The sight of this repurposed Mercedes O305 by r0b0tr10t is a rolling embodiment of the phrase, “God is in the details.” That makes it ideal for its repurposing as what appears to be a mobile church of some variety, driving through Germany to rekindle people’s connection to their faith, emblazoned with the phrase, “Mensch, wo bist du?” or loosely translated using my limited knowledge of the German language, “Humanity, where are you?” With its fresh coat of paint vinyl, it looks almost current. It helps that the badges and trim were all retained; someone clearly loves this bus.
Busses are sometimes more fashion forward than private cars (think of GM’s “Silversides” and “New Look” busses as good examples); as devices seen all over the place and which remain in production for decades, they almost have to be. So it is with the O305, which I never would’ve guessed debuted in 1969 and remained in production until its slow replacement by the rather similar looking O405 through the mid ’80s. It almost looks like it could’ve been designed ten years later.
For those who can’t quite make out the script on the now-blocked rear window, it says, “I love you, I love you, I love you, God.” These appeals to humanity are complimented by the bus itself, which as a vehicle originally made for public consumption, also said a lot about its own stylists’ and operators’ ideas of an idealized society. Do you think such a utopian parallel endeared the O305 to this mobile congregation?