Old Bus Photos

Upminster & District – AEC Regent V – 220 CXK

220 CXK

Upminster & District
1961
AEC Regent V 2D2RA
Park Royal H38/31F

In 1961, London Transport bought a Regent V on behalf of BEA to test the practicality of using double deckers on the service between Cromwell Road Air Terminal and Heathrow. The vehicle had a Park Royal H38/17F body, the restricted seating figure arising from the adaptation of the rear section of the lower deck to serve as a large luggage carrying compartment. The 2D2RA chassis had a 9.6 litre AV590 engine coupled with a Monocontrol gearbox. Proving that the double decker concept was feasible, it wore several liveries as it served with BEA for a number of years alongside RMF1254 and then the RMA fleet with their luggage trailers. It was sold in 1968 to Super Coaches (Upminster) Ltd., one of whose trading names was Upminster & District, and the new owner converted it back into standard bus configuration with windows and 31 seats on the lower deck. It is seen here on the HCVC Brighton Run in 1971, where it seemed to be functioning as a support vehicle rather than as an entrant itself.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


09/04/19 – 09:13

Surprisingly, there doesn’t seem to be any references to this vehicle after 1971. Super / Upminster & District were rather fond of AECs and ex London vehicles, probably due to their traffic manager, a young man called Peter Newman. In 2019, as chairman of Ensign Bus, his fleet suggests that he is still very fond of AECs and ex London vehicles.

Nigel Turner


11/04/19 – 06:16

I’m pretty sure that this Regent V was destroyed not long after this picture was taken. I cant recall now if it was a fire or an accident that put paid to it, but think it was the former. I’m sure someone with better knowledge will confirm my thoughts

Malcolm Pelling


13/04/19 – 06:00

I don’t believe that this was taken on the 1971 rally, since by then it had been sold from Super Coaches to City Coaches and on to Ementon, Cranfield.
It’s history is:-
B.E.A, Ruislip 6501 12/61
P.V.S. (London) Limited (dealer), Upminster 5/67
Super Coaches, (Upminster) Limited, Upminster 1/68 re-seated to H37/31F as no 681
City Coach Lines (Upminster), Limited, Upminster No, 506 2/69
S.M. Ementon, Cranfield 10/70
Withdrawn 6/72 after an accident and to Paul Sykes Organisation (dealer), Barnsley 12/72 for scrap. I photographed it with the identical destination setting, including the paper insert, on the 1968 rally as seen in this link.

John Kaye


14/04/19 – 06:11

You are right, John. As you suggest, it was the previous year. My mistake.

Roger Cox


21/04/19 – 07:18

I am not really a bus person (more into coaches) but to me the rather square Park Royal body on 220 CXK looks very similar to the bodies supplied to East Kent also on Regent V chassis, perhaps 220 CXK was tagged onto an EK batch?. I like the coach style wheel discs, Delaine used to have them on their Atlantean d/ds.

Andrew Spriggs


 

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Aldershot & District – AEC Reliance – VCG 596H

VCG 596H

Aldershot & District Traction Co
1970
AEC Reliance 6U3ZR
Duple C49F

Having vacillated for some time before settling upon an underfloor engined saloon chassis, even buying some full fronted Dennis Lancet III coaches in 1953, Aldershot & District finally chose the AEC Reliance as its standard single decker, and stayed with this model for its coach requirements right up to its subjugation to Thames Valley (mis)management from January 1972 under the new guise of Alder Valley. Seen here in The Grove alongside Aldershot Bus Station is No.596, VCG 596H, the first of four 6U3ZR Reliances supplied in 1970 with Duple C49F coachwork sporting the (to my eye) hideous Detroit “inspired” front grille that spoilt many of the later Duple designs. Aldershot & District bought two more Reliances of the 6U3ZR specification in 1971, but these had the aesthetically more pleasing Plaxton C49F coachwork. VCG 596 passed to Alder Valley from 1 January 1972 as No. 49.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


22/12/18 – 06:37

I have to say that I like this coach! Functional, neat without meaningless frippery: where is the Detroit? Burlingham, Whitson, Yeates, other Duple perhaps…this is more Turin!

Joe


22/12/18 – 12:11

Joe – the "Detroit"-inspired part is the full-width chromed grille, which does look rather "overpowering" to my eyes. The chromed strip that runs the length of the body and at across the front at headlight level is also an excessive amount of polished metal.
In a monochrome photo, and wearing a livery with various colours, it doesn’t look so bad, but with a different "livery", and in colour, the effect is pretty dire:- https://thetransportlibrary.co.uk/index.php
I see from other photos that Southdown had the sense to specify their RUF-H batch of Leopards with the same body without the chromed strip on the sides, but they were stuck with the grille.
The polished metal soon went out of fashion, but the advent of the Dominant with curved side windows made the Commander look very old-fashioned in just a couple of years.

Nigel Frampton


26/01/19 – 06:48

The 36ft long AEC Reliance with the AH691 engine & the later AH760 power unit was a real drivers coach & the best premium weight coach on the market until the Volvo B58 surpassed it. With a Reliance the only thing to watch is they tended to run a bit hot on sustained motorway journeys. My boss instructed his drivers to keep an eye on the temperature gauge & if it starts to climb, drop a gear & keep it down to