OLD LOOK BUSES 1940-1960

Numbers    Builder    Built    Model      Last Operated  Notes

  61-  72  GM         1947     TDH-3207   1963           ex-CMC/diesel
 431- 440  Ford       1944     49-B       1955           ex-CMC/diesel
 500- 600  GM         1948     TDH-5502   1969           ex-CMC/diesel
 601- 700  GM         1950-51  TDH-5103   1972           ex-CMC/diesel
1001-1008  Mack       1951     C-50-DT    1959           ex-CMC/diesel
1101-1144  Yellow     1939     TD-4501    1962           ex-CMC/diesel
1145-1169  Yellow     1940     TD-4502    1965           ex-CMC/diesel
1170-1204  Yellow     1942     TD-4505    1966           ex-CMC/diesel
1205-1399  GM         1945-46  TD-4506    1966           ex-CMC/diesel
1400-1464  GM         1947-48  TDH-4507   1969           ex-CMC/diesel

2700       ACF-Brill  1949     C-48       1966           propane/demo
2701-2750  ACF-Brill  1951     C-44       1966           propane
5000-5499  Twin       1950     52-S2P     1972           propane
5500-5799  Flxible    1953-54  FL2P-40    1973           propane
5800-5999  Flxible    1954-55  FT2P-40    1973           propane
7200-7299  Mack       1956-57  C-49-PGT   1972           propane
8000-8149  Flxible    1956-57  FT2P-40    1973           propane
8200-8349  Flxible    1958-59  FT2P-40    1973           propane
8400-8498  Flxible    1959     FT2P-35    1973           propane/35 foot
8499       Flxible    1960     FT2D-40    1973           diesel/new front

Includes diesel buses acquired from Chicago Motor Coach Co. (CMC) in 1952.

The arrival of propane buses throughout the 1950's enabled elimination of Chicago's streetcars, with the last streetcar conversion made in 1958. In addition, the new buses enabled retirement of most of the buses originally acquired by Chicago Surface Lines.

The first propane buses 5000-5499 were originally assigned to the Lawndale, North Ave., North Park, and 77th Street garages, the first garages equipped with the required special propane fueling equipment. But by the mid 1950's, those buses assigned to Lawndale and 77th St. were transferred to the newly opened Forest Glen garage, and to the newly converted Kedzie garage. Propane was discontinued at Lawndale due to local opposition, fearing propane explosions, although only two significant propane accidents ever occurred during CTA's 25 years of using propane. And the buses at 77th St. were replaced with new buses of the 5500-5999 series.

The arrival of buses 5500-5999 coincided with the conversion of 69th Street carhouse, from an all streetcar facility to an all propane bus facility. And some of those buses went to 77th Street.

The ACF-Brill buses 2700-2750 were assigned to 77th Street garage. The Mack buses 7200-7299 were originally assigned to 69th Street and 77th Street garages. And buses 8000-8498 were assigned to various garages equipped for propane, including North Park and 77th Street, whose buses replaced Chicago's last streetcars. Also in 1959, Archer garage was equipped to house propane buses.

Bus 8499 was actually a prototype of the New Look buses, which would arrive throughout the 1960's and 1970's. By then, propane would no longer be more economical than diesel. And nearly all New Look buses would be diesel.

The arrival of the 3700 series Flxible New Look buses in 1968, meant the end for many of the original propane buses 5000-5499. And in 1972 and 1973, the arrival of the General Motors 1000 and 7400 series buses meant the end of all remaining Old Look buses.

After CTA acquired the Chicago Motor Coach Co. in 1952, the former CMC diesel buses were initially assigned to the CMC garages. 52nd St. garage had buses from the series 1101-1144, until replaced in the 1960's by New Look buses. Wilcox garage had most buses in the series 1145-1399 until closure in 1955, when its operations and buses were consolidated into Kedzie garage, where they operated until replaced in the 1960's by New Look buses. Keeler garage had buses from the series 1400-1464, until the arrival of New Look buses in the 1960's, when they were transferred to North Ave. garage for use on the Lake Street route, requiring the narrower buses due to the elevated structure. Rosemont garage had buses from the series 500-600 until closure in 1957, when those buses were transferred to Archer garage, because the routes based at Rosemont were transferred to North Park garage using all propane buses. Additional buses from the series 500-600, along with buses from the series 601-700, had been based at 52nd St. garage, but ended up at 77th St. garage. And additional buses from the series 601-700 had been based at Keeler garage and Ravenswood garage. When Ravenswood garage was closed in 1955, those buses and routes were transferred to Limits garage, with the buses transferred to Lawndale garage in 1961 after the arrival of New Look buses.

In addition, former CMC buses 61-72 were assigned to Wilcox garage for downtown shuttle routes, buses 431-440 were assigned to Rosemont garage for certain minor routes, and buses 1001-1008 were assigned to Keeler garage.


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Some roster information is from the September 1971 issue of the magazine "Motor Coach Age".