Ixo's classic vintage eastern European Ikarus Intercity bus is just the ticket

02 March 2022
Ixo 1972 Ikarus 66 - NVK Nahverkehr
Ixo's classic vintage eastern European Ikarus Intercity bus is just the ticket Images

PRICE: £58.99
SCALE: 1/43

Ikarus was a manufacturer of buses based in Budapest and Székesfehérvár, Hungary. It was established in 1895 and, during the Communist era in Hungary, it dominated bus markets of the entire Eastern Bloc and its allies.

The Ikarus 66 is an urban-suburban bus, produced in great numbers between 1952 and 1973. Most of the 9,260 units produced were exported to the German Democratic Republic from 1957, and it was one of the dominant types of bus transport in the 1960s and 1970s. Apart from the exports to the GDR, some 2,700 vehicles were delivered to Volán companies in Hungary. The latter were all scrapped by 1983, but many in the GDR survived until the end of that decade, in fact, nearly 1,500 are reported to have still been in operation in an audit undertaken in September 1988. Several have, thankfully, survived into preservation as, we are sure you agree, it is a most attractive vehicle, particularly the protruding tail.

Designed from the outset for driver-only operation, the 66 came in two basic configurations, but both featured a rear-mounted, water-cooled engine. The main difference between the two types is the door configuration with local 'in town' service vehicles featuring three sets of doors (a 'three-wing' set at both front and rear, with a 'four-wing' in the middle) and intercity variants having just the two 'three-wing' sets, as modelled here.

This is the third release by Ixo of its evocative Ikarus casting (after BUS022 and BUS025) and is the best-looking release so far, wearing this rather fetching cream with blue highlights colour scheme of NVK Nahverkehr, en route to Karl-Marx-Stadt. The finish to the paintwork is excellent all over and the simple, but classic, striping is very neatly applied, as is the subtle NVK logo. The destination box is very nicely done too.

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A very pleasing model that deserves a place in any collection of classic buses.