The bus is a fantastic form of transportation. Cram some people in a giant metal box then whisk them away to a destination. As I’ve written about numerous times, history is chock-full of legendary and iconic coaches and transit buses. What you don’t really see too often is a weird bus, which makes the rare find so much more intriguing. While searching for another bus, I stumbled upon a video of a sleeper bus in Pakistan. The Al Munir Super International Limousine Plus sleeper bus is a wild creation with what’s technically three decks of luxury for passengers traveling between capital cities. The weirdest part? The lowest “deck” features a bunch of car doors leading to private rooms.
[Editor’s Note: Autopian Drive-In is going to be a new daily series that’s mostly about some interesting video we found and desperately want to show you. Of course, because it’s us, sometimes it’ll end up becoming a huge rabbit hole, like Mercedes ended up down here. Sometimes it’ll be shorter. But hopefully it’ll always be fun? – JT]
Admittedly, I have been spending inordinate amounts of time looking for GMC New Look transit buses. During the Illinois Railway Museum’s Bus Day back in September, it hit me that while the New Look bus was more common than the RTS I have sitting in storage, it seems that very few have survived. There isn’t really a life for most transit buses after service, so many get scrapped. In my desperate searches for New Looks for sale, I somehow fell into a rabbit hole of buses I’d never even seen before.
One of them is the Al Munir Super International Limousine Plus sleeper bus in Pakistan.
About a month ago, TEKNIQ, a YouTube channel dedicated to showing off people doing their trades, uploaded a video giving viewers a tour and a ride along in this unique machine.
My favorite part about this video is its lack of narration and background music. Instead, you get to view the bus as if you’re right there, or about as close as you could get through a computer screen. But don’t worry, I’ve done all of the digging you’ll need to know. One of these days you’re going to have to pull me out of all of the rabbit holes I fall down.
The bus is operated by a company called Al Munir and it runs a bus service called the Super International, which has been running since 1983. I couldn’t find much information about this bus route aside from the fact that Super International provides daily service between Quetta and Karachi, both large cities in Pakistan. Assuming the bus takes a direct route, this is a drive that takes around 10 and a half hours, not including any stops. Quetta is known for its fruit orchards, dried fruits, and mountain views. The city is also a trade hub as it’s near the border with Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Karachi is the largest city in Pakistan and the 12th largest city in the world.
If a wealthy person wants to take a bus ride between these two cities, the Super International Falcon Business Class 2X1 offers a lavish journey.
The bus featured here is one I’ve never seen before, but the video gives us a number of clues. Along the side of the coach is a badge that says Yutong. I’ve never seen one of these buses before because Yutong is a Chinese bus manufacturer that serves a number of markets, none of them North America. The company offers some history for your reading pleasure:
Zhengzhou Bus Repair factory was established in 1963 and has experienced many ups and downs. Today, Yutong Bus has been exported to the world, with a global market share of 15%, as and Chinese enterprises with a sense of social responsibility.
Zhengzhou Yutong Bus Co., Ltd. was founded with a sales volume of 708 units.
Listed in Shanghai Stock Exchange, Yutong Company became the first listed bus company in China.
Yutong’s annual sales volume exceeded 10,000 units for the first time.
Apparently, Yutong is a bit of a bus powerhouse in China and it began exporting buses to other countries in 2006. The bus we’re looking at today appears to be a highly modified version of the C13 PRO Coach. This bus is shipped to Master Motor Corporation in Pakistan, where it’s assembled from a knock-down kit. In Pakistan, this bus is sold as the Yutong Master NOVA Bus.
Master Motor explains its connections with Yutong:
In 2013, Master Motor Corporation (Pvt.) Ltd. signed technical license agreement with Yutong to enter into intercity bus segment of Pakistan. The first bus lined off from the plant in February 2016. These buses have been popularly known as Yutong-Master in Pakistan. Since then, Master Motor did not look back and took the bus market by storm. In 2017-18, Yutong- Master became the market leader with market share of more than 49%. Currently more than 1600 Yutong buses are running on the roads of Pakistan, including intercity, city, shuttle and apron buses, covering all major routes of the country.
According to a brochure for the unit, the bus is 41 feet long and is powered by a Weichai WP10.375, a 9.7-liter turbodiesel inline-six making 375 HP and 1076 lb-ft of torque. Power reaches the ground through a ZF 6S1610BO manual transmission and a Meritor rear axle. A Molead axle takes up the front. That drivetrain feeds from a generous 158-gallon fuel tank and everyone gets a cushy ride with a six-airbag suspension. Also notable is the fact that the bus has ABS and 8 electric radiator fans. Though, this exact bus appears to have just one giant belt-driven fan.
I have not been able to find out what company did the modifications, but they are extensive. The lower “deck” was made to emulate a limo. Where the baggage compartments would be on a stock Yutong sits an array of fully-operational car doors. I’m unsure what car these doors came from, but when you pop them open, you’re presented with a private sleeping berth for two complete with a bed, television, refrigerator, power, blankets, and the basic amenities you might want on a road trip.
As I said, the car doors still work, including the windows! It’s bizarre and I love it.
The two upper “decks” are really just one deck with two layers of sleeping berths. These are similarly luxurious, but they aren’t private like the limo rooms down below. Amusingly, this bus has a lot of Ferrari branding and I wonder if Ferrari knows about that.
Behind the sleeping berths are compartments for baggage as well as a small galley holding food and various drinks for passengers.
The rest of the video takes us on a drive. Traffic in the departure city seemed chaotic and at times the bus was headed into oncoming semi-truck traffic. But the driver seemed calm and collected. I bet the passengers were feeling pretty snug as well.
If you happen to visit Pakistan one day and want to ride this bus, Super International doesn’t appear to have a website. Instead, you’re supposed to dial 0313 8394364 and book a ticket. All of it is perfectly ridiculous. As I write this, I just noticed that the car doors have mirrors in them, as if the riders down there need to know what’s going on behind the bus. Either way, I’m here for it, and I wish Greyhound got this nutty.
(All Screenshots: TEKNIQ on YouTube)
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