1959 Citroën U55 Cityrama Currus
Paris tour coach

Baji J. Ram Rao
18:08 Wed. 07-May-2013

In the 1950s, Citroën made this hyperfuturistic one-and-a-half decker bus for Paris tour operator, Groupe Cityrama.
The fantastic shape was designed by the French coachbuilder Currus on a Citroën U55 truck chassis. The silver buses were painted with red, white and blue accents -- the colors of the French national flag.
It was unleashed upon excited visitors to Paris in 1950.


Note the faux wire-strike knife above the center of the driver's windshield.
A true wire-strike protector on a helicopter is designed to abrade, score, weaken and "cut" any wire the helicopter flies into, before it can entangle the rotor system or cause a crash.

A line of buses

A line of parked tour buses.

front view

Encased with curved glass windows to get the best views of the Parisian sights.
Not merely the windows, but substantial expanses of side walls and roof too were made of glass!

open glass roof

The bus had a glass roof on the upper deck which was removable for sunny days to avoid overheating.
The removable glass roof must have been a welcome feature, considering how people smoked everywhere and anywhere in back in the 1960s.

The Cityramas were built on a very basic Citroën U55 model chassis.
The coachbuilders Currus “pimped” this ride into the future! Each seat had its own Paris voice guide available in eight different languages.
And that in the 1960s, before there was digital integrated circuit electronics. They must have had analog eight-track tapes playing.

Bus drivers took great pride in driving their spaceship tour buses.

bus driver

The U55 Cityrama Currus became a bit of an automotive icon of the day, appearing in several films,
including our very own An Evening in Paris(1967), starring Shammi Kapoor and the gorgeous Sharmila Tagore.

Mercedes 770K right side

The year is 1967. A 20-year old Sharmila Tagore wonders whether to escape the pesky romeo, by boarding this fancy French 1½ decker tourist bus with the 'fifties-style tailfins.

Sharmila and Shammi

Sharmila Tagore and Shammi Kapoor on the top deck. Note the headphones for every seat.