In 1951 DSR's General Manager Leo J.Nowicky commissioned GM Truck & Coach Co. to determine how many their 40 foot diesels would be needed to convert the city's streetcars routes together with most small buses acquired in Fred Nolan's era. GM concluded that about 400 buses could replace all the two-man streetcars and about 650 small buses. Early in 1953 DSR placed it first order for air-suspension TDH-5105 buses. In October 1953 first 25 buses arrived and in January 1954 there were already one hundred, numbered 1201-1300. They arrived in regular DSR red and cream colors and had split window sashes. These buses replaced Jefferson line streetcars and also enabled the DSR to retire its last Fords. In August-September 1955, 30 more buses arrived, numbered 1301-1330, they replaced streetcars on Michigan line.
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