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Eagle History

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Eagle History
Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:49 pm


Editorial note: In the "Casper" project thread, DavidO asked a question about the location of the tag axle in an 01 vs the bogie axle in later models. I have quoted his question below. Joe Laird posted some excellent information about not only the tag/bogie issue, but more importantly, a great dialog about Eagle History.

I split the Casper thread in two and started a new thread on Eagle History.

Jim Shepherd

Nice Eagle. Question on Eagles in general. I noticed that your '67 has the tag behind the drive. My '70 has the tag in front of the drive. I see mine as less desirable because of the increased turning radius.

Any ideas why they switched to the drive in the rear in '70 when it seems like they had it correct in '67?

_________________
DavidO - 1970 Model 05 #8284 - www.tinyurl.com/1970silvereagle




You may have some bad information.

Ask questions on this board and you may feel like you are trying to get a sip of water out of a fire hydrant! Join the fray, we all love it!

Notice Eagle 1,5,10 have the same turning radius.
Also notice in the next post it says they are different, but it doesn't give any numbers. The reason for the bogie/tag change is given in that post also.

MCI 40-foot 7,8,9: Outside body corner, LH & RH = 50' '7" Outside tire, LH & RH = 47' 6"

Eagle 1,5,10: Outside body corner, LH & RH = 44' 3" Outside tire, LH & RH = 41' 0"

MC-5 a,b,c: Outside body corner, LH & RH = 43' 6" Outside tire, LH & RH = 40' 6"

GM 4106 specs just slightly tighter than the MC-5s, at 42' and 38' 6" respectively.

As you can see, the turning radius of the 35' MC-5 is almost identical to the 40' Eagles.
Last edited by akroyaleagle on Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Casper" 1966 Silver Eagle 01
Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:53 pm


