TWIN COACH Kent, Ohio, USA 1927 – 1955

The-Twin-Coach            Twin Coach

 1940 Twin Coach trolley bus in Seattle
 A restored 1940 Twin Coach trolley bus in Seattle

Twin Coach was an American vehicle manufacturing company from 1927 to 1955, based in Kent, Ohio, and a maker of marine engines and airplane parts until the 1960s. It was formed by brothers Frank and William Fageol when they left the Fageol Motor Company in 1927. They established the company in Kent to manufacture and sell buses with a new concept design. The body structure of this new bus was unique in that the body also became the frame and two engines – “twin” engines – were used to allow for larger passenger loads. This concept was patented by William B. Fageol.

1953 Twin Coach postal vanTwin Coach “Pony Express” postal van, circa 1953

Over the years, Twin Coach made transit buses, trolley buses, small delivery vehicles, Fageol six-cylinder gasoline/propane bus and marine engines, Fageol four-cylinder marine engines, and aircraft and truck components. The company was sometimes referred to as “Fageol-Twin Coach”. The company was acquired by Flxible in 1955 and merged with it, but use of the “Twin Coach” name in marketing continued for a few years, and the name was briefly revived (as a brand name only) in the late 1960s by a related company called Highway Products, Inc.

Production overview

Trolley buses

Trolley bus production lasted from 1928 to 1951. Notably, the company’s very first order and its very last were also its only export orders ever for trolley buses: eight vehicles for Manila, Philippines, in 1928 and four for Belo Horizonte, Brazil, in 1951. All other orders went to U.S. cities., none to Canadian cities.

In the 1930s and 1940s, Twin Coach was one of the largest producers in the very limited field of trolley bus manufacturing in North America. Until the late 1940s, only three other U.S. companies built more trolley buses: the Brill companies (J.G. Brill and successors ACF-Brill and CCF-Brill), Pullman and St. Louis Car Company. Another builder, Marmon-Herrington, only entered the field in 1946, but eventually surpassed Twin’s total. All told, Twin Coach manufactured only 670 “trolley coaches” – as such vehicles were commonly called at the time – but sold them to 16 different cities (all in the U.S.), which equates to around one-third of all of the trolley bus systems ever to exist in the United States. Overall, the company’s best customer for trolley coaches was the Seattle Transit System, which bought a total of 177, all between 1940 and 1943.

In 1940, Twin Coach also pioneered the development of the articulated trolley bus in North America, although the first such vehicle in the world was built in Europe slightly earlier, in 1939 (by Isotta Fraschini/Stanga in Italy). The company built only two articulated trolley buses, and each was marketed as a “Super Twin” model. Both were originally built as demonstrators. The 1940 unit was eventually sold to the Cleveland transit system and entered service there. The second was built as a gas-powered bus in 1946, but was converted into a trolley bus in 1948, leased to the Chicago Transit Authority and was sold to CTA in 1954. With both vehicles, the articulation joint allowed only vertical, not horizontal, movement. These two prototypes never led to any series production, so each remained unique. The 1948 Chicago vehicle is preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum. Until 1985, these two vehicles remained the only articulated trolley buses ever built in North America by any manufacturer. Motor buses

Twin Coach Lucerne

 A Twin Coach/Herkules 38-S-DT (1948) in Lucerne, Switzerland

Twin Coach also built motor buses (buses powered by internal combustion engines). Fuels included at least gasoline and propane. Between 1927 and 1934 alone, the company built more than 1,100 motor buses, including 21 with gas-electric drive. Bus production continued through to the time of the company’s acquisition by Flxible, in the 1950s.

Sale of bus division

In 1955, the bus manufacturing operations were sold to Flxible, which was also based in Ohio. For a time, Flxible used the Twin Coach name – along with its own – in its marketing and some buses carried front name plates that gave both names and combined the companies’ two logos into one. By 1963, use of the Twin Coach name on buses had been discontinued.

The marine-engine and aircraft divisions continued as Twin Coach. In 1958, the company sold the marine division and moved its remaining production to Cheektowaga, New York. In 1962, the company’s name was changed to Twin Industries.

