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Scania remembers: the Mack-Scania C50 Metropol


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Press Release / September 4, 2014

While only 200 examples of the C50 Metropol were ever produced, this iconic bus model has become a cult classic in veteran vehicle circles.

In May 1951, Scania Vabis tendered for the contract to supply 200 complete diesel buses to be used for suburban public transport in Stockholm. When Scania-Vabis was awarded the business the following July, this represented the biggest bus order in the company’s history to-date and marked the beginning of a new era for buses.

The buses were manufactured in cooperation with the Mack Manufacturing Corporation, which had produced a similar bus model being used on New York streets.

Scania-Vabis signed a licensing agreement with Mack Trucks and received exclusive manufacturing rights for Europe and distribution rights for the whole world outside of the USA.

The C50 Metropol had room for a total of 80 passengers, including seats for 48. The doors were wide to allow for quick entry and exit. The buses were equipped with strong 200 hp engines, power steering and hydraulic automatic transmissions.

A pleasant experience

The Metropol became the first entirely Swedish-built bus with a monocoque body. And despite it being unusually long and wide for Swedish conditions, it was easy to manoeuvre through winding suburban streets thanks to its power steering and the extra wide deflection angle of its wheels.

Metropol was also a pleasant experience for passengers. A new heating system kept the bus warm during the coldest Swedish winters and the bench seat at the back of the bus quickly became popular with young people.

In 1953 and 1954, 200 buses were produced, all going into use in Stockholm’s public transport system. The model became an iconic addition to the Stockholm cityscape and served the city until the arrival of right-hand traffic regulations in 1967. The buses were then sold on to India. Today, two examples of the model remain, both in museums in Sweden.

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The “Metropol” city bus was the catalyst for a relationship between Mack Trucks and Scania that lasted for decades.

Scania’s right-hand drive variant of the Mack C-50 city bus did not use the 165 horsepower Lanova principal pre-combustion chamber design (indirect injection) Mack END672 engine. Instead, Scania chose to use their own model D820 inline eight cylinder 11.3-liter 180 horsepower powertrain which benefited from the superior performance of direct fuel injection.

Through an exchange agreement, Scania then provided Mack Trucks with their new open-chamber, direct-injection combustion system, resulting in the legendary Mack END673 “Thermodyne” engine. The direct injection END673 then quickly replaced the END672 incorporating Lanova pre-combustion chambers (energy cell combustion chamber).

(In the early years, Mack Trucks’ early diesel engines including the ED519 and END672 utilized a Lanova design pre-combustion chamber design. Like Buda and others, Mack Trucks had purchased a technology license from Germany’s Lanova AG, led by the German engineer and Lanova concept inventor Franz Lang.)

Thus, in essentially what was a technology swap, Scania provided Mack with their advanced proprietary open-chamber, direct-injection combustion design in return for Mack providing Scania with a modern municipal transit bus.

Scania and Mack Trucks then went on to forge a unique and close relationship which provided benefits to both companies for many years thru the mid-1980s.

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