The late 30's and early 40's where an exciting time. Days of wonder. Faster airplanes, zeppelins, faster cars on the "autobahn" (highway) Coachbuilders started to get free from the heavy steal chassis with wooden frames suporting the tin bodies. Ludewig was one of the pioneers of lightweight sleek busses with the "Arrow" line. 2 extremens seem to have shared that name. Distingtifly different at the bonnet. "Strassen Sep" slang for street zeppelin after the zeppelin and the "schienen Sep" (railroad zeppelin) mark the excitement that designers and marketing caputed the spirit of the day. (Sep being a common first name also)

Ludewig Aero with cylindrical bonnet

Even an expensive design product like this one was send into the war. As see in the 1942 picture. I guess someone copied it from a book (Which?) because of an (incorrect) remark under it.

A logo of one of them is the only thing that has been found surviving. See Here

Ludewig Aero with cylindrical bonnet Ludewig Aero ludewig - Eleganz ludewig - historischer kraftverkehr 6/87 ludewig - Eleganz Ludewig Aero Roden 72th kit boxart
Left front view (source: Historischer Kraftverkehr 6-87) (source: Historischer Kraftverkehr 6-87) At the eastern front, 1942 From the rounded corners this must be an inside view from this version. Roden Aero modell
chassis programm add blitzbus52     - source unknown
An add for the chassis programm in 1937. This version came from an Opel truckprofile. Just to small to read the chassis versions. On the Berlin motorshow(?) a promotional picture

Ludewig Aero with streamline nose

Even more into the streamline at least three of these where build. (Pictures came from Christian Papeleux. Thanks!)

Ludewig Aero Ludewig Aero blitzbus54_lf_curious-soldiers.jpg - source unknown
A period illustration promoting the new "Autobahn"(highway).
blitzbus54_rf-det_station.jpg - source unknown blitzbus54_fr_loading.jpg - source unknown blitzbus54_rf_reichsbahn-promo.jpg - source unknown blitzbus54_int_driver.jpg - source unknown blitzbus54_lb_parked.jpg - source unknown blitzbus54_rb_break.jpg - source unknown

Operated by the Deutsch Rechsbahn.

blitzbus51_lf_ruhr-essenerstrasse_430-5.jpg blitzbus51_lf_ruhr-essenerstrasse_430-6.jpg blitzbus51_rf_ruhr-essenerstrasse_430-4.jpg blitzbus51_rf_ruhr-essenerstrasse_430-7.jpg

Seen around the shop in the Essenerstrasse.

Ludewig Aero Ludewig Aero Ludewig Aero Ludewig Aero blitzbus54_f_ruhr-tour_395-16.jpg blitzbus54_f_ruhr-tour_395-20.jpg blitzbus54_l_ruhr-tour_395-14.jpg
blitzbus54_l_ruhr-tour_395-15.jpg blitzbus54_lf_ruhr-tour_395-18.jpg blitzbus54_rb_ruhr-tour_395-17.jpg blitzbus54_rb_ruhr-tour_434-1.jpg blitzbus54_rf_ruhr-tour_395-12.jpg blitzbus54_rf_ruhr-tour_395-4.jpg blitzbus54_rf_ruhr-tour_395-6.jpg blitzbus54_rf_ruhr-tour_434-4.jpg

At the outing with the 3 Aero streamliners and the Mercedes there where many more pictures made.....

Ludewig Aero Doubldecker

A doubledecker? Really! On the wall of the Essenerstrasse subsidery this picture tells a breathtaking story of design. And a 2nd picture is provided by Christian Papeleux. It was buildt in 1934 on a 90 Hp Büssing-NAG chassis. It was used by "Omnibus-Reise-Dienst G.m.b.H" opperating from the same street (Steelerstrasse). It was part of a promotional trip. ("Jeder einmal in Berlin" für 25.- Reichsmark hin und zurück" Everybody's trip: to Berlin and back for 25 Reichsmark) The comfortable seats and heater are praised.

It's mentioned in an article in the 1934 of the Commercial Motor archive.
Ludewig Aero Ludewig Aero Ludewig Aero blitzbus55_lf_ruhr_messe-1936#_423-03.jpg blitzbus55 lf 1935-expo - source unknown
From the Ruhr-archive. Seen on the Berlin Motor show 1934(?) A promotional picture

Ludewig Aero nr.3

Another streamliner evolves from the Ruhr Museum Archive. It's even seen on a Berlin mot0r show.

blitzbus56_f_ruhr_431-r2-1.jpg blitzbus56_lf_ruhr_431-r1-1.jpg blitzbus56_lf_ruhr_431-r1-3.jpg blitzbus56_lf_ruhr_431-r1-4.jpg blitzbus56_r_ruhr_messe-1937#_423-05.jpg blitzbus56_rf_ruhr_431-r2-2.jpg blitzbus56_rf_ruhr_431-r2-3.jpg
Seen on the Berlin Motor Show
blitzbus56_rb_.jpg - source unknown ludewig - historischer kraftverkehr 6/87 blitzbus56 bl_street-group - source unknown
Large promo picture Detail of the tail An amazing find: It got drafted! a civilian plate and children in uniform. Late in the war?

Other streamliners

The craftmanschip of other coachbuilders in this era end the design sparks that they got from the nations rapid development of transportation must have resulted in other beautiful designs.
Verheul still exists today. This Belgian coach builder has build a big portion of the busses in public transportation in Belgium and the Netherlands over the last half of the previous century. Maarsen & Kroone is also a memorable name. This bus is claimed to be a Blitz. By 1940 there where other good frames for a splendid bus like this one, but Opel had (and still has) a very good name in reliability. Why do I hesitate? By 1940 anything useful for the war effort was restricted for export. Quite an achievement to aquire a bus-chassis in those days.

verheul buildt maarse & kroone operated 1940 gem - source unknown blitzbus51 lf maarse-kroone-no-bumper - source unknown Verheul? Mercedes Lo 2600 with a Kässbohrer Bodywork. There where build six of it in 1936 for the Reichsbahn Schnellverkehr. (seen in the book 'Der Autobahn-Schnellverkehr')
Verheul, Maarsen & Kroone operated An almost identical bus, but no bumper, different headlights and different ventilation louvres. Similar in several lines but also with differences. Maybe Verheul. 2 Wehrmacht soldiers posing before a magnificently lined bus, note the low headlights. Martin Korth identified it as a Mercedes Lo 2600 with a Kässbohrer Bodywork. There where build six of it in 1936 for the Reichsbahn Schnellverkehr. (seen in the book "Der Autobahn-Schnellverkehr")

Post war constructions

From these group of 3 I'm certain that they are post-war. Pictures taken in the 80's and the story is known. The others are typical 50's to me.

blitzbus51 br utr-4-1 - source unknown blitzbus51 fl utr-1 - source unknown blitzbus51 lf utr-2 - source unknown blitzbus51 fr 1938-den-oudsten-en-domburg - source unknown blitzbus51 lf 1934-carr-van-rooijen - source unknown blitzbus51 rf 1940-baloon - source unknown blitzbus51 rf 1940-frontlenker - source unknown
Chassis is a 1937 Utrecht line bus Den oudsten en Domburg Carroseriebedrijf (Bodyshop) van Rooijen Claimed to be 1940, but hardly possible Dito

index | | last revised: April 1 2019