HISTORY OF THE EAGLE COACH

The Eagle coach was the result of a contact between Continental Trailways in the
United States and the Karl Kassbohrer bus and coachbuilding firm in Germany.
Kassbohrer had introduced its integral coach range in the beginning of the
1950s. These were called Selbst Tragend (self-carrying). Kassbohrer also was a
pioneer for articulated buses in Europe and its patented trailer section was
dominating the market for a decade or so. One result of the contacts was the
export in 1956 of two articulated coach for Trailways, built on an underfloor
Henschel chassis with Kassbohrer bodywork and trailer. Also in 1956, Kassboher
built a high specification 40 foot 3-axle coach especially designed for
Trailways. In May 1957, Trailways director Mr. Moore and Mr. Otto Kassbohrer
baptized this coach the "Golden Eagle" during a ceremony in Germany. This coach
was a success, and fifty coaches with MAN engines were delivered in 1957 and
1958. In 1958, 41 more Eagles were built by Kassbohrer, though this batch was
to a lower specification. These were called "Silver Eagles", as the "golden"
sides changed to "silver" at the same time.
The result with the articulated coach was such that Trailways ordered four
articulated coaches with the Golden Eagle design. These coaches were delivered
in 1958. They featured underfloor Rolls Royce engines and a Kassbohrer trailing
section, but had the same body design as the rigid examples. However, Trailways
decided to standardize on the Silver Eagle rigid coach, and no more articulated
Eagles were built.
Around 1958, Kassbohrer announced its decision to concentrate on the European
market and declined to build more Eagle coaches for Trailways. Trailways looked
for another European partner that was found in the form of La Brugeoise in
Belgium, an old company mainly building railway equipment. In 1960-1961, La
Brugeoise built 185 Silver Eagles of a somewhat different design, called Model
01. In 1961 the Bus & Car factory was opened. Low labor costs were apparently
the main reason for the decision to build the coaches in Belgium, using many US
components, and then transporting the vehicles to the US. Bus & Car built the
Model 01 until 1968, when the new Model 05 was introduced. The main visible
difference was the interchange of the rear axles, with the tag axle being placed
in front of the main axle, providing for more luggage space, however this change
also resulted in a wider turning radius.
The Model 05 also received a squarer
appearance in 1969, though these design changes were gradual. Late Model 01 and
early Model 05 coaches have the same appearance. Bus & Car produced the Model 05
for the US market until 1976, mainly using Detroit Diesel engines. In 1967 one
prototype 2-axle 102" wide coach was built for Trailways, called the Model 03,
while in 1969-1970 45 3-axle Model 07 coaches to the 102" width were delivered
to various Trailways companies, though these were virtually indistinguishable
from the Model 05.
In addition to the coaches for the US market, Bus & Car developed other models.
The Eagle 04 was a 2-axle coach for the European market, small numbers of which
were sold in, among others, Belgium, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom
around 1966-1970. In 1972, Bus & Car built twenty Eagle 09s for South African
Railways. These had the external appearance of the 05, but were shorter. Other
exports of Model 05 look-alikes were made to Australia (24 coaches) and various
European countries. In 1974 forty Eagle Model 14 buses were built for the
Belgian Vicinal Railways (NMVB-SNCV, series 4285-4324), using Mercedes engines
and SNCV's standard body design. Another effort at building buses resulted in
the delivery of fifteen Eagle 16s with Caterpillar engines to the Brussels
public transport company, MIVB-STIB (series 8046-8060) . While the design of
these buses followed the standard Brussels model they featured "silver skirts"
and a rather special windscreen. By 1978, however, sales had dropped so much
that the company got into financial trouble and was sold to Mol, a
long-established Belgian builder of heavy machinery. Mol had built a small
number of bus chassis and wanted to expand in this area. In total, Bus & Car
built around 4,000 Eagles. 1,450 of these were Model 01 coaches.
Mol revised the Eagle range and added the production of chassis. At the 1979
Kortrijk, Belgium, bus show, Mol showed two different Eagle coaches. One
basically looked like a Model 05 with the Model 01 axle arrangement, but had
bonded windows, a feature never used on the US coaches. Another coach was called
the "Transcontinental". It had the typical European low central exit door. Also
shown were a prototype transit bus which was somewhat reminiscent of the
Brussels Eagle 16, called the "City", and a coach chassis, named the "Touring".
This one had Spanish Irizar bodywork. Also in 1979, Mol built three small
chassis with Cummins engines, the Mol Eagle M28, for Belgian Vicinal Railways
for use on their Brugge city services (series 5559-5561). These received
Jonckheere "Trans City" bodywork. In 1981-1982 a series of 25 bus chassis, Mol
Eagle M31, were built for the Vicinal Railways for use around Gent (series
5715-5739). These had Mercedes engines and received Jonckheere A120 standard
bodywork. In total, Mol produced only fifty Eagles until 1987, when production
ceased. Apparently the "City" transit bus was demonstrated in the United States,
among others in Seattle, though it seems no orders materialized.
Rising labor costs in Belgium and a declining dollar resulted in the decision to
shift production for the US market to the other side of the Atlantic. The Eagle
Coach Corporation factory started deliveries from Brownsville, Texas in 1975.
For one year, the Bus & Car and Eagle factories both produced coaches for the US
market, but since 1976, all US Eagles were produced in Texas. The Model 05 was
built until 1980, when it was superceded by the Model 10, of which 2,217 were
built until 1987. In 1982 a second factory was opened in Harlingen, Texas, to
produce a 2-axle Model 10 Suburban, which met with little success. In 1985
marketing began of the Model 15, a 102 inch wide bus or coach (all the others
had been 96 inches wide). Finally, the Model 20 was introduced in 1987, which
was basically a Model 10 with the external design of the Model 15 - i.e. a
narrow Model 15 with a smaller engine. Externally it is difficult to distinguish
the Model 15 and 20. Over the years, many smaller improvements were made and
some companies ordered special versions of the standard models. For example, New
Jersey Transit bought a special version of the Model 20, called AE-20, which
had, among other features, large destination displays. In 1988, a 2-axle 35 foot
version and a 3-axle 45 foot version of the Model 15 were introduced. In 1989,
smooth sides became an option.The Eagle also became popular as a conversion
shell for motorhomes. Over 3,000 Eagles were built in Texas, mostly for the US
market, though there were some exports, for example to Australia, Mexico and
Taiwan.
In 1987 Greyhound bought Trailways and Eagle, but went bankrupt in June 1990.
Eagle production stopped in December, 1990, and Eagle filed for Chapter 11
bankruptcy in 1991. In October, 1991 the factory was sold to a Mexican
corporation as Eagle Bus Manufacturing, Inc. Production resumed in July, 1992,
but output remained low, with a fairly large proportion of vehicles built as
conversion shells. By the end of the decade the company got into trouble again
and filed for Chapter 11 protection in January, 1998.The Eagle trademark and
product line were purchased by Maplex, and activities were re-launched as Eagle
Coach in August 1998 when some of the old facilities were leased from the town
of Brownsville. Priority was given to the manufacturing of spare parts.
During its production of over four decades, some 8,000 Eagle coaches have been
built in three different countries on two continents, and they have been the
trademark of Continental Trailways for over three decades.
Sources:
Buses Worldwide, Issue 100, May/June 1999 Setra Veteranen Club, Germany Bus
World (MAK Publishing) , March, 1998 Encyclopedia of Buses by Ed Stauss, 1987
Modern Intercity Coaches by Larry Plachno, 1997 Mol Eagle Bus by Walter Deckx
Last edited by akroyaleagle on Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Casper" 1966 Silver Eagle 01
Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:55 pm


