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1950-59 EQUIPMENT PHOTOS (Page 3)
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Detroit D.S.R. (Department of Street Railways)
GM "OLD-LOOK" COACHES – MODEL TDH-5105
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HISTORY FOOTNOTE:  The 8-story former Wayne County Savings Bank Boulevard Building in
the background—known today as the Lakeshore Building—opened as the Ford Motor Company Sales and
Service Building in 1913.  When Ford vacated the building in 1919, the bank moved in and renamed it.
After the bank moved out, the building went through an extensive reconstruction during the mid-'60s,
stripping the facade of all of its terra-cotta facing and replacing it with an aggregate facade.  The State
of Michigan moved into the building after the renovation, housing its Labor Department, and
remained there until 2000.  The building was bought by Lakeshore Engineering Services, Inc. in 2005.
[photo courtesy of the Carl D. Dutch transit photo collection]
HISTORY FOOTNOTE: Vita-Boy was one of over twenty potato chip manufacturers located within
the city of Detroit during the 1940's-1960's.  Of the local potato chip makers at that time, including
Wolverine, Krun-Chee, Everkrisp, Mello Crisp, Twin Pines, Vita-Boy and New Era, only Better Made
Potato Chips still remains today as a Detroit-based owned and operated potato chip company.
[slide-photo reproduction courtesy of Stan Sycko]
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This photo zooms in on the front driver's compartment area of a DSR TDH-5105 Old-Look
coach.  Clearly visible is the large Thermo-Matic heating and ventilation system blower unit that
was located directly above the driver's compartment.  The soft pastel color decor of pink, light
grey-green, glades green and medium gray would continue on subsequent fleets, however,
National Seating Co. seats would now be used beginning with the 1956 deliveries
(#1331–f.).
[site-owner's collection photo, courtesy of the Schramm photos collection]
With all of the DSR PCC streetcar lines having now been converted over to GM diesel buses, an
additional fleet of these large-capacity coaches would be purchased to retire all of the small-size
Fords, Transits and most of the Checker coaches.  On August 21, 1957, delivery would begin on
the last 75 Old Looks (#1481-1555), bringing to 355 the total number of TDH-5105's purchased
by the DSR—most of which were utilized on heavy local and express routes.  Although almost
identical to the later previous fleets, one minor noticeable change included a RCA ribbed "gray"
mottled (spotted-color) rubber flooring instead of the ribbed RCA "green" rubber flooring.
[site-owner's collection photo, courtesy of the Schramm photo collection]
A second fleet of 75 TDH-5105's (#1226-1300) began arriving on January 12, 1954, in time to
begin the first conversion of the PCC's to buses on Jefferson Avenue on February 7, 1954.  The
5105 was the DSR's first 102" wide coach, and came equipped with a six-cylinder 6-71 Detroit
Diesel engine and a 2-speed GM/Allison V-drive hydraulic (automatic) transmission.  The fleet
arrived sporting the DSR livery of cream with red trim.  Like the GM TDH-4008's  delivered in
1947, the first 100 TDH-5105's came equipped with split-sash passenger windows—a feature
used to protect the arms and elbows of passengers.  In the above photo, coach #1249 poses at
the Gilbert Terminal bus garage while still displaying its "JEFFERSON/ALTER" route-sign.
In this 1969 photo, DSR "old-look" coach #1285 (although worn and battered) is still hanging in
there after nearly sixteen years of service.  In this photo, which looks north along Woodward
Avenue at Manchester, coach #1285 is headed southbound, preparing to turn right onto the
private-right-of-way that led into the DSR's Highland Park Terminal.  The roll sign seems to
indicate that the coach was pulling in after working the Woodrow Wilson line.  Click-on the
above photo to display the coach in its complete setting, including a glance at the store-fronts
that use to line the east-end of the Highland Park property, along Woodward Avenue.
[photo courtesy of the Krambles-Peterson archive collection: G. Mac Sebree photo]
On October 20, 1953, delivery would begin on the DSR's first fleet of 25 "large-capacity" GM
diesel transit coaches—Model TDH-5105.  Over the next four years the DSR would purchase a
total of 355 of these 40-foot long, 51-passenger, air-suspension coaches—many of which would
be used to replace the PCC streetcars on Jefferson, Michigan, Gratiot, and Woodward avenues.
