2932 at 6th and Main

Ralph Cantos Collection

Ralph Cantos Collection

LAMTA no. 2932 is shown here in 1959 at the “bus layover yard” below the 6th & Main elevated tracks.

From Ralph Cantos:

These buses numbered 2900 to 2934 were very special,as buses go. They were ordered new to replace the rail service on the San Fernando Valley line. These buses were “deluxe” in every respect. They were the FIRST AIR RIDE BUSES built by General Motors in 1953. They were a “California Only” model TDH-4801. GM built buses in 3 lengths for the USA market. GM’s buses came in 30 foot / 35 foot / and 40 foot models. Most big city operators opted for the 40 foot-51 passenger units. PE actually had 200 of the 40 foot models already in service numbered in the 2700 / 2800’s that had been delivered in 1950 / 51. LATL also had a batch of them numbered in the 6400’s. All were spring ride . BUT,the California Division of Streets and Highways felt that the weight over the rear axles exceeded Calif. standards and out lawed the further purchase of any more 40 footers. Well, GM was not about to sit by and lose orders of 100’s of new buses to California operators (LA’s PE and LATL, San Diego Transit System, and Greyhound ) to name a few. So the boys at GM cut 2 and a half feet off their standard 40 foot TDH 5105 model and created the 37 and a half foot “California Only” model TDH 4801 (48 passengers) These 4801’s were sold new only in California. PE got the VERY FIRST 4801’s ever built, which also incorporated GM’s first “AIR RIDE” system. Because the 27’s , 28’s and 2900’s were all used to replace rail lines (the 27 and 2800s were Northern District replacement buses) they were DELUXE all the way with fabric covered seats, forced air ventilation. extra chrome inside and out. Although several 4801’s have been preserved, all 35 of PE’s 2900,s went to MEXICO and were lost. An attempt was made to save 4801-001, but Mexico would not let it go back to the US. As nice as these buses were at the time, they were no match in terms of comfort, speed, and size to the wonderful and magnificent PE rail cars they replaced.

Ralph Cantos Collection

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Start typing and press Enter to search

error: Please, no downloads.