A portion of the company called Highway Products produced a number of products, such as small Post Office vehicles, mobile post offices used in rural areas, small boats for military and commercial uses, missile launchers and a variety of other products. This later became an Alco Standard company, and it produced a small bus which was sold under the “Twin Coach” name from 1969-1975.

1927 Twin Coach Model 40 1928 Fageol Twin Coach 1930 Twin Coach model 401930 Twin Coach, Kent, Ohion(USA) - M.C. van der Wal, Haarlem Adam busserie23 1931 Twin Coach 352071-1000-0 1931 TWIN COACH BQ TRANSIT 1931 Twin Coach Chattanooga Twin Model 15 1931 Twin Coach Deliver 1931 Twin Coach Delivery Van 1931 Twin Coach Model ‘40’ JAMAICABUSTWINCOACH 1931 1931 Twin Coach Model '20' ATWINMODEL20 1934 Other Twin Coach Delivery 1937 Twin Coach 23R, ex Winnipeg Electric 1937 Twin Coach 23R 1937 Twin Coach bus 1937 Twin Coach Company Model 23R 1938 Twin Coach 2 1938 twin Coach Los Angeles Motor Coach Bus Type 38 1940 Twin Coach trolley bus in Seattle 1942 Twin Coach 1946 Twin Coach 41S 1946 Twin Coach 1947 Twin Coach bus 1312 Super Twin 1947 Twin Coach Nr.76 LU 91122 U 1947 Twin Coach 1947 Twin Coach-artic at-DSR e Super Twin 1947 Twin Coach-Herkules 38-S-DT Nr. 76 1948 Twin Coach  Maarse Kroon Twin Coach op Schiphol 1948 Twin Coach Chicago.QueenMary 1948 Twin Coach Fageol Maarse-Kroon 1948 Twin Coach Fageol Maarse-Kroon-05 1948 Twin Coach Lucerne 1949 Twin Coach, modelo 44TTW, Trolley's San Fransisco 1953 Twin Coach postal van bus_bery1204 Flxible Twin Coach ad images L A Motor Coach 4208 driver side ext The-Twin-Coach

Twin Coach 9763 Chicago-TCartic Twin Coach timeline1 Twin Coach trolley bus Twin Coach. It is Model 23-R. Twin Coach

This is a beautiful impression of Twin Coaches

Buses, Trucks, Armored Army and fire and Rescue MARMON-HERRINGTON U.S.A.



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Dayton 515 (1949 Marmon-Herrington). Photo by Steve Morgan.
A 1949 Marmon-Herrington TC48 trolley bus on the Dayton, Ohio trolleybus system.

The Marmon-Herrington Company, Inc. is an American-based manufacturer of axles and transfer cases for trucks and other vehicles. Earlier, the company built military vehicles and some tanks during World War II, and until the late 1950s or early 1960s was a manufacturer of trucks and trolley buses. Marmon-Herrington had a partnership with Ford Motor Company, producing trucks and other commercial vehicles, such as buses. The company may be best known for its all-wheel-drive conversions to other truck maker’s units, especially to Ford ones. Based originally in Indianapolis, Indiana, with a plant in Windsor, Ontario, Marmon-Herrington is now based in Louisville, Kentucky.


Two Marmon-Herrington CTLS US tanks maneuvering in a mountain pass in Alaska in 1942.

The company was founded in 1931 by Walter C. Marmon and Arthur W. Herrington and focused on building all-wheel-drive trucks. It was the successor to the Marmon Motor Car Company, a maker of automobiles from 1902 to 1933. Marmon-Herrington (MH) got off to a successful start by procuring contracts for military aircraft refueling trucks, 4×4 chassis for towing light weaponry, commercial aircraft refueling trucks, and an order from the Iraqi Pipeline Company for what were the largest trucks ever built at the time. Construction of all-wheel-drive (AWD) vehicles and conversion of existing vehicles to AWD were among the company’s products. Marmon-Herrington also made multi-stop delivery vans and passenger vehicles. The company designed a military armoured vehicle which could be constructed on a commercial truck chassis. The design was taken-up by South Africa in 1938, the result of which became known as the Marmon-Herrington Armoured Car, which was used by British and Commonwealth armies in the North Africa Campaign.