The first order of 25 coaches (#1201-1225) would be assigned to the then busy
Grand Belt line.
Grand Belt coach #1208 above is heading west along W. Grand Blvd., having just passed Third
Street and the Fisher Building
(distant background) en route to the Wyoming Terminal Loop.
[DSR Files photo – courtesy of 1954 D.S.R. Annual Report publication]
Beginning August 30, 1955, the first of 30 GM TDH-5105 coaches (#1301-1330) would begin
arriving, which would enable the DSR to eliminate the PCC streetcars along Michigan Avenue on
September 7, 1955.  Although similar in appearance to the #1200-series (minus the split-sash
windows), these coaches sported new interior colors and were "speedier" than the earlier model.
These would be the last DSR Old Looks to arrive sporting the cream with red trim paint scheme.
[site-owner's collection photo, courtesy of the Schramm photo collection]
(Click-on photo to view larger image)
The 150 GM TDH-5105's that began arriving March 14, 1956 (#1331-1480), would be used by
the DSR to replace the last of its PCC streetcars on the Gratiot and Woodward Avenue lines; and
arrived sporting the new revised DSR color scheme of ivory
(yellowish-white) with green
trimming.  Coach #1421 is seen boarding passengers south along Woodward Ave. at Grand Blvd.
After the PCC streetcars were eliminated off of Woodward Avenue—effective April 8, 1956—
the GM "old-looks" would begin providing bus service along Woodward, as seen in the above
photo.  This photo, taken during the late 1950's at the intersection of Woodward and Owens
(Clairmount), shows coach #1411 headed north to the McNichols turn-around at Palmer Park.
[photo courtesy of the S. Sycko photo collection]
How about that! ...a DSR Old Look coach dressed up as a DSR "Mini-Bus."  Two of the remaining
TDH-5105's left on the property (coaches #1225 and #1526) were repainted in 1969 and used as
stand-by coaches for the two downtown Mini-Bus routes.  Although six 19-pass Minibuses were
already used by the DSR for mini-loop service, the two (51-pass) 5105's were painted gray with
green and red peppermint strips to resemble the mini bus fleet.  In this 1969 photo, coach #1225
is seen working the Mini-Loop #2 route, and headed east along State Street, crossing Griswold in
downtown Detroit.  The two "Mini" Old Looks were one of the last 5105's to be retired in 1973.  
[photo courtesy of the Krambles-Peterson archive collection: G. Mac Sebree photo]
In this 1968 photo, DSR coach #1318 poses at the east-side Shoemaker Terminal while proudly
displaying its Vita-Boy Potato Chips ad-card. Vita-Boy was owned by Famous Foods, Inc. of
Detroit, and proclaimed to be the only potato chips with vitamin B-1 added.  Vita-Boy often
purchased ad-space on DSR buses during the 1960's, especially on the DSR GM Old-Looks.
After the arrival of the 1956 deliveries (#1331–f.), the first 130 cream with red trim Old Looks
were repainted with the new and revised ivory
(yellowish-white) with green trim paint scheme.
The above photo (taken in October of 1968) shows DSR #1200-series 5105's still sporting their
ivory and green livery (and their split-sash windows) while parked at the Shoemaker Terminal.
Ninety-six of the 1200's were either sold to other properties or scrapped between 1968-69.
[photo courtesy of Tom's Trolleybus Pix-Detroit stuff, photo taken by Roberta Hill]
Coach #1337, delivered back on March 24, 1956, is seen here some 12-½ years later parked
along the south-end of the DSR Shoemaker Terminal property in October 1968, still sporting its
original ivory and green paint scheme design.  After the delivery of 146 GMC T6H-5305
"new-looks" in 1968, many of the remaining 5105's were assigned to light service routes.  By the
end of FY1971, there were 145 TDH-5105's left on the roster.  The last five were retired in 1973.
