New Look

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General Motors New Look
General Motors New Look table image.jpg
Years of manufacture 1959 to 1986
Length 29 to 40 feet
Width 96 or 102 inches
Power/Fuel Diesel or Gasoline

The General Motors New Look series (nicknamed "Fishbowl" for its round windshield) was a line of transit buses manufactured and sold in Canada and the United States. In production for over 25 years and with over 44,000 produced, it has become an iconic North American transit bus.

Flxible had their own similar model, that was also called New Look.


General Motors (GM) introduced a new bus design to the North American transit market in 1959, dubbed the "New Look", featuring a number of passenger and operator improvements and design changes including larger windows and better visibility. The New Look design was intended to replace GM's older line of buses (often referred to as the "Old Look" design).

DC Transit System of Washington, DC was the first to take delivery of the New Look, taking 45 TDH-5301 buses in November 1959. GM produced the New Look at their Pontiac, Michigan facility. At the end of 1961, production of the New Look began in London, Ontario. In 1979, GM moved production from London to a new facility in Saint-Eustache, Quebec after securing an order for 1,200 buses from the province's transit agencies.

The New Look proved to be a very popular bus design for GM, and thousands were produced for transit agencies all across North America. Many different variations were offered over the years, including 30', 35', 40' models in transit and suburban (intercity) configurations. Different engine, seating, and door options, in addition to amenities such as air conditioning, offered many choices for transit agencies to fit their needs.

By the end of the 1960s, GM had been working on their next generation transit bus. The new RTS went into production in 1977, replacing the New Look in the United States. A revamped design of the New Look, the Classic, was introduced in 1982 for Canadian customers who weren't overly enthusiastic about the RTS. However despite the introduction of the Classic, the New Look remained in production in Canada. Some American agencies also chose to purchase the New Look and Classic. New Look production finally ended in 1986 with an order produced for Santa Monica Municipal Bus Lines of Santa Monica, California.

In production for almost 40 years, the New Look became ubiquitous in Canada and the United States. Many transit agencies also elected to keep their buses in service past their life expectancy. The Toronto Transit Commission operated a handful of New Look buses until December 2011, and Calgary Transit did the same until February 2014. As of 2015, the Société de transport de l'Outaouais in Quebec still operates one New Look in regular service. Built in 1979, it was completely restored in 2011 and is used occasionally in service.[1] In the United States, Amtran of Altoona, Pennsylvania was the last agency in the country to operate the New Look. The fleet of nine buses was officially retired in June 2018.[2]

Because of their popularity, a number of New Look buses have been preserved by individuals or museums. Many are in operating condition and go out on the occasional excursion.


The New Look used a monocoque structure where the riveted aluminum body supported the weight of the bus. The engine cradle was hung off the back of the roof. This helped reduce the weight of the bus. The first model produced was 40 feet long and 102 inches wide. GM soon introduced models in lengths of 30 and 35 feet as well as a width of 96 inches.

The New Look was commonly powered by the Detroit Diesel Series 71 engine, mostly the V6 version. The engine and transmission were laid out in GM's "V-drive" configuration. The engine was mounted transversely at the rear with the transmission at an approximate 45 degree angle to the rear axle. The powertrain assembly was mounted on a cradle that could be easily removed and replaced.

The original transmission choices were a four-speed non-synchronized manual transmission and an Allison one-speed automatic transmission that transferred power through a torque converter. The two-speed Allison VS-2 with overdrive was later made available. The three-speed Allison V730 was offered beginning in 1977.

The 30 foot New Looks used a T-drive powertrain arrangement with a GMC V6 ToroFlow engine.


The model name breaks down as follows:

Type Engine Transmission Nominal seating capacity Series Air conditioning
T = transit
S = suburban
1st & 2nd generation
D = diesel
G = gasoline1

3rd & 4th generation
6 = Detroit Diesel 6V71
6 = Detroit Diesel 6V92TA2
8 = Detroit Diesel 8V713

H = hydraulic (automatic) transmission
M = mechanical (manual) transmission
- 33 = 29 feet (9.1 m)4
45 = 35 feet (10.7 m)
53 = 40 feet (12.2 m)

two digits5

A = Air conditioning
N = No air conditioning6
  1. Only available for the 33-series.
  2. The Detroit Diesel 6V92TA was available on later 53-series buses as an alternative to the 6V71 and 8V71.
  3. Only 53-series buses were available with an 8V71 engine.
  4. The 33-seriee was not offered in a Suburban version.
  5. For 45-series transit buses odd numbers denote a 96" width and even numbers denote a 102" width.
    For 53-series transit buses odd numbers denote a 102" width and even numbers denote a 96" width.
    All 33-series and Suburbans were 96" wide.
  6. "N" omitted for first and second generation.

The Transit version was configured for urban service and was available with no, single, or double rear exit doors. Suburbans were configured for faster long-distance travel and had raised floors with 2+2 seating, and optional parcel racks and underfloor luggage bays.

The serial number was sometimes added to the model model number on the builder's plate. The "C" (for Canada) prefix indicated buses built in London, Ontario, and an "M" (for Montreal) prefix identified those built in St-Eustache, Quebec. Buses built in Pontiac, Michigan, had no prefix.

30 Foot Transit Models

33 seat model, all 96 inches wide

35 Foot Transit Models

45 seat model

Even numbered models are 102 inches wide, odd numbered models are 96 inches wide.

Hydraulic Transmission

Manual Transmission

40 Foot Transit Models

53 Seat model

Odd numbered models are 102 inches wide, even numbered models are 96 inches wide except for model T6H-5310A which was also a 102 inch wide unit.

Hydraulic Transmission

6 Cylinder engines
8 Cylinder engines

Manual Transmission

6 Cylinder engines

35 Foot Suburban Models

All 6 cylinder engines.
All 96 inches wide.

Hydraulic Transmission

Manual Transmission

40 Foot Suburban Models

All 8 cylinder engines.
All 96 inches wide.

Hydraulic Transmission

Manual Transmission


  1. Le doyen de la STO fête ses 36 ans. 11 May 2015. Société Radio‑Canada.
  2. Amtran retires GMC New Looks. 25 JUne 2018. Press release.
General Motors New Look

30 ft
96 in, hyd, 6 cyl, gasoline: TGH-3301

35 ft
96 in, hyd, 6 cyl: TDH-4517 - TDH-4519 - T6H-4521 - T6H-4521A - T6H-4523A - T6H-4523N
102 in, hyd, 6 cyl: TDH-4516 - TDH-4518
96 in, man, 6 cyl: TDM-4517 - TDM-4519

40 ft
96 in, hyd, 6 cyl: TDH-5302 - TDH-5304 - T6H-5306 - T6H-5306A - T6H-5308A - T6H-5308N
102 in, hyd, 6 cyl: TDH-5301 - TDH-5303 - T6H-5305 - T6H-5305A - T6H-5307A - T6H-5307N - T6H-5309A - T6H-5310A
96 in, hyd, 8 cyl: T8H-5306 - T8H-5306A - T8H-5308A - T8H-5308N
102 in, hyd, 8 cyl: T8H-5305 - T8H-5305A - T8H-5307A

96 in, hyd, 6 cyl, diesel: TDH-3301 - TDH-3301A - TDH-3302A - TDH-3302N

96 in, hyd, 6 cyl: SDH-4501 - SDH-4502 - S6H-4503 - S6H-4503A - S6H-4504A
96 in, man, 6 cyl: SDM-4501 - SDM-4502 - S6M-4503 - S6M-4503A - S6M-4504A