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Old Look Buses: Yellow Coach and GM in the '40s and '50s Paperback – April 15, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Old Look Buses: Yellow Coach and GM in the '40s and '50s
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  • Welcome Aboard the GM New Look Bus (Enthusiast's Reference)
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  • GM Intercity Coaches 1944-1980 Photo Archive
Total price: $84.86
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mr. Luke has had a life-long interest in buses. From driving buses and managing a bus company in his early years, Luke founded Bus Ride magazine (one of the premier trade journals of the bus industry) and also founded Buses International Association with members in 22 countries around the world. Now inducted into the American Public Transit Association Hall of Fame, Luke has written countless books and articles for various bus publications. He continues to visit and document bus manufacturers and bus systems all over the world. Linda has helped Bill put together many articles when they used to run a bus magazine together, and now has helped contribute toward a handful of books with Bill.Mr. Luke has had a life-long interest in buses. From driving buses and managing a bus company in his early years, Luke founded Bus Ride magazine (one of the premier trade journals of the bus industry) and also founded Buses International Association with members in 22 countries around the world. Now inducted into the American Public Transit Association Hall of Fame, Luke has written countless books and articles for various bus publications. He continues to visit and document bus manufacturers and bus systems all over the world. Linda has helped Bill put together many articles when they used to run a bus magazine together, and now has helped contribute toward a handful of books with Bill.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Enthusiast Books (April 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583882561
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583882566
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,679,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David W. Thomas on July 20, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Once again, the author has produced a very noteworthy color and B&W pictorial on the subject of buses. Many of the photos have never been seen in previous bus books and that's what makes this a fine collection, especially for bus enthusiasts.

As the case in all of the author's books on buses, the captions have incorrect bus model numbers, which is a major disappointment. The author should always have a noted bus historian review the final draft, before submitting the final manuscript to the publisher. To a bus historian, it's unforgiveable to have so many caption errors in a book. The model numbers on a number of pages are wrong, wrong, wrong.
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Bill and associate has done another superb job w/ another bus book released of American buses. The Old Looks had been a neglected bus model, being always overshadowed by its more popular cousins, the New Looks. But, as Bill notes in his book, these buses were anything but "old" in their days. In fact, they were revolutionary in many ways and introduced technology that would be used on the New Look buses and generations of bus models later.
In this book, Bill presents beautiful color photos of the buses. That seems to be the new trend w/ Iconografix books. They are now in color, at least for the upright series. The captions are a lot more detailed than some of Bill's earlier books, which is much appreciated. But, again, the stars of the book are the colorful photos of the Old Looks. Having color vs Black and White is truly the difference between a good and a bad book!
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The book presents a view into a past that I've always have been interested in, that is , the old GM buses. I remember certain old GM buses that I used to take and I did see that model in this book. It bought back memories of jaunty rides, noisy take offs and clunky gear engagement. Disembarking meant holding your nose and breath because of the smoke and smell, but despite these traits, there was an unexplainable excitement about the whole journey. And when the bus did pull away from the curb, you felt the power of the diesel coarsing through you. I also enjoyed viewing pictures from the archives, making me feel as if I stepped back into time to see how cities looked. All in all, an enjoyable read/view.
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Another professional and thorough job by Bill Luke and Linda Metler. The pictures are arranged by geographical area of the companies rather than year of manufacture or model number. I would prefer the latter. Regardless, this is a must for the library of a bus enthusiast.

Fred Albrecht
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Iconografix has done some very fine picture books on transportation subjects but "Old Look Buses" is now my favorite. This pictoral essay of the various companies that operated the different Yellow and GM old Look style buses is presented according to regions of the United states and Canada. The authors have included interesting facts about each bus company as well as the model and version of the bus shown. Coupled with interesting illustrations of GM and Yellow vintage advertising and reproduced postcards, this book is a visual delight. Pages devoted to statistics, GM model identification, and exclusive special orders rounds out this publication. Previous Iconografix bus books were slightly larger than the 112 pages here. However, the inclusion of many color photographs more than makes up for a few less pages. I have two small complaints: 1. The lack of any photos showing the GM Old Look bus rears. GM built different tail light arrangements that would have been interesting to see and compare. 2. None of the photos are dated except for those from the "Powerama" exhibit in 1955. These are minor issues, especially when one views all the fantastic images included. High praise goes to Mr. Luke and Ms. Metler for their effort. My dream would be for the authors to produce a second volume, perhaps with other GM buses that were in production concurrently. Maybe this is asking too much. I really do like this book tremendously as there is nothing else like it on the subject of GM Old Look buses.
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This is a good visual guide if you are into 'Old Look Buses' and are planning to make old look bus models- more color pictures than black and whites so you know the true colors of these buses. Lots of good interesting facts too.
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Format: Paperback
For those keeping score, Iconografix now has issued books covering virtually every GM-designed transit bus known to mankind. Squier and McKane's lovely New Look coaches book was followed up with an exhaustive volume on the RTS coach, and now Bill Luke and Linda Metler have produced a retrospective on the bus that paved the way for both: the so-called Old Look.

Yes, it's refreshing to see an Iconografix title composed mostly of color (not black-and-white) photography, but in some ways, this seems to be a step backwards. Iconografix is well known for so-called photo archives; books that help publish and preserve historic images but offer little text outside of an introduction and subsequent photo captions. Both the New Look and RTS books broke from this tradition to help flesh out the long, intricate histories of those products. If the Old Look is truly as significant as Luke and (forward author) William Wheeler make it out to be, isn't it worthy of a little additional narrative?

Production records for these coaches do exist (and could have been incorporated), and it would have been wonderful to include some explanation as to how each variant of the Old Look -- and, admittedly, there were quite a few -- came into being. Hardcore bus buffs may have that information inscribed inside the vestibules of their hearts, but for younger generations of bus hobbyists (yes, Virginia; we do exist), some of that story isn't exactly common knowledge and is worth spelling out. If there were any two humans best suited to do so in a cohesive and coherent manner, it would be Luke and Wheeler; it's a pity they didn't do just that.

Still, if you're looking for a nicely illustrated retrospective on the Old Look to help fill a gap in your bus book library, this is far from a bad offering, especially when purchased at Amazon's price.
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