Flxible New Look

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A Flxible New Look preserved by the MTA.

The Flxible New Look bus was a line of transit buses manufactured and sold in the United States. It was a major competitor to the popular New Look bus from General Motors.

History

Flxible introduced their own "New Look" design in 1960. Regular production began in 1961, replacing the Flxible Twin model. The Flxible New Look was produced until 1978 when it was replaced by the "870" Advanced Design Bus. Over its 17 year production run 13,121 Flxible New Look buses were manufactured.

Interested in entering the Canadian market, Flxible licensed their New Look design to Canadair in 1965. Canadair was an aircraft manufacturer located outside of Montreal, Quebec in Saint-Laurent. The 40-foot transit bus was given the model name CL-218. Only a small number of buses, ordered by the Commission de transport de Montréal, were ever produced.

Design

The Flxible New Look looked similar to General Motors's New Look design. Both buses had a large 6-piece "fishbowl" windshield, fluted aluminum siding, and oblique passenger windows. The first model introduced was 40 feet long and 102 inches wide. In 1963, Flxible introduced 31, 33, and 35 foot models that were 96 inches wide.

By the end of the 1950s, GM was forced to sell its engines and transmissions to other manufacturers, free of royalties. Like GM's New Look, the Flxible bus could be fitted with a 6 or 8-cylinder Detroit Diesel Series 71 engine. Unlike GM, however, Flxible also used the inline 4-cylinder Series 71 engine. Furthermore, while GM did not offer an 8-cylinder engine in their 35-foot bus, Flxible did. The alternative to Detroit Diesel engines came from Cummins. The majority of Flxible New Look buses used diesel-fueled engines, but the Chicago Transit Authority placed an order for 150 propane fueled buses in the mid-1960s.

In 1964 Flxible introduced a suburban model intended for longer distance highway routes. The buses were equipped with all forward-facing high-backed seats and overhead luggage racks. They do not feature a rear exit door or standee windows.

Model designations

Letter and number designations gave a basic description of the type of bus.

First Generation (1960-1969)

  • F = manufactured by Flxible (this dates back to when Flxible purchased the Twin Coach's transit bus line).
  • 2 = 102-inch wide bus
  • D = diesel engine, or P = propane engine.
  • 47 = Detroit Diesel 4-71, 6V = Detroit Diesel 6V-71 engine, 6V5 = 6V-71 engine and built in Evergreen, AL, 6VT = 6V-71 engine with a T-drive transmission, or V8C = Cummins 165-285 engine.
  • -31 = 31-foot, -33 = 33-foot, -35 = 35-foot, or -40 = 40-foot.
  • 1 = transversely mounted engine.
  • -1 = transit bus or -7 = suburban bus.
  • -UL = under-floor luggage bays
  • -AC = air conditioning

Models

Second Generation (1966-1973)

  • 1 = manufactured in Loudonville, OH, or 4 = manufactured in Evergreen, AL
  • 11 = transit bus with a transversely mounted engine.
  • C = 40-foot, D = 35-foot, G = 31-foot, or H = 30-foot.
  • C = 102-inch wide, or D = 96-inch wide.
  • -C1 = Cummins V8 190-265 engine, -C3 = Cummins V8 903 engine, -D1 = Detroit Diesel 4-71 engine, -D4 = Detroit Diesel 6V-71 engine, -D5 = Detroit Diesel 6V-71 engine with a V-drive transmission, or -D6 = Detroit Diesel 8V-71 engine with a V-drive transmission.
  • -1 = air conditioning

Models

Third Generation (1973-1978)

  • 35 = 31-foot long bus with a nominal seating capacity of 35 passengers, 45 = 35-foot long bus with a nominal seating capacity of 45 passengers, or 53 = 40-foot long bus with a nominal seating capacity of 53 passengers.
  • 096 = 96-inch wide, or 102 = 102-inch wide.
  • -6 = Detroit Diesel 6V-71 engine, or -8 = Detroit Diesel 8V-71 engine.
  • -0 = no air conditioning, or -1 = air conditioning.

Models

Canadair built models (1965-1966)

All buses manufactured by Canadair Ltd. carried the model designation of "C-F CL-218". They were 40 feet long, 102 inches wide, and powered by transversely mounted Detroit Diesel 6V-71 engines.