Leyland Comet CPO1
Park Royal B30F
We don’t often see a Leyland Comet with bus or coach body, as it was normally considered to be a lorry chassis, and we see even fewer in Municipal liveries, but Douglas Corporation’s fleet was renowned for being "different"! KMN 519 is an example of the CPO1 model, with Park Royal B30F body, and we see it in Bold Street, Fleetwood, on 18 July 1999. It is taking part in the Tram Sunday event.
Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies
20/08/16 – 05:56
Just look at that enormous bonnet, the steering wheel and imagine the driving position in relation to it. To pull up behind a small car in heavy traffic must require some careful judgement!
20/08/16 – 10:25
No problem at all, just stop where you can still see Tyres and Tarmac, shouldn’t be any closer anyway.
20/08/16 – 10:25
The Douglas fleet always seemed to be immaculately maintained and turned out. It had several quirky features. In addition to these bonnetted Comets it had Guys similar in design to LT’s GS class which had huge destination boxes front and back for the very informative route blinds. There were also some ‘conventional’ saloons with the same arrangement. Some of the Regent V double deckers also had the large destination displays. Brings back happy memories of holidays spent on the island in the summers of 1967 and 1970. Another quirky feature in those days was the pubs being open all day!
20/08/16 – 11:09
Interesting thought from Chris, and reply from John. I used to work with a fellow whose parking idea in the office car park was to apply the handbrake when he hit the wall. One of my neighbours uses the same method. He calls it ‘parking by braille’. . .
21/08/16 – 11:07
Actually, Chris, the driver’s view from the cab of the Comet was not as bad as the picture of the Douglas example suggests. That photo has been taken from a position quite low at the front, which exaggerates the bonnet height and length. I frequently drove the former Brown Bus (A.T. Brady of Forest Green) Comet CPO1 on the Forest Green – Ewhurst – Wallis Wood – Horsham route on my weekend moonlighting job (excuse mixed metaphor) when the Brady business was taken over in 1971 by J.D. Wylde t/a North Downs Rural Transport. Initially, the Comet model was powered by the 75 bhp Leyland O300 5 litre diesel, though a petrol option was offered for export. The direct top five speed gearbox had sliding mesh engagement for first and second, and constant mesh for third and fourth. A Girling hydraulic braking system was fitted. In 1950 the engine became the 90 bhp O350 of 5.76 litres, and the model thus became known as the Comet 90. The bonnet structure was the product of Briggs Motor Bodies which also supplied the front end for the LT Guy GS bus, as well as Ford and Dodge goods models. When Ford took over Briggs in 1953, the supply to other manufacturers ceased. Here is a picture of OPB 536, a 1950 CPO1 machine with a Duple C32F body, taken at Forest Green. The Comet was a pleasant vehicle to drive, and the gearbox quite easy to use. Its only vice was the abysmally large turning circle that required precise placing of the machine on tight corners. I recall reading somewhere that OPB 536 was originally supplied with a petrol engine but was quickly converted to diesel, though this seems improbable to me. I understood that OPB 536 was subsequently bought by preservationists but I can find no recent references to it, so one must fear the worst.
21/08/16 – 16:19
Actually, Roger, the view was taken at my normal viewing height of camera to eye – I’m 5ft 8in – and with my feet on the road. I suspect your view of OPB might have been taken from a grassy bank. Yes, the angle of view does affect the perception quite a lot!
22/08/16 – 17:01
Parking by Braille was fine when cars had proper bumpers; these days breathing too heavily near the car might need a respray! (only a slight exaggeration)