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Homepage. This page: Two pre-war motor coaches stopped at different frontier crossing points.

1. A Mercedes-Benz coach at the Austrian frontier, 1935.

Fortunately the pre-war coach shown here is facing towards the camera, so can easily be identified. The three pointed star of Mercedes-Benz can be made out on the top of the radiator, as can the coach's registration of IT-51735. The handwritten note, written in English on the rear of this photograph, identifies this sleepy looking location as the Austrian frontier, so the coach being registered in Italy would make perfect sense, photographed heading across into or out of their neighbouring country. A number of people are huddled around, waiting for clearance to be given so that they can board the vintage motorbus.
I did wonder if the coach was Italian registered, but Oliver got in touch during 2012 with the following suggestions: "It looks like a pre-1945 German plate ... Italian plates in the 1930's were black with white letters and considerably smaller. If it is indeed a German plate, then IT stands for Prussia's Hesse-Nassau province with a number in the range from 51651 to 57150 indicating a Wiesbaden area-based vehicle." Thanks Oliver.
A Mercedes motorbus from the 1930s
Update. A few years after posting the above image on the site, a perusal of some photographs purchased in more recent times turned up another image of the exact same Mercedes coach, at the same frontier barrier, on the same day in 1935. Once again a number of passengers are shown milling about, waiting to continue their journey. The legend on the coach's door cannot be made out, the sign along the rear bodywork begins with "German M...." but sadly the remainder is cut off.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
Pre-war Mercedes Benz coach

2. An unidentified coach, this time at the German frontier.

I've cropped this photo down, to better show the vehicle in question. This old coach was photographed some time in the 1930s, according to the note on the rear of this image, and the registration given as E 1520. If anyone recognises this format of registration number, and can identify where it came from, I'll add that on here. No operator's name is shown on the vehicle sadly. Note the curvy roof ladder fitted to the rear of the coach. Both photos came in the same batch, suggesting that whoever took them enjoyed holidaying in Europe during the inter-war years.
An unidentified coach of the 1930s

Another border shot, this time the Swiss/Austrian frontier.

Although not strictly a bus or coach photograph, this later (1950s?) image came with those shown above, so I thought I'd pop it on this page. No coaches or buses clearly visible here, although an open door on the right could be on a bus of some description. Does anyone recognise the light coloured car, or the lorry parked behind it? This photograph was taken at the border between Switzerland and Austria, again probably on a European holiday.
Simca Aronde at the Swiss/Austrian border
Update. Hugh has been in touch, identifying the car in the above photo as a Simca Aronde: "Looks to me like an early - mid 50's French Simca Aronde. They were quite popular in the '50s, during my childhood in New Zealand. A fairly roomy little car, with front bench seat and column change as I recall. I remember looking to buy one in the 60's. I bought a Triumph Herald instead (for better or worse! !) My dear old father didn't trust "Those foreign cars" and only ever drove British, so a bit of it must have rubbed off on me!"
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