OK. So is the rear turning point the drive axle? Maybe turning radius wasn't the correct term I was looking for. Just thinking of ease of getting around corners. I noticed in NYC that all of the buses had the drive axle in front. I've noticed it more in newer coaches also. I assumed that having the axle in front would make the functional wheelbase essentially shorter and easier to get around corners.

Incorrect?
DavidO - 1970 Model 05 #8284 - www.tinyurl.com/1970silvereagle
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Re: "Casper" 1966 Silver Eagle 01
Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:15 pm


I apologize for taking three posts to answer your questions but I don't know how to paste more than one document into a post. I lose the entire post if I move away from it.

Do not see your 05 as less desireable. It is arguably better because the torsilastics are available. There is also quite a lot of controversy about the steel used in the Belgian buses.

The 01 torsilastics are very difficult to locate. Some type of airbag modification is in the future for 01 owners.

However the 01 readily adapts to all the 4 stroke engines. The later models require a lot of engineering to install DD60, Cat, etc. That's a whole different enchilada!

Good to see you active on the Board. Welcome!

I see you have posted again while I was ramblin'.

I have driven a lot of buses. The primary reason I see for the tag is that most of them can be raised. With all the tight corners in cities the tires tend to scuff pretty bad on the tag/bogie if they can not be raised.

That's my story and I am sticking to it.
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Re: "Casper" 1966 Silver Eagle 01
Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:28 pm


Thanks for the info.

Sorry, I didn't mean to hijack your thread Jim. :)
DavidO - 1970 Model 05 #8284 - www.tinyurl.com/1970silvereagle
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Re: "Casper" 1966 Silver Eagle 01
Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:00 pm


Hi-jacking a thread is what usually happens on these Boards. Thankfully, there are guys like Jim who can move them to new threads and make sense out of the patter we do here.

I considered asking Jim to do that with this thread because it bears resurfacing every few years as new Eagle owners looking for information come on Board.

We are fortunate beyond words to have guys like Jim and Dale and others to do all they do for us as most of us are or were virtually imbeciles when it comes to doing things with computers.

You may notice that I frequently edit my posts. It's not because I want to change the info. It's because I haven't found a keyboard that has keys about 1" square to fit my fingers or whatever I typed is not what appeared in the post. Somehow I can read and reread before I post and hit the submit button, but I then review my post and see misspelled words, words I don't recognize, find out the caps lock was on or something like that.

Am I the only one? I think not!

I can't and have no interest in learning to set up Bullitin Boards. So thanks, thanks, and more thanks to those wonderful souls that do this for us!
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Re: "Casper" 1966 Silver Eagle 01
Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:11 pm


I took the liberty of posting your PM here so others could see it also. I hope you don't mind.

Since I said above I don't know how to combine two things in one post, I will post my response below.

"Thanks Joe. So am I reading correctly, that my 1970 would have been made in Belgium? It's shocking that it was worth it to ship them since they're so large and heavy.

