In 1948, the requirements for a railbus were formulated, which should use components from the construction of road buses. Because of the lightweight construction, there was no intention to couple conventional cars. Instead, suitable trailers were developed, which were to be attached using light-weight Scharfenberg couplings. The capacity of each vehicle should be 40 people and there should be a toilet in each vehicle. The winner of the tender was the Uerdingen car factory, which had already gained experience in the construction of railbuses in the 1930s.
In 1950, the first ten motor cars and six trailers were built as prototypes. These were 10.5 m long and had large overhangs because of the then permissible fixed wheelbase of 4.5 m. Thanks to a special permit, only the eleventh prototype could have a wheelbase of 6.0 m and was 12.75 m long, which was also adopted for series production. A Büssing U 9 with 110 hp was used as the engine, which was connected to an electromagnetically switched six-speed gearbox. The gas and brake were operated with pedals, as in road vehicles. Since the brake turned out to be undersized, a magnetic rail brake was installed in later vehicles and retrofitted to all existing vehicles.
A version of the same engine with 130 hp and later the Büssing U 10 with 150 hp were used in series production. The Bundesbahn received a total of 557 motor cars and 564 trailers. Most of the time, a combination of one motor car and one trailer was used, but the motor cars also ran on their own on hilly routes. Three railbuses were each given two engines in order to be able to use them on the steep Erlau–Wegscheid route with an incline of 6.89 percent. While the trailers were designated VB 142, 60 single-axle VB 141 trailers were built to transport luggage and bicycles.
Since there were no control cars, the motor car had to drive to the other side of the trailer at the terminus and then be operated from the second driver's cab. Later, a total of 185 motor cars were equipped with a so-called small control gear in order to be able to use two motor cars with up to two trailers in the middle. From 1964, some motor cars were equipped with equipment to use them without a conductor.
In addition to the Bundesbahn, the CFL and the JŽ each received ten motor cars and trailers. The Saarland also received 15 motor cars and 12 trailers. However, these were built under license in Saarland and had different engines in order to be able to save on customs costs. Likewise, seven motor cars and four trailers were manufactured under license in Italy. Some private railways had received vehicles with side buffers and a more powerful engine, which already represented an intermediate stage towards the successor VT 98. The VT 95, which was classified as class 795 from 1969, was retired from the Bundesbahn by 1980.