View original topic: Barndoor Coachbuilders #1: Hans Kohlruss’ Buses Page: 1, 2, 3  Next
AustroBus Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:16 am

As i am quite interested in barndoor buses that were modified by coachbuilders, i collected all pics that i found here on thesamba and started some topics about them. I want to collect all the information about these special buses in their respective threads, where we can start discussions about the pics and buses.

This topic is about Kohlruss buses, other topics about Karl Schreiner and Unknown coachbuilders will follow!

Hans Kohlruss

Now let's start with Hans Kohlruss, i think currently he is the most famous coachbuilder we know. He created deluxe panorama buses starting with factory delivered panels! Most important signs of his buses are the two roof windows above the driver cabin as well as the two long side-windows with a silver-coloured frame on the left side of the bus - i can’t say what kind of metal it really is...
On the right side of the bus he kept the factory made passenger doors and built in small windows - followed by another sliding-window. Also note all of the deluxe trim on the buses!

paella wrote: this is somehow an offical photo, because it wears the Kohlruss stamp on the back:

the stamp:

detail of the steering wheel:

Here is a pic of his workshop in Vienna – I don’t know which one it shows, as there are 2 known addresses (as shown above – “Obere Donaustrasse 29-31, 1020 Vienna” and “Brigittaplatz 19, 1200 Vienna”).

AustroBus Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:16 am

Some other vintage pics of Austrian Kohlruss Buses

On pictures in good resolution/quality you can also see the Kohlruss-badge at the dogleg:

AustroBus Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:16 am

The Survivor

I don't have any numbers about how many buses were modified by Hans Kohlruss. Today, there is only one bus known that has survived.
It has been found about 3 years ago in the woods near Villach in Austria. The guys who found it dug around the place where it has been found to rescue every single screw and rusty piece of metal.
Afterwards the bus went in the hands of Mark S., who does some magic kind of restoration – he created a facebook group called The Kohlruss VW Barndoor Restoration where you can follow this truly awesome project!

He has plans to bring the Kohlruss Bus back on the road again by July 2016 and present it at the 11. Großglockner VW-Bulli-Treffen – a VW Bus Meeting at the highest mountain in Austria.
This fits perfectly because as much as I know most coachbuilt Kohlruss buses have been used as taxis and tour buses to conquer the Austrian Alps by hotels and local tour guides.

AustroBus Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:17 am

Other pics of Kohlruss buses

I do have a few other Kohlruss pics – I will add them by time but for the first I just wanted to collect all pics that I found on thesamba forum & gallery.

Of course it is possible that I was wrong with something or that I forgot a photo – if so, please apologize. Feel free to put it right and add more photos! :D
If anyone wants to know, where i found the pics - just contact me and i'll send you the link with the original posts!

Also look at the other topics that I started about coachbuilt barndoor buses:
Coachbuilder: Karl Schreiner
Coachbuilder: Unknown ones

vwhelmot Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:35 am

Cool thread . Thanks 8)

djfordmanjack Tue Mar 01, 2016 2:30 am

AustroBus wrote: Most important signs of his buses are the two roof windows above the driver cabin as well as the two long side-windows with a silver-coloured frame on the left side of the bus - i can’t say what kind of metal it really is...

All the custom built window trim was made by hand from Aluminium stock and each window frame/openings are stamped with a matching number, so that each frame goes into its intended place after painting.

AustroBus Fri Jul 08, 2016 12:28 am

In case anyone here has no facebook account - you missed something...

The Kohlruss Barndoor bus is driving again! =D> \:D/ =D>
I hope it is okay to upload your photo here, Mark :)

Just a reminder - this is how it looked when they found it:

Find more pics of this unique bus at The Kohlruss VW Barndoor Restoration

mandraks Fri Jul 08, 2016 7:28 am

awesome, thanks for posting it

peter schepens Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:19 am

And it was on its way to the LE MANS CLASSIC.... and arrived with some small problems.... Nothing that could'nt be solved with some on board tools. Great effort to the Mark.I hope he will have a good time in LE MANS.

djfordmanjack Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:02 pm

all to be said:

M A R K !!!

K R S S !!!

totally 8)


Malokin Martin Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:07 pm

The Highlander. Last one in existence

Huetti_1989 Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:11 pm

Nice car, hope He drive it to the Großglockner as He said 👍

zuggbug Sun Jul 10, 2016 4:14 pm

Wow, thanks for sharing

hugheseum Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:04 pm

i dont really care about vws anymore but in case none of you realize it this bus is the sickest vw bus to be found and built as it was ever.........anyone with money can own a plain jane bd 23.......a coachbuilt more exotic than a factory deluxe?......all the bd 23s in the world could join as one like voltron and not come close to defeating the radness of this old turd

djfordmanjack Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:08 pm

I know. and Mark knows. thx Adam.

ambu55 Tue Jul 12, 2016 1:12 pm

...found another picture from the Tiroler Bus with plate T1 - 489. ....will be here later!!


ambu55 Thu Jul 14, 2016 3:00 pm

here it is, the T1-489....


johnny d Tue Jul 26, 2016 12:50 pm

AustroBus Thu Apr 05, 2018 2:50 pm

Here is the Kohlruss workshop pic again (the last pic that doesn't work in the first post of this thread) - still don't know if it shows one of the two workshops in Vienna or the one in Salzburg.

Comparison Kohlruss vs. Schreiner

I thought it would be nice to fill this thread with a little bit of content again - as i am a huge Kohlruss fan i wanted to share this sketch with you.
I made it some years ago, tracing it from real pictures that luckily show the same angle of those special buses. More about Karl Schreiners buses in this thread

And as i am such a fan i also made myself a t-shirt and a poster showing this graphic:

Always keep updated about the adventures of the (currently) only known Kohlruss VW Barndoor Bus by following Mark on Instagram:

I also will search for other vintage kohlruss pics that haven't been posted in this thread so far and post them here. For example: During my research more than 2 years ago i found a vintage pic of a Kohlruss bus - it has been used by a tourist bus travel company in Austria in the 50ies. This company still exists today - of course it told Mark Spicer about it and he was able to visit this business during his trip to "Großglockner VW Bullitreffen 2016". He and his entourage talked with the senior chef who told them some nice details about their old Kohlruss from back in the days.. but more coming soon - hopefully. :)

And i will write something about the Kohlruss Käfers - crossovers between KDF Wagens and Steyr 50 ("Babies"). As i just read through this thread again i asked myself how i could forget to mention those special cars! #-o
Before i will write more about them, you can also find more information in this thread:;start=0

djfordmanjack Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:35 pm

still wearing my t shirt with pride !
That is the Salzburg shop. when we were there a year ago, the place already had been completely torn down for new estates.
One of the former KRSS employees told us about how the shop was set up and where they would do the roof and window conversion, in which corner they got painted and he was the actual guy who heat handformed the perspex roof windows and told us about the molds and all. it took about 6 hrs process to make a plexy window. little heat and gentle pressure.
when we were looking over to the neighbors place, we were struck in awe.
it had burned into our minds many years ago. 8)

was also terrific experience to watch the old taxi business man's eyes as he inspected and touched Mark's KRSS, and his mind was going back to 1955 when they bought a brandnew panel and had theirs converted by KRSS.
He said they were booked all the time and he drove it 100k kms in the first 5 yrs. I bet. I would too.... :lol:

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