In 1950, the demand for commercial vehicles was very high in Europe. At that time, buses and coaches shared chassis with trucks and vans. Since buses only accounted for about 10% of the chassis made, bus manufacturers didn’t have much control over the design or delivery of these chassis. Otto Kassbohrer & Georg Wahl of Kassbohrer Gmbh. designed a new chassis-less body, a self-supporting body frame, independent front suspension with rear engine drive. The new chassis-less frame was called Selbst Tragend (self-carrying). The bus was called “Setra” from the first letters of both words.
This first “Setra” bus was completed at the end of 1950. Its basic structure consisted of a load-bearing frame of a lattice pattern that is welded from high-quality section steel tubes & with sheet steel paneling making it absolutely rigid. It was tested for weeks over good and bad roads. The performance was so outstanding as to eclipse all previous buses. The coach shown above was this first vehicle and remained in service for over 14 years and over 1 million kilometers.