In 1937 Opel created a revolution with a completely remodeled Blitz line. Although the name Blitz was used for earlier models, this version is always considerate THE Opel Blitz. Together with this revolution they also made another revolutionary product. The version 3,6 47, or better known, the Blitz bus(chassis). It sparked a series of busses that where revolutionary in design, speed, and reliability.
The standard 3400 and 4000 mm wheelbase is enlarged to 4650mm to become a stable base for a 28-30 seater. Opel's market share in 1936 is 25% After the introduction in 1937 of the new cab-style and low-chassis, Opel's share rises to 39% in 1938. The very stable, chassis, with its low gravity point make it possible to build a 3500 Kg vehicle with 37 seats. Thus using 95 kg for every passenger. These good marks and it's potent engine make way for a swift, fast way of transportation. Lightweight constructions with air streamed coachwork worthy of the lightning symbol on the nose with breathtaking designs and splendor make previously unseen luxurious busses. All mayor coachbuilders like F.K.F. Voll, Kässbohrer and Ludewig used the chassis for their products.
To the horror of many bus-owner the reliable busses where quickly pressed into army service from the prelude of the war. Fleet owners constantly had to hand in their vehicles over the years. Often the driver was drafted with it. Hardly any of these gem's survived the harsh life in these years. Most of their drivers didn't either.
Most trucks can tow more than twice what they can carry, so (semi-) trailer busses where popular. Notably the Reichskraftpost(state-power-mail) and Reichsbahn (State-railway), two of the biggest bus operators, used these. Up to 10 ton of cargo and passenger weight could be hauled by one Blitz.
Fuel rationing was the next hurdle that bus operators had to take. In 1944 Kässböhrer delivers busses equipped with a wood gas stove in the rear. Converting a bus would be a costly step, so many got a stove on a dolly to be pulled. This heavy machine slowed the busses down, and operating the stove was time consuming. Like steam engines the stove had to be pre lit and refilled constantly to extract the gas from the wood. Tar and water had to be drained frequently. The power of the engine was lowered dramatically. and riding on it and driving it was hardly comfortable.
After the war Opel A.G. got the leftovers from the Daimler-Benz DB L701 licence production of the S-Blitz with the Einheitsfahrerhaus. Of the 467 unit's produced, over 100 where busses on the "Niederrahmen"-chassis. Many of these served the factories own need for transporting workers. (See the 1950 picture below)
|a Döbelner bodied one used by the "Organisation Todt" (a construction branch named after Fritz Todt, its leader)||a find indeed. Four damaged busses on a train. Most likely shipped for repair. - source unknown.||Completely dug in, not even sure it's a Blitz - source unknown.||A generator is essential for radio and other equipment - source unknown.||2 pictures from a set of 3. Invasion Holland 1940 - source unknown||2 pictures from a set of 3. Invasion Holland 1940 Maybe a "befehsstelle"- source unknown.||Luftwaffe HQ bus - found on Ebay|
|Hainje fleet Holland 1942. number plate B-26324 - source unknown.||a Blitzbus on its side near Tilburg May 1940. Source unknown.||The 1950 factory fleet of Opel Russelsheim. Source unknown.||a typical situation in civvy street. A bus with a gasproducer in extreme cold. I left the church in the picture for identification. Anyone? Source: Ebay.||A short chassis? I read IT-46130 for the licenceplate. A custom body with even the enginecovers custom.||A liner with a driver. The licenceplate could be RP (Reichspost)||A WH bus in the field. A special bumper|
|An early travelbus with the owners name stil readable.||I'm not sure this is a Blitz, the placement of the spare is uncommon for Blitz.||An early Blitz chartered for movie buissines. Tobis I've not found anything about.||This seems a little wide to be a Blitz. It;s rolling through a Russian village||Headquarters has arrived. By the hinges in the back a luggage compartment is expected.||A liner working for the wehrmacht||Early in the war in France, and this bus has damaged its grille|
|From the website "Lost Bulgaria" this intriging picture came. I'm rather convinced it's a 3ton Blitz||The hight is right, but it could also be a MAN.||This seems like shortly befor the war ended. The gasproducers on al vehicles rather say German than Allied situation. It is thought to be in Denmark, though the flag could be yellow on blue also.||Probably a collone of the same vehicles||This crash was near Trier(Germany) An early chassis with a custom bumper||It's not possible to identify this as a Blitz, but it gives a good idea of the door. What the shooter is trying to hit?||An accidental picture. Note the bonnet side|
|In the rear of this unussual picture(probably near a field kitchen) is the unmistakable line of a Blitzbus||Impossible to indentify the bus, but the look in the mechanics eyes is priceless. Hard, manual labour to change a wheel on a beast like this one.||Another flat tyre||In a corner behind a tank, an early blitzbus||An open roofed wehrmachtsbus. Early version chassis wirh standard tyres||2 Blitzbusses, or maybe 3 (the left one could be an early Blitz) from the same fleet owner|
|N-14219 is a pre-war civilian plate from Brabant(the Netherlands) a confiscated Dutch bus.||The fleet of busoperator Lijster tour (the Netherlands) in 1956. The nr 8 is a Blitz||WH-524953 I read on this Blizbus||This Navy bus (WM) has obviously a ventilation added on the top of its bonnet.||Celebration of 25 years bus operator in Minnertsga, Friesland (in the north of the Netherlands)||Another wheel change. Not possible to identify this bus||Only a maybe on the question: "is this a Blitz bus?", but the use of the little hatch on the right puts the fueltank on the right place.|
4 window busses are scarce. The long chassis is most commonly divided in more windows than that. On many pictures of interest the windows aren't visible. The pictures are typical situations.
Stories on wartime and postwar use of blitz busses are everywhere.
In 1950, 1951 and 1954 one was used by the TH(technical highschool) from Delft, Laboratry of Geodesie on Terschelling. (one of the islands of Holland. No pictures known.
Local bus operator VAD of Arnhem, lost 25 of its 44 busses. Of the 19 that where found only two where usable. September 10th 1945 they reopened the first post war line (Apeldoorn-Arnhem) with a Blitz bus with wooden benches, found behind the "Koning Willem III-kazerne".
Dresden had 3 Blitz busses bodied by "Karosserie- und Fahrzeugwerk GmbH Leipzig". Two of them (bus nr's 90 and 91 had a 3 cylinder 55 Hp diesel engine. Nr 92 had the standard 3.6 Engine. Seating 15 and with 20 additional places. LxWxH: 7.65x2.39x2.715 meter.
|100||1938||II-51666||From March 1939 renumbered to 101, from August 1942 renumbered 201. Destroyed by fire on February 13th/14th 1945 in Naußlitz.|