Karl Kässbohrer of Ulm builds first Eagle

Eagle Model 01 Production List -Trailways Golden Eagle- Kassbrohrer build in Ulm Germany

The first Eagle coach was built in Germany by the Karl Kässbohrer firm of Ulm in 1956. The Eagle coach was the result of a contract between Continental Trailways in the United States and the Kässbohrer company.

Continental Trailways was looking for a 40-foot coach to compete with Greyhound’s Scenicruiser. Unable to find a North American manufacturer who would start production on their terms, Continental started looking overseas. At least one manufacturer in Ireland was considered first, followed by at least one English bus builder. Next up was Germany where Continental considered buying Neoplan. That fell through so Continental looked to Kässbohrer. Kässbohrer had connections to M.A.N. for diesel engines and Z.F. for transmissions and was willing to work on Continental’s terms. Kässbohrer was also the pioneer for integral (no separate body and chassis) and articulated buses in Europe. Their patented trailing section dominated the articulated market for nearly a decade. Continental had an idea of what their dream coach would look like and gave their requirements and sketches to Kässbohrer. Continental watched as Kässbohrer designed the new bus and approved every line of the new drawings. Continental gave their new bus the name of Golden Eagle as they acquired an eagle trademark as part of their 1953 purchase of American Buslines. In mid-1956, Kässbohrer built a single high specification 40 foot, 3-axle luxury coach specifically designed for and partly by Continental Trailways. It was a prototype and when finished it was shipped to Houston for evaluation. Continental was mostly very happy with it but asked Kässbohrer for some changes to be made before production started.