Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars
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Hot Sixty 4th: A Classic Bonnet Bus

On my 145th post is a nice Japanese Bonnet Bus by Isuzu.

Illustration for article titled Hot Sixty 4th: A Classic Bonnet Bus
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The following info is partly taken from the Curbside Classic website.

In Japan’s post-war era, up until the early 1970s, Japan’s transportation companies, both public and private, used the ubiquitous “bonnet bus.”

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So what is a bonnet bus? The Japanese use “bonnet” to designate the hood or engine cover of a vehicle. These conventional layout buses used an existing truck chassis that exposed their engine “bonnet”, in comparison to a forward control or a rear engine bus that concealed the engine within its bodywork. In fact I believe that most Asian countries with probably the exception of Hong Kong (and maybe some other British colonies) relied on some type of bonnet bus during that time.

Illustration for article titled Hot Sixty 4th: A Classic Bonnet Bus
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Illustration for article titled Hot Sixty 4th: A Classic Bonnet Bus

This model was based on the Isuzu BX 141 in the mid-1950s.

Most buses in Japan used an inline 6 cylinder diesel engine in the 4.0 Litre range. Interiors used both forward facing and side seating.

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Photo borrowed from Curbside Classic
Photo borrowed from Curbside Classic

Here is, I believe a representation of the actual Isuzu bus.

Car ownership during the post war era was still mostly for the wealthy. Buses and trains were the main mode of transportation and these coaches were an everyday sight on Japan’s streets.

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Illustration for article titled Hot Sixty 4th: A Classic Bonnet Bus

In comparison to today where Hino has the largest share of the Japanese bus market, Izusu was by far the largest producer of buses and trucks in the post-war period through the 1970s.

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This model is a reproduction of a vintage ‘76 release by Tomica during the black box era simply called Isuzu Bonnet Bus. Nicely detailed in 1/110 scale, the base is metal like the Japan made original and no separate paint on the head and taillights. Nice 2 tone color as well. I would definitely love to see one made for the Tomica Limited Vintage.

Illustration for article titled Hot Sixty 4th: A Classic Bonnet Bus
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Illustration for article titled Hot Sixty 4th: A Classic Bonnet Bus

This not only came with the black box, it also came with a reproduction catalog.

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Illustration for article titled Hot Sixty 4th: A Classic Bonnet Bus

I don’t know how many variety of reproductions were made at that time but having discovered this series was a wonderful way for me to acquire both the catalog and model at a very reasonable price.

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