August 13, 2015

Project, 1960 Mercedes 0319 Panorama Bus

The Mercedes-Benz O319: Not Your Grandpa's School Bus (But Maybe It Should Be)

In the pantheon of automotive legends, the Mercedes-Benz name conjures images of sleek sports cars and luxurious sedans. But nestled amongst the S-Classes and the SLRs lies a lesser-known gem – the 1967 Mercedes-Benz O319. This wasn't your average car; it was a workhorse, a beast of burden, and, dare we say, a funky fresh icon of a bygone era. Buckle up, gearheads and history buffs, because we're about to take a wild ride through the world of the O319.

Born From Necessity: The O319's Humble Beginnings
The year is 1967. West Germany is booming, the Autobahn beckons with promises of open-road freedom, and...well, public transportation needs an upgrade. Enter the O319. Developed by Mercedes-Benz specifically for the burgeoning public bus market, the O319 wasn't built for speed (though it could hold its own on those German highways). It was built for reliability, passenger comfort, and, let's face it, a bit of Teutonic style.

ALSO READ: A nice sample 0319 bus has been fully restored and rebuilt

Think of it this way: the O319 was the antithesis of the flower-power hippie vans of the era. It was all business, a boxy, no-nonsense machine with a purpose. But beneath that utilitarian exterior lurked some serious engineering muscle.

Under the Hood of the Beast: Power, Efficiency, and Innovation
The O319 boasted a range of diesel engines, churning out a respectable (for a bus) 120 to 180 horsepower. These weren't the loud, smoky beasts of yore. Mercedes-Benz, ever the innovator, ensured these engines were fuel-efficient and surprisingly quiet for their size.

But the O319 wasn't just about brute force. It was a pioneer in terms of safety. Think of features we take for granted today – air suspension for a smoother ride, power steering for those tight city maneuvers, and even (gasp!) seat belts for passengers. In 1967, these were cutting-edge technologies that made the O319 a leader in its class.

A Life on the Road: The O319's Global Journey
The O319 wasn't content to just conquer the German autobahn. This bus, with its rugged build and innovative features, became a global citizen. From the bustling streets of Rio de Janeiro to the dusty plains of Africa, the O319 ferried passengers in comfort and style (well, bus-style, anyway).

It wasn't all smooth sailing, of course. Spare parts could be a challenge in remote areas, and the O319's penchant for German engineering meant mechanics with a Schnauzer and a penchant for bratwurst were often preferred. But through it all, the O319 earned a reputation for being a reliable workhorse, a testament to the Mercedes-Benz commitment to quality.

The O319's Legacy: A Timeless Icon
Fast forward to today, and the O319 is no longer a common sight on the road. Newer, sleeker buses have taken its place. But the O319's legacy lives on. It's a reminder of a time when engineering took center stage, when form followed function, and when a bus could be, well, kind of cool.

The O319 has found a new life with bus enthusiasts and collectors. Vintage bus shows and online forums are filled with passionate owners who meticulously restore these old workhorses to their former glory. There's even a dedicated following on social media, where #O319 posts showcase these boxy beauties in all their glory.

Why We Should All Be Riding the O319 (Maybe Not Literally)
Here's the thing: in today's world obsessed with speed and sleek design, there's something undeniably charming about the O319. It's a reminder that sometimes, the most important things in life aren't about horsepower or flashy features. They're about getting you from point A to point B safely, efficiently, and maybe even with a touch of unexpected style.

So, the next time you're stuck in traffic, longing for a simpler time, picture yourself cruising down the Autobahn in a vintage O319. The windows are down, the air is fresh, and the only soundtrack is the rhythmic hum of the diesel engine. Maybe it's not the most practical choice for your daily commute, but hey, a man (or woman) can dream, right?

Here's an extremely rare and the most collectible microbus especially in Europe made by Mercedes-Benz, as the picture is a Mercedes 0319 bus built in 1960 that comes with a lot of windows commonly known as a panorama bus body style. It's a project, the engine has been replaced with a younger motor from a Toyota truck and has been converted into a camper bus almost about 30 years ago and then parked, if you are interested please read the detail below.

Detail by owner
I have an Extremely Rare 1960 Mercedes 22 Window Bus that I must sell. The Engine and Transmission have been replaced with a 1979 Toyota 20R Truck motor and 5-speed transmission with a 44 Weber carburetor and custom Intake Manifold about 30yrs ago and then parked. At most, it has about 40,000 miles on it. It has an old camper conversion kit in it including Floor Heaters, a Stove, a custom Ladder W/ Roof Rack, dual gas tanks, and a Propane Tank. I recently began to fix it up and get it back into running condition. The Engine, electrical, Carburetor & Cooling system have been completely gone through and rebuilt. The Master Cylinder and (1) Gas Tank are currently being worked on. Other than that, it does need a lot of rust removal for it to be brought back to its original glory. All the original glass is in-tacked but needs new rubbers. It also comes with an extra windshield and dash cluster. Must see to appreciate this rare gem. It won 2nd place at the Laguna Lake "A Gathering of Friends", in the Barn Finds Category.