J. G. Brill began fledgling operations in 1868 and operated with the Brill name until 1956.
"ACF's president, Frederick A. Stevenson, retired in May of 1947 and Charles J. Hardy, Jr., former executive vice-president of ACF, was elected president. Hardy’s father, Charles J. Hardy Sr., remained as ACF board chairman.
The sale to Consolidate Vultee ended ACF-Brill's involvement with American Car and Foundry and the motor coach manufacturer now answered to the directors of Consolidated Vultee. All former ACF motor coach assets were transferred to Consolidated-Vultee's 4-year-old Nashville, Tennesee facility and bus production commenced in late 1945.
At the end of the War General Motors couldn’t keep up with the demand for their highly-regarded diesel transit coaches to the benefit of the nation’s smaller bus manufacturers such as ACF-Brill. Large fleets of gasoline–powered ACF-Brill transit coaches were sold to a handful of East Coast operators who were desperate for product, one example being the Baltimore Transit Co. who ordered 162 ACF-Brill gasoline coaches in 1947.
A small number of Willys-badged 15-17 passenger coaches were constructed in the late 1940s using chassis supplied by Willys-Overland, but the underpowered coaches were not successful. For a short period of time ACF-Brill’s trolley coaches proved popular with municipalities seeking to replace worn-out streetcars and a few large orders were placed by surface transit operators in Boston, Chicago, East St. Louis, Houston and other smaller cities.
A few orders trickled in for ACF-Brill's line of intercity coaches, which had enjoyed moderate success before the war, but like their main competitor, Flxible, post war sales disappeared once it became known that new Diesel-equipped GM Silversides were available.
Once their diesel transit coach operations got up to speed, it was nearly impossible to compete with General Motors and by 1952 orders for new ACF-Brill transit coaches dried up completely. ACF-Brill tried to break into the school bus market with a line of Brill-badged purpose-built school buses, but sales were disappointing at best. Flxible managed to stay in business into the late 1950s but Consolidated-Vultee's directors shut down all bus production in 1954. The firm's Nashville plant remained in operation producing television cabinets and airplance components into 1959 when it was taken over by AVCO."© 2013 Mark Theobald for coachbuilt.com
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