Hungarian inventor Ernõ Rubik invented his Rubik's cube in 1974 probably as he was sitting on the back seat of the Ikarus 255 and relaxing to the soft purring of the engine. Our Ikarus 255, which rolled out of the Magyar factory in 1979, was at the moment the most rectangular bus out there and it was nicknamed The Aquarium for a reason.
The 36 passengers on the bus could see the world and be seen by the world at the same time.
Length of Ikarus 255 is 11 meters and the bus is suitable for travelling only on paved inter-city and near-city roads.
The treat of Spring 2013 in our old bus selection was the nostalgic red-and-white Ikarus 255 that rolled out of the factory in 1979.
The newer 256s had a front door that was opened with a button, and instead of springs the seats were air-cushioned. The ruby-and-white colour combination was replaced by orange tones and first plastic bumpers.
Our slender beauty is produced among the last of 255s and has some features that indicate the arrival of 256, but its essence is still that of the old-school “Aquarium”.
Among the features indicating the coming of the new model is the new dashboard that considers the fact the bus drivers' arms are actually attached to their bodies and do not extend endlessly.
Getting up from behind the wheel to reach further buttons was no longer needed. Another defining nuance of the release year is the door through which the passengers board. The door that was meant to be opened manually had a handle that was more ergonomic for monkeys than passengers with tickets. The latter model had this type of handle only on the emergency exit door in the back.
Our object of interest has worked at the Tartu Bus Park, travelled to Germany with students from Estonian University of Life Sciences, and followed orders from T-Team Trans
After the initial overview, we admitted that this bus is very complex and able to travel, so it is worth restoring as a piece of history for the future generations to see. However, after the specialists at Busland had removed smaller details and covers, the sight was quite hopeless.
Out of all the Ikarus 255s that ever rode on Estonian roads, the only one that was left was in one piece thanks to brittle framing and immense willpower. Quickly, the welders nearby switched on their defibrillators and, with the help of square pipes, started reviving the worn off frame of the bus. In few months, Busland specialists managed to bring the bus back to life and another couple of months later the shining bus rolled out of the colouring booth.
The chief specialists of this project, Andres Hõrak and Jorven Rang, gave everything to make the bus look like it used to do.