Title: The Mercedes-Benz Midibus
Author: Allan Macfarlane
Publisher: Pen & Sword Transport
Specification: 290mm x 220mm,
If, like many enthusiasts, you dismiss van- and truck-derived minibuses and midibuses as something unworthy of consideration as a ‘proper’ bus, this book might start to change your mind.
As a lifelong follower of the affairs of buses manufactured or operated in Bristol, Allan Macfarlane is a name many of us associate with some of the most ‘proper’ buses of the 20th century. He admits to having paid only passing attention to the minibuses of all makes, Mercedes-Benz included, when they came on the scene in the mid-1980s, but gradually came to the conclusion that theirs was a story also worth understanding more deeply.
The sheer numbers of them impressed him, but perhaps most tellingly was his realisation that they had more in common with the halfcab ‘proper’ single-deckers of his childhood and adolescence than we might care to think. A Bristol L, AEC Regal or Leyland Tiger PS1 or PS2 was 8.4m long and had a maximum of 35 seats — statistics that match those of a Mercedes-Benz 811D or 814D.