1926 American Motor Body Nairn 6-Wheel 1926

1926 American Motor Body Nairn 6-Wheel

During World War II the British were looking for a purpose-built airborne light tank to replace the Tetrarch light tank, but decided not to produce the tank in Britain due to a lack of production capacity. Instead the American government was approached with a request that it produce a replacement for the Tetrarch. This request was made by the British Air Commission in Washington, D.C., with a proposal calling for a tank of between 9 t (8.9 long tons) and 10 t (9.8 long tons) to be developed, this being the maximum weight the War Office had decided could be carried by current glider technology. The United States Ordnance Department was given the task of developing the proposed tank, and in turn requested designs from three American companies: General MotorsJ. Walter Christie and Marmon-Herrington. The design offered by Christie in mid-1941 was rejected as it failed to meet the specified size requirements, as was a modified design the company produced in November. At a conference in May 1941, the Ordnance Department chose the Marmon-Herrington design and requested that the company produce a prototype tank, which was completed in late 1941; it was designated the Light Tank T9 (Airborne) by the company and the Ordnance Department and later designated M22.

1932 Marmon-Herrington 1932 TH320-6 6x6 tractors Iraq

1932 Marmon-Herrington 1932 TH320-6 6×6 tractors Iraq

The company also manufactured airport fire trucks, like the Marmon Herrington MB-1 and Marmon Herrington MB-5. They were mainly used by the military, like the USAF and US Navy.

Trolley buses

The company’s foray into transit buses began in 1946, when it produced its first electric trolley bus. The end of World War II had brought a steep drop in the need for military vehicles, so Marmon-Herrington looked for another area of vehicle manufacturing in which it might find new business. Its first “trolley coaches”, the more common term for trolley buses at that time, introduced innovative features such as lightweight monocoque bodies and strong, double-girder sidewalls, which made the Marmon-Herrington trolley coach the best-selling trolley coach of the postwar era. Its trolley buses were successful in the fleets of many North American cities, most notably Chicago and San Francisco, which purchased large numbers; Chicago bought 349 in a single order (delivered in 1951–52), a record for the MH company. Marmon-Herrington supplied trolley buses to 16 different cities in the United States, among the buyers being the Cincinnati Street Railway Company, which purchased 214, and the Cleveland Railway, with 125; vehicles were also sold to two cities in Brazil. The principal models were the TC44, TC48, and TC49, with the number denoting the number of seats. A single order of the 40-seat TC40 model was produced for San Francisco, and likewise the TC46 was produced for only one customer, Philadelphia, before MH replaced it with the TC48 model.1949 Dayton Marmon 515 front

Marmon-Herrington name plate on a Dayton trolley bus (below “City Transit”).

Trolley bus production lasted from 1946 until 1959; in total, 1,624 vehicles were produced. The last of San Francisco’s 260 MH trolley buses were retired in 1976 and Philadelphia’s last units in 1981. Some MH trolley buses withdrawn from service in the United States were sold secondhand to Mexico City‘s Servicio de Transportes Eléctricos (STE) between the late 1960s and late 1970s and continued in service for many more years on that city’s trolley bus network. Although the last Marmon-Herrington trolley buses in original form were retired by STE in 1988, many underwent a rebuilding of their bodies in the 1980s by the Mexican company Moyada and continued working; the last five of these Moyada-remodeled Marmon-Herrington trolley buses of STE survived in service until 2002. By the late 1950s the market for new trolley buses in North America had dried up, as some trolley bus systems were being abandoned while others had re-equipped with new MH vehicles. The company’s very last orders for transitvehicles were also its only export orders for trolley buses, to Recife and Belo Horizonte in Brazil, comprising 65 and 50 TC49s, respectively, delivered in 1958–59. Recife overhauled some of its TC49s in the 1980s, and several remained in service until 2001.

32 seater Motor Coach Damascus Bagdad

32 seater Motor Coach Damascus Bagdad

The Illinois Railway Museum has preserved two ex-Chicago Transit Authority Marmon-Herrington trolley coaches and one ex-Milwaukee unit.

