March 24, 2019 Karl

The Malta bus …. (cont)

….. these icons had an olive green livery with a black stripe.

In the 1930s because of the illiteracy which was staining the Maltese population, all buses had to be painted in different colours according to the route they operated,  bad luck if you were color blind.. In 1975 buses were painted green again which was the standard for 20 years.

In 1995 vehicles then carried a yellow (lower) and white (upper) livery, with  a red band just below the window line. Gozo buses were grey with a red band below the window.Their mark and uniqueness was the high level of customisation and detailing.

The majority of classic Malta buses had elaborate grilles and headlight arrangements, curved windscreens and sloping roofs, with a front engine mounted in an extended bonneted nose.Increased use chrome parts / high polishing of chrome parts, such as hubcaps and grilles

Paint detailing, both generally, and of parts such as indicators and filler caps was what we call in Maltese “Tberfil” – Lettering and design hand work. Custom passenger messages, both in the interior and exterior of the bus as well as hand written graffiti tattered the insides. 

Names relating to the village patron saint, monarchs, or other notable objects was also a common feature. 

Trimmings and hangings, inside the front window made these amazing machines – a character like no other. 

Slogans, murals, quotations and lucky images (such as the horseshoe)Some of the other features one could notice and smile at where the 2 seats near the driver facing lengthwise .. many loved this as the heat of the engine kept them warm. 

The long nylon rope to activate the bell to stop…very basic this was. 

Th rexine used to cover the old foam to somehow comfort the seat. 

The back door which was for emergency.., and the entry which had no door attached making this a safety issue. 

Fancy a ride now .


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