Advanced Design Grumman Flxible 870 Bus Brochure * New York City Transit * 1978 For Sale


Advanced Design Grumman Flxible 870 Bus Brochure * New York City Transit * 1978

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Advanced Design Grumman Flxible 870 Bus Brochure * New York City Transit * 1978:
$28

Rate brochure for the New Advanced Design Grumman Flxible 870 Bus for the New York City Transit Authority circa 1978. This was a troubled design from the get-go, and part of bad design history!


Over the combined 17-year production history, a total of 14,456 were built, of which 4,642 were model 870 and 9,814 were Metros.[1]


HistoryEdit



Flxible/Rohr 870 prototype at Alameda South Shore Center while testing with AC Transit, September 1976[2]


Under the ownership of Rohr Industries since 1970, while their very popular Flxible New Look was still in production, Rohr began development of what would become the Grumman 870 Advanced Design Bus. The Grumman 870 bus was one of two advanced-design buses (the other being the Rapid Transit Series (RTS II) developed by rival General Motors and later taken by MTS).[3] Both models were compromises by the Urban Mass Transit Administration (UMTA), which sought to develop a "Transbus" design that would be "attractive, roomy, comfortable", and easier for elderly and disabled customers to board, accepting these two models as compromises. At the time, the federal government would subsidize the purchase of only the 870 or the RTS II.[4][5]

In 1978, Rohr sold Flxible to Grumman for US$55 million, with the sale including the sale of two prototypes of what would become the 870. In spite of the fact that the second prototype failed testing as the result of a cracked "A" frame, and with an endurance test not yet performed, Grumman decided that the 870 was ready for production, and discontinued the Flxible New Look almost as soon as the purchase closed[6] (more in "Litigation resulting" below). The first 870 rolled off the assembly line in spring 1978.[3] Under Grumman ownership, Grumman-Flxible (as the company was called at the time) received a major order of buses from the New York City Transit Authority along with other agencies. The NYC Transit Authority order, built in 1980, is notable because this batch would expose the design flaw in A-frame noted during testing: the inability of the bus to withstand wear and tear in cities where potholes were a problem, forcing all 870s built until that time to be taken out of service beginning that December while repairs to the A-frame were made, which would cost Grumman $7 million to fix. A total of 2,656 buses, including buses Angeles and Orange County, California needed to be fixed.[4]

Eventually, Grumman was forced to sell the line to General Automotive Corporation in 1983 for $41 million, a 25-percent loss after developing the "Flxible Metro" which addressed all of the shortcomings of the Model 870 in 1982.[7] Under the ownership of General Automotive, the Flxible nameplate was restored to the buses.[citation




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