1960s to present

In the early 1960s, the Pritzker family bought the company, and soon the focus on full vehicle manufacturing vanished, the truck designs being sold to a new company that traded under the Marmon brand. It became a member of an association of companies which in 1964 adopted the name Marmon Group. The MH company continues today as a converter of commercial trucks to all-wheel-drive (AWD) vehicles, as well as a maker of axles for heavy vehicles. Marmon-Herrington axles can still be found on even the newest military vehicles and commercial trucks. In addition to building installation kits for all-wheel-drive, the company has also become a front-drive-axle and transfer case manufacturer to the medium- and heavy-duty truck market.

1938 Marmon-Herrington Armoured Car Mk IV  Mk IVF

1938 Marmon-Herrington Armoured Car Mk IV Mk IVF

In 2008, the holding company Berkshire Hathaway purchased a majority stake in Marmon Holdings, which includes the Marmon Group and Marmon-Herrington.

32 seater Motor Coach Damascus Bagdad 1926 American Motor Body Nairn 6-Wheel 1926 1932 Marmon-Herrington 1932 TH320-6 6x6 tractors Iraq 1932 1933 brochure Marmon-Herrington 6x6 truck 1933 Marmon Herrington Prototype TH320-6 under test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway prior to being shipped to Iraq in 1932 1935 damascus to bagdad silver bullet nairn transport 2 1935 Marmon-Herrington - Budd 1935 Marmon-Herrington THD-315-6 with articulated omnibus trailer Nairn a 1935 Marmon-Herrington THD-315-6 with articulated omnibus trailer Nairn 1938 Ford V-8 PickUp converted Marmon Herrington 1938 Ford V8 Sweeper by Marmon-Herrington 1938 FordFiretruckMarmonHerringtonAWD-vi 1938 Marmon-Herrington Armoured Car Mk IV  Mk IVF 1939 Reportedly, these tractors were based on 91Y chassis ( 1-ton 122 wb truck with 85-hp V8 engine) 1940 ford-marmon belg1940 1940 Marmon-Herrington DSD400-6 1940 restored Truck, 3-ton, 6x6, Crash Tender (Ford-Marmon-Herrington MM5-6) 1940 Truck, 3-ton, 6x6, Crash Tender (Ford-Marmon-Herrington MM5-6) 1940 Truck, 3-ton, 6x6, Crash Tender (Ford-Marmon-Herrington MM5-6)a 1940-ford-marmon-herrington-0001 WUV 1941 Ad Marmon Herrington Factory Indianapolis Indiana 1941 Ad Marmon Herrington 1941 Ford 1½ Ton 4X4 Marmon-Herrington Conversion 1941 Ford-Marmon-Herrington LLDMG5-4 1941 Marmon-Herrington armoured cars on patrol in the Western Desert, 28 November 1941. 1941 MARMON-HERRINGTON 1941 Mk II with an Italian Breda 20 mm gun near Tobruk, 8 May 1941. 1941 model No.3A tractor 1941 Truck, 2½-ton, 6x6, Searchlight and Sound Ranging (Ford 198T-Marmon-Herrington)Ned Indië 1942 Ford-Marmon-Herrington SnoGo 1942 Marmon Herrington Tanks LOC fsa 8e09169u 1942 Marmon-Herrington U.S. Army armored tank truck ad 1942 Snowgo 1942 Truck, 1½-ton 4x4, Dump (Ford-Marmon-Herrington) 1943 Ad Marmon Herrington Indianapolis Indiana Military Trucks 1943 Ad Marmon Herrington Indianapolis Military Vehicles 1944 Ad Marmon Herrington Indianapolis Hamilcars Tank 1945 Ford-Marmon-Herrington LD6-4 ½-ton 4x4 truck Nederlands Indië 1945 Marmon-Herrington DeliVr-All 1946 Marmon-Herrington Trolley Coach 1947-marmon-herrington-van 1948 Marmon-Herrington trolley bus in Dayton 1974 1948-1952-ford-fseries-trucks-10 Marmon-Herrington created the four-wheel-drive F-Series Ranger 1949 Dayton Marmon 515 front Dayton 515 (1949 Marmon-Herrington). 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