_________________
DavidO - 1970 Model 05 #8284 - www.tinyurl.com/1970silvereagle"
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Re: "Casper" 1966 Silver Eagle 01
Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:15 pm


"The Eagle Coach Corporation factory started deliveries from Brownsville, Texas in 1975.
For one year, the Bus & Car and Eagle factories both produced coaches for the US
market, but since 1976, all US Eagles were produced in Texas."

Yes, your Eagle was made in Belgium.

Eagles were not manufactured in the US until 1975. They were probably titled as 1976 models as the model year is set by the year sold rather than the year made.

We have placed the Eagle delivery records on this Board. Virtually all Eagles can be traced to their delivery date and original owner in those records by their VIN.

There is the rare occassion that you don't find one. That may be because somewhere along the 40 or 50 years since made someone has "changed" the VIN.

When converters convert coaches they may issue a Statement of Origin instead of a Title so they or the buyer can title the bus whatever year and model they put on the Statement of Origin.

That's how Canadian's get Eagles since Eagles are not easily imported into Canada. They simply title them in the US as Prevost, install a few French decals and take them home and re-register them in Canada as a prevost. Most of them are older than 25 years and fall under a different "antique" law now and are more easily imported.

The sole reason that they are difficult to import into Canada is that they were made for Trailways and Trailways never existed in Canada. Eagle had no market there so never applied for a Import Certificate. Prevosts are made in Canada. They are sold to the entertainmen industry, wealthy Americans, and some smaller bus companies as tour buses. so they just got a US Import Certificate.

MCI's are made in Canada, trucked to Pembroke, ND and final assembly is done there as I recall. Now you have a joint US and Canada made vehicle so it doesn't require a Import Certificate in either country. Canada also has a huge Greyhound operation.

It's the same as buying a new trailer. You don't get a title because the trailer is newly manufactured and has never been registered in a State. Therefore, there is no Title. The trailer comes with a Statement of Origin issued by the Manufacturer. The Statement is presented by the buyer to their DMV and they pay fees and the Title and plates are issued.

My Eagle is a 1978. I was asked when I had it converted what year I wanted on the Title. I finished it in 1996 and could have titled it a 1997. I am aware of many 2000 model or later Eagles. They have not been manufactured since 1996. Silver Eagle Manufacturing has made one. They have a website, so you can see it. It is not finished and has been around probably at least 5 years awaiting a purchaser. It is a motorhome shell. If it is ever sold, it will probably be titled whatever that year or the next is.

So some folks like to be able to tell everyone they have a 2005 or so Eagle. We all know it is an 01 and hasn't been made for 50 years but except for longtime Eagle owners, no one else knows. You also pay taxes, registration fees and insurance on a inflated price. ETC.

See what an education is available just by asking the right people?

Hope this helps.

Joe
Last edited by akroyaleagle on Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: "Casper" 1966 Silver Eagle 01
Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:17 pm


Jim, please! move this to the right place and clean up the original post made to show us a great looking bus.

Now, I have gone off and had a sandwich and had a lucid moment.

I am aware of just some of the things that are going on in your life and ask of you, like you have nothing else to do but fix our drivel, to give up your time and sort this out.

I apologize for that and humbly ask if there is anything any of us can do for you. I am serious about that offer.

Thanks, Joe
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Re: Eagle History
Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:12 pm


Joe, sorry I had not responded sooner. We were driving back from Pat's convention in Salt Lake.

Rather than do a bunch of editing, I simply split the information in the Casper thread and put it in this "Eagle History" thread. Frankly, I think you did an excellent job of getting the information in place. When you have a few years under your belt, you no longer have to fear the mean English teacher and her stern remarks :lol: :D

Fear not, all of you are welcome to ask any "reasonable" :lol: :o :D favor and I will be glad to try to respond.

As far as our roller coaster ride over the past couple of years, we appear to have leveled off and things are going pretty well. The girls health issues are stabilized, Pat and I enjoy pretty darn good health for our advanced ages :lol: :P . When we think about what some other folks are going through, we realize that we are very fortunate.

BTW, I made this thread a "sticky" which means that it will stay at towards the top of the list of threads in "General Eagle Chat" forum.

Jim
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