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English   The long road to the rear-mounted engine
17.11.2011 von admin


Demands for comfort also began to be heard again. The customers appreciated the painstaking care which Daimler-Benz applied to the heating and ventilation of the O 4500 and O 5000. A ventilation switch in the standard-fit fresh-air heater, for example, was one of the many small details which distinguished the O 4500 and its big brother, the O 5000. In addition, there was a special duct which sent warm air across the windshield and prevented it from becoming fogged or iced up.

Air conditioning for the warm time of the year was still out of the question in the late 1940s, instead this postwar model series featured an ingenious ventilation system. “Sensibly arranged flaps and ducts conduct fresh air, draft-free, into the interior of the vehicle,” a contemporary description praised the mode of operation of the system, which continuously circulated the air inside the bus. Two large air scoops on the roof permitted air to “wash around the inner ceiling without creating a draft.” These devices were supplemented by more rustic and certainly not entirely draft-free ventilating means such as a crank-operated window on the driver’s side plus three sliding windows and a ventilator window at the rear of the bus.

As touring coaches, the two variants were designed for 39 to 47 passengers. The urban bus variant could carry a maximum of 60 passengers.


The O 4500 provided urgently needed mobility in post-war Germany. - 1948

A proven foundation for frame and floor

For the chassis of models O 4500 and O 5000, on the other hand, Daimler-Benz relied on proven components of many years standing. The Gaggenau factory supplied the chassis-cum-cowl, which was closely related to the low-frame truck chassis, much in the tradition of prewar buses. The engines of these first postwar buses also were the equivalents of the engines in the corresponding truck models, L 4500 and L 5000, which both used the proven prechamber diesel engine OM 67/4.

This engine originated in the 1930s and, as six-cylinder variant, was a welcome supplement to the legendary 3.8-liter unit OM 59 introduced in 1932, which, as first production diesel engine in a light truck, really made the diesel popular in the commercial vehicle. The technical data for this engine list “120 hp maximum output” and “112 hp continuous output,” which propelled the O 4500 to a top speed of 62 km/h and the O 5000 usually to a speed of 65 km/h, but could even push it to 75 km/h with a special gear ratio.


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