 1944, while GMC badges did not appear until 1968. GM withdrew from the bus and coach market because of increased competition in the late 1970s and 1980s.

The GM “Old-look” transit bus was introduced in 1940 by Yellow Coach beginning with the production of the model TG-3201 (Transit Gasoline – 32 seats, 1st series). Production of most “Old-look” models was stopped upon the release of the GM New-Look bus in 1959, however some shorter models continued to be built until 1969. About 38,000 “Old-look” buses were built during the 29-year production run, their name is an unofficial term applied after the release of the GM New-Look, this time an official term used by GM to describe their new line of buses.

The GM “Old-look” bus was somewhat streamlined in appearance, had small windows (often with additional windows below the roof), and was built using a monocoque bodywork with steel frame covered with riveted sheet metal panels, rather than the old body-on-frame design. Most “Old-look” buses were powered by the Detroit Diesel 6-71 inline six-cylinder diesel engine, while the shorter models were powered by the four-cylinder version of the same diesel engine, but it was possible to choose a gasoline engine. Manual and automatic transmissions were available, while in 1940 and 1942 a few buses were built with electric propulsion systems instead of a transmission. It was available in several lengths and widths according to local legislations.

In 1946 GM began offering its Thermo-matic heating and ventilation system, 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. Following WW2 an agreement was reached to build GM’s model TDH-3610 under license in Soviet Union (but with diesel-electric propulsion, similar to that used for the TDE-40xx models), and production was assigned to ZiS (Zavod imeni Stalina) as model number 154 (we’ll see it later on, as no. 37 in this series). The ZiS-154 at first used a Yaroslavl YAZ-204 diesel, but supply problems forced a switch to the Detroit Diesel 6-71, also built under license. Problems with the reliability of the drive-train components resulted in the ZiS-154 being discontinued after only four years of production and 1,165 units.

The scale model represents a famous bus : the “Rosa Parks” bus, a TDH-3610 (Transit bus Diesel with automatic transmission – 40 seats, 10th series) of the Montgomery (Alabama) City Lines.

The legal autonomy granted to the southern states after the Secession War led to a series of laws aimed at the reduction of the civil rights of the people of colour. The segregation imposed in private and public places was intended to prevent the creation of a multiracial society. In 1955 a woman, Rosa Parks, refused to surrender her place on the bus to a white. The arrest and subsequent condemnation pushed the then unknown Martin Luther King Jr to launch a protest campaign and boycott against Montgomery bus companies, lasting more than a year. The parallel domestic and international reactions resulted in a first reduction in segregation in 1956, but its abolition took place only in 1964.

The model is quite heavy as it has a metal body and a plastic baseplate. The baseplate is not very detailed and the rear exhaust is only highlighted by silver paint. The baseplate shows the model as “TDH 3714”, which is quite strange. Front and rear bumpers are chromed and separate parts like front and rear lights, front grilles and wipers are used. Well detailed wheels are fitted but only one rear view mirror and a rather basic interior. A nice “GM coach” badge is fitted. The adverts are interesting period items: Hanna Paints at the rear, and the side ones say “Why fight traffic ? Go by bus” and that was in 1955! There are no apparent differences to the French edition.

 

No. 30 (no. 23 in the French collection) Berliet PHL 10 Grand Raid 1966 – We have already seen the Berliet history and its Cruisair range (see part 8, no. 22), and how after the Second World War only commercial vehicle production was resumed, but that Chausson, Isobloc and Renault buses were much more innovative.

In 1951 Berliet launched the PLR8, a very powerful bus, but already old-fashioned. Then in 1956 it launched the PLH, with innovative styling and a beam frame with a base of square section steel tubes and a round tubular body skeleton. The squared body allowed maximum interior space, large windows, a light and practical driving position, and excellent soundproofing. The engine, an in-line five cylinder diesel with 150 CV, was placed horizontally amidship on the right side. To follow the evolving legislation Berliet presented in 1959 an evolution of the PLH, the PHN or “Randonnèe” with an extended wheelbase and an optimised structure, while the old PLH was renamed PHC or “Escapade”. The mechanical components were maintained, with the option of a 6 cylinder engine with 180 CV. The PHN underwent an endurance test from November 1960 to March 1961 at the Autodrome of Miramas : 200 000 km were travelled in 97 days with an 85.86 km/h average. From 1960 the Randonnèe was updated stylistically, and in 1964 to the PH range was added the PHL or “Grand Raid”, an extended version, derived from the PH100, an urban bus for mass transport. During the fifties Berliet was highly successful, but in the sixties the competition with Saviem, Magirus, Mercedes, Scania, Volvo and Fiat was very tough : it was necessary to innovate continuously, but once again resources were lacking and in 1967 Berliet was acquired by Citroen. Between the PLH and PH range, more than 6,000 units were produced.

The scale model has the usual plastic body and metal baseplate, with basic details of the chassis.

Quite a bright livery and superb visibility thanks to the large windows, which are nicely black framed.

The registration plate is from the department of the Alps of Haute-Provence, while Reillanne is a small town in the Luberon regional natural park.

Nice wheels and a well detailed interior are fitted. The seating features nice split individual coach seats with high backrests. The driver’s cab is well detailed. As usual many separate parts are fitted: front and rear chromed bumpers, lights, wipers and front grille. A nice model. There are no apparent differences to the French edition.


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