This 1933 or 1934 Austin Utility Coach was the forerunner of modern rear engined transit and over the road buses. It was the first production model bus to utilize a transverse mounted rear engine and driving through a transmission and driveshaft set at an angle to the differential. This system developed and patented by Dwight Austin became known as angle drive. The PBM was contacted in January 2017 by the owner of the bus who inquired about its manufacture and also communicated his desire to have it go to a good home. The bus was quickly purchased by member Ron Medaglia who donated the bus to the Pacific Bus Museum along with the cost of transporting the bus to Williams, CA where it is currently stored. The fleet number, serial number and original owner are all unknown at this time. However, the PBM is reasonably sure this bus was either delivered new to either Los Angeles Motor Coach in 1933 or the Pacific Electric in 1934.
The short lived Austin Utility Coach seating 22 passengers was built mostly of aluminum at a facility in Inglewood California. Four were delivered new to Los Angeles Motor Coach in 1933 and three went to Pacific Electric in 1934. The remainder of the total of 26 that were built were all delivered to Salt Lake City. Lack of new orders during the Great Depression of the 1930s caused Austin to cease production of this pioneering bus. Yellow Coach (General Motors) recognizing the importance of Austin’s patented angle drive system bought the company along with Austin’s patent in 1934. Soon thereafter Yellow Coach began incorporating angle drive in the manufacture of their own buses and later General Motors buses up until GM exited the bus manufacturing business in 1986