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Budapest vs. London

Two stunning films on buses

29/10/2013 10:44 | Comments: 

Contributing editor

Sipi is a fairy who hangs above us like a huge, ever-smiling, men’s fragrance-smelling umbrella. He can be called anytime, anywhere to lend a helping hand, and he’ll be there in an hour with one of his Transits for sure. A dangerously maniac car collector (the street in front of his house is full of his vehicles), a radio-control and model car freak, Sipos is a Swiss knife made of human flesh. Totalcar is just one job amongst his zillion occupations, but he endears it the most. Lives with a girlfriend and two dogs.

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  • Mitsubishi Sigma 3.0 24V (1992)
  • Mazda 323 TXL 4WD (1990)
  • 4 long-nose Transits (a 4x4 fire engine, a fire department staff car, an ex-Irish ambulance and an extremely oversized panel van, 1980-1984)
  • Dacia 1300 (1975, being restored)
  • Ford Capri 2.9i (1982)
  • Mercedes-Benz 280 SEL 4.5 (1972)
  • Ford Sierra Tournier 2.9i drift-car (1992)
  • Mazda 121 4dr (1993)
  • Suzuki VS1400 Intruder (1989)
  • Suzuki GSX 750 New Katana (1984)
  • Kawasaki Z1000 Police (1993)
  • Aprilia Habana (2000)
  • Volga M24 wagon (1984)
  • Ural M62 (1968, in pieces)
This is how buses of the two capitals were being overhauled decades ago.

I stumbled upon a Hungarian short film made in 1971 the other day. It shows how the Ikarus Type 180 articulated buses were overhauled after 300,000 km of service. You don’t see such extensive work being done on old buses nowadays, although many of the Budapest City Transport’s vehicles are in great need of a full overhaul. Never mind that the film is Hungarian narrated, the pictures speak for themselves.

I immediately recalled the words of a friend of mine. A few years ago I saw a similar film about overhauling London doubledecker buses. When I shared the link of the video with my friend, he made an ironic comment: ‘Now I can declare that the Hungarian Ikarus buses were the best buses ever. I used to work at a Budapest Transport garage for a few months, and I can tell you, those buses had never received such treatment. And those old Ikarus buses are still running. Coughing smoke, breaking down every two weeks, each body panel covered in rust on, but running.’ Well, here’s the film shot in 1956-57 showing London Transport’s Aldenham Bus Overhaul Works. You can decide for yourself whether the Hungarian or the British overhaul was more professional.

The film linked above has the original sound and the original commentary, but if you would like to see an almost identical version with better picture quality and new commentary, check this out:

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