[photo courtesy of Tom's Trolley Bus Pix-Detroit stuff, photo taken by Roberta Hill ]
Although the rear stop lamps and directional signals on most GM Old Looks were located on the
engine compartment doors, all of the DSR TDH-5105 fleets were ordered with their directional
signals/rear lights mounted above the engine compartment doors to provide space for
advertising signs.  In left photo, coach #1207 can be seen with an advertising sign located on the
right engine compartment door, while the right photo shows how the DSR often times utilized
the entire rear-ends of its 5105 Old Looks
(below the rear windows) as a moving billboard.
[photos: courtesy of Jim Husing collection (left) – courtesy of C. Dutch collection (right)]  
This photo shows the interior view of a typical early-1950s GM TDH-5105 "old-look" coach.  
Although the above photo is of a Twin City Lines
(Minneapolis-St. Paul) TDH-5105, it's typical
of the basic rear interior view found on the early DSR Old Look fleet.  Unlike the coach above,
the DSR's #1200-series fleet followed an interior color scheme of pink upper panels and ceiling;
a light grey-green color around the windows and front windshield; while the doors, lower wall
panels and front dash panel were dark green.  The seating was supplied by Ionia Manufacturing
Co. of Ionia, MI, while the 26" wide aisle floors were covered with a black 3/16" ribbed flooring.  
The DSR fleet also used two-piece
(lower stationary, upper raise) split-sash passenger windows.
[photo source: online – unknown (unidentified) photo collection]
This photo shows the interior of DSR Old-Look coach #1315.  Even though the basic interior
remained similar, the color schemes differed among the various fleets.  While the #1200-series
followed a scheme of pink, light grey-green, and dark green, the #1300-series fleet would begin
a move toward pastel colors to create a warmer atmosphere.  The new color decor included pink
upper panels
(ad-card holders and ceiling); light grey-green around the windshield, passenger
and standee windows; glades green
(bluish-green) doors; and a medium gray front dash panel.  
Glossy turquoise vinyl lower trim panels (with broken white and yellow thread pattern) replaced
the green wall panels, while a ribbed mottled green flooring replaced the ribbed black flooring.
The seating on this fleet was now supplied by American Seating Co. of Grand Rapids, MI.
[site-owner's collection photo, courtesy of the Schramm photos collection]
(Click-on photo to view larger image)
Beginning in 1969, a number of the #1200-series Old Looks were sold to other properties,
including Virginia Transit, Queens Transit, and a number of American Transit Corp. properties.  
Eight were sold to Queens Transit (NY), repainted, and renumbered #872–879.  Former DSR
#1280 is seen in the right (1971) photo as Queens Transit #878, while ex-DSR #1348
(left) was
photographed in the Chicago & Calumet District Transit Company
(American Transit Corp) yard
in Hammond, IN in 1974.  In 1971-72, eleven of the later DSR 5105's were sold to Southeastern
Michigan Transportation Authority (
SEMTA) for use on its Lake Shore Division routes.
[Krambles-Peterson Archive (left) – Doug Grotjahn photo, BusTalk U.S. Galleries (right)]
HISTORY FOOTNOTE:  The 8-story former Wayne County Savings Bank Boulevard Building in
the background—known today as the Lakeshore Building—opened as the Ford Motor Company Sales and
Service Building in 1913.  When Ford vacated the building in 1919, the bank moved in and renamed it.
After the bank moved out, the building went through an extensive reconstruction during the mid-'60s,
stripping the facade of all of its terra-cotta facing and replacing it with an aggregate facade.  The State
of Michigan moved into the building after the renovation, housing its Labor Department, and
remained there until 2000.  The building was bought by Lakeshore Engineering Services, Inc. in 2005.
HISTORY FOOTNOTE: Vita-Boy was one of over twenty potato chip manufacturers located within
the city of Detroit during the 1940's-1960's.  Of the local potato chip makers at that time, including
Wolverine, Krun-Chee, Everkrisp, Mello Crisp, Twin Pines, Vita-Boy and New Era, only Better Made
Potato Chips still remains today as a Detroit-based owned and operated potato chip company.
THE 1920's
1  2  3  4
THE 1930's
1  2  3
THE 1940's
1  2  3  4  5
THE 1950's
1  2  3
THE 1960's
1  2  3
THE 1970's
1  2  3
THE 1980's
1  2  3
THE 1990's
1  2  3
THE 2010's
1   2
THE 2000's
1   2