Kaiser Aluminum Corp. - 1942-1984 - Oakland, California or Kaiser Steel - Fontana, California


Permanente Metals Corp. plant of Kaiser Industries, Permanente, Calif.

A pilot model of a 60-foot articulated over-the-road coach was constructed as a speculation and operated between Los Angeles and San Francisco by Santa Fe Trail Transportation Co., a member of the National Trailways association. The body was constructed of a magnesium­-aluminum alloy. A 6-cylinder Cummins diesel engine was mounted beneath the floor of the forward section, with a separate air-conditioning unit under the floor in the rear. There was space for 378 cubic feet of baggage in under­floor compartments. Suspension was the so-called "Torsilastic" system of rubber bonded between the walls of con­centric tubes, a design pioneered by Twin Coach and later used by Flxible and Bus & Car (on the Silver Eagle). The pilot was never duplicated; it operated in regular service until 1951.


Kaiser Permanente sometimes listed as builder (doubtful). There was a Kaiser Permanente Cement Co in Cupertino.

In 1946 Kaiser built an articulated three-axle prototype bus for carrying rail passengers between Los Angeles and Bakersfield California, although later it served between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Special authority from the California Public Utilities Commission was required because passengers were being carried in a trailer. Sante Fe Trailways advertised this bus as "man-made magic." It was powered by a Cummins diesel mounted under the floor. The engine and transmission were mounted on a roller carriage that could be removed easily for service or replacement.

pictures at University of Akron Archives.


Henry J. Kaiser (1882-1967); launched more ships than any other builder during World War II, headed the first company to manufacture steel on the West Coast, completed massive construction projects like the Hoover and Grand Coulee dams, and developed a health care organization, headquartered in Oakland, that became a model for HMOs nationwide. Described by one historian as "America's boldest, most spectacular entrepreneur," Kaiser is one of the individuals who have most influenced the history of California and the West Coast.

The automobile company he formed with Joseph Frazer in 1945 produced some models but ceased productions in the US in 1954. In 1942 founded the largest American Health maintenance organization now known as Kaiser Permanente.


Started cement company in Oakland, CA in the 1920s - founded Permanente in 1939 - world's largest cement plant

12-22-1940 - Defense Plant Corp. awarded funds to Kaiser, Alcoa, Reynolds in 1941 for 9 aluminum plants on Pacific coast , broke the Alcoa monopoly on aluminum.

Built jeeps during WWII


1946 Prototype modern articulated bus bends both vertically and horizontally. Built by Kaiser Permanente [Kaiser bus]. Rear axle counter-steers for precise wheel tracking (pp94 - American Buses - Woods)


The community faced a transition in 1942 when Fontana was selected as the site for a steel mill. The City was incorporated June 25, 1952, with a population of 13,695 and became Southern California's leading producer of steel and related products. The steel industry dominated the City's economy since the mill was built. However, in the late 1970's, Kaiser Steel began to cut down on production and manpower and the steel mill closed in 1984.



For more information please read:

Ed Strauss & Karen Strauss - The Bus World Encyclopedia of Buses

G.N. Georgano & G. Marshall Naul - The Complete Encyclopedia of Commercial Vehicles

Albert Mroz - Illustrated Encyclopedia of American Trucks & Commercial Vehicles

Donald F. Wood - American Buses

Denis Miller - The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Trucks and Buses

Susan Meikle Mandell - A Historical Survey of Transit Buses in the United States

David Jacobs - American Buses, Greyhound, Trailways and Urban Transportation

William A. Luke & Linda L. Metler - Highway Buses of the 20th Century: A Photo Gallery 

William A. Luke & Brian Grams - Buses of Motorcoach Industries 1932-2000 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Greyhound Buses 1914-2000 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Prevost Buses 1924-2002 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Flxible Intercity Buses 1924-1970 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Buses of ACF Photo Archive (including ACF-Brill & CCF-Brill)

William A. Luke - Trailways Buses 1936-2001 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Fageol & Twin Coach Buses 1922-1956 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Yellow Coach Buses 1923 Through 1943: Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Trolley Buses: 1913 Through 2001 Photo Archive

Harvey Eckart - Mack Buses: 1900 Through 1960 Photo Archive

Brian Grams & Andrew Gold - GM Intercity Coaches 1944-1980 Photo Archive

Robert R. Ebert  - Flxible: A History of the Bus and the Company

John McKane - Flxible Transit Buses: 1953 Through 1995 Photo Archive

Bill Vossler - Cars, Trucks and Buses Made by Tractor Companies

Lyndon W Rowe - Municipal buses of the 1960s

Edward S. Kaminsky - American Car & Foundry Company 1899-1999

Dylan Frautschi - Greyhound in Postcards: Buses, Depots and Post Houses


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