Journal: A Friendly Reminder That Public Transportation Used To Be Cool

A Friendly Reminder That Public Transportation Used To Be Cool

Michael Banovsky By Michael Banovsky
October 2, 2015
6 comments

This is the 1956 Viberti Golden Dolphin, a gas turbine-powered, high-speed touring coach that was capable of 125 mph. Designed and built in Italy (where else?), its 400 horsepower, torpedo-like shape, and massive greenhouse made from acrylic glass (we now call it Plexiglass) must have looked like a low-flying UFO when on test runs.

Except that it likely never made a test run, remaining only a fanciful mock-up. Where is it today? Nobody knows.

While the Golden Dolphin never got to swim with Autostrada traffic, it’s far from the most extreme example of public transportation. Like cars, busses, trucks, and other machinery were also given the carrozzeria treatment, and the fitment of bodywork to support a specific need was very common.

Zagato designed cabs for Isotta-Fraschini trucks, Alfa Romeo commercial vehicles often wore elegant bodywork, and every commercial vehicle manufacturer from Bedford to Mercedes-Benz has a back catalogue filled with sleek, stylish busses that would—in my humble opinion—encourage more people to use public transit today.

That said, there is one bus that deserves special mention for being completely insane in every way: the incredible Currus-rebodied Citroën U55s (yes, more than one was made) that did duty for Groupe Cityrama as Parisian tour busses.

Have you had the pleasure of traveling in a beautiful, classic bus?

Image Sources: darkroastedblend.comdieselpunks.orgmyntransportblog.comideafixa.comimcdb.org

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أنظمة النقل التي كانت أكثر تطورًا من الزمن التي اخترعت فيه - مدونة وي ويزTransportation Systems That Were Too Far Ahead of Their Time – anSabriTransportation Systems That Were Too Far Ahead of Their Time – The Science PageJeremy DeConciniVictor Smith Recent comment authors
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[…] أن حافلة الرحلات عالية السرعة هذه يمكنها السفر بسرعة تصل إلى 201 كم/ سا بفضل المحرك العامل بالغاز والذي يصل إلى قوة 400 حصان. […]

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[…] high-speed touring coach was allegedly capable of traveling at 201 km/h (125 mph) thanks to its 400 horsepower gas turbine engine. The Italian super-bus never became a reality, but […]

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[…] high-speed touring coach was allegedly capable of traveling at 201 km/h (125 mph) thanks to its 400 horsepower gas turbine engine. The Italian super-bus never became a reality, but […]

Jeremy DeConcini
Jeremy DeConcini

Catalina Island has some really cool vintage buses giving tours on the island, check it out if you get the chance!

Victor Smith
Victor Smith

Whats the Iron Curtain greenhouse bus?, thats straight out of Thunderbirds!

JB21
JB21

Though buses aren’t all that cool looking today (probably except for the new London bus), trains are still (or more than ever) very interesting in their designs. And don’t forget aeroplanes, Deamliner is astonishingly pretty in person.