Southern Coach Mfg. Co. - 1941-1961 - Southern Coach & Body Co. Inc. - 1961-1967 - Flxible Southern Co. - 1967-1976- Evergreen, Alabama
|Southern Coach Manufacturing Co.
is a known bus builder from WWII through 1961. As did many other bus
builders, they built regular buses and a few trolley buses as well in 1951.
Greenville, SC used a 1951 Southern trolleybus through 1956, when the system was shut down.
Southern also built large parcel delivery vans on Ford P-series chassis in the early 1960s.
ad 1963 GMC Truck Equipment Catalog pp74 - Southern Coach & Body Co.
1968 Silver Book ads as Flxible Southern Company, a subsidiary of Flxible Co, of Loudonville, Ohio.
Stanley Green formed Southern Coach Manufacturing Co. in 1941 to rebuild a group of Southeastern Greyhound Lines front-engine Whites to cab-over-engine styling with Wayne bodies, and during World War II the plant was also used to perform heavy overhaul work for operating companies. Production began on a line of underfloor-engine transit buses in 1945, starting with a 32-passenger version and working up gradually to 35, 41, 45 and 50-passenger buses. Waukesha engines and Spicer transmissions were used at first, with most later buses having Fageol Twin Coach engines or else Leyland or Cummins diesels, with hydraulic transmission. About 1,400 buses were built in all, but very few after 1956; most customers were in the southern states, and a few Southerns were exported. There were also some large government orders. After the plant had closed it was sold in part to Flxible, which used it to build buses and a few truck bodies until it burned down in 1968. Flxettes are now built in a smaller plant in another part of Evergreen. In 1976 production of the Flxette ceased.
Southern Coach also built inclined railway cars for the Tennessee's Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain Incline Railway.
It is significant that Incline #2 continued to operate as a private corporation by the Southern Coach Mfg. Co., until January 28, 1973, when it became part of the Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority.
Attention to the consumer is illustrated by periodic replacement of the Incline cars. Original cars were replaced in 1911 by Kuhlman built cars from Cleveland, Ohio, which did not have open platforms on each end. In December, 1949, these cars were replaced with sleek, streamlined cars (though they never exceeded a speed of 8 m.p.h.) built by Southern Coach Mfg. Co. in Evergreen, Alabama. They used the Kuhlman car under-bodies. Most recently, nostalgically designed, wooden streetcar replicas were purchased in 1987 from Hall Corp. in Pittsburgh. One of the 1949 cars is on display at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum.
Not to be confused with Southern Coach Company, a Durham, North Carolina bus operator founded in 1942 and still in business.
|For more information please read:
Trolleybus Bulletin No 109: Databook II published in March 1979 by North American Trackless Trolley Association (NATTA).
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