Table of contents

       
 Burma    Related pages, Burma 2
 Mandalay page 1 page 2, page 3
 
Back in 1977 I visited Burma for the maximum tourist time of 2 weeks. Burma was truly like stepping back in time. The cab from the airport was a 1952 Humber with a broken chassis which crabbed down the streets. When it started to rain the driver stopped and removed the windscreen wipers from the glovebox and fitted them (they were there to stop their theft) and handed the one remaining window winder around so we could stay dry.
But the biggest surprise was the huge number of WW2 vehicles in daily use, including the fleets of CMP buses. Most had their front axles replaced for non-driven variety and all seemed to have a Chevrolet motor, even the Fords. The streets of Rangoon and Mandalay echoed to the whine of spur gears all day long. What a place!
The view from my room in the Orient Hotel in Rangoon. The Burmese had made the change from driving on the left to the right some years earlier, and so all the buses had the passenger doors moved to the opposite side, but the driver was still on the right.
A bus depot in Rangoon. There are 5 CMP buses in this shot.
Mandalay Mandalay. Some of the bus bodies had been moved to more modern chassis.
Mandalay at sunset, an idyllic scene showing several different modes of transport.
Yankee Joe with large Chevy bowtie on the grille.
From Mandalay we took a trip to the hill station of Maymyo in these Jeeps, seen here at a wayside stop part way up the mountain. There were a lot of Jeeps doing taxi duty. Darkness fell before we made our way back down the winding mountain roads, but the drivers were saving their headlights, only switching them on when they thought they saw another vehicle coming. Note the CMP on the far left with the door open. CMPs were used extensively for goods transport too.
Page 2 shows the CMPs still going strong in the mid 1990s through the photograpy of Martin Schmidt. And another series of pictures 10 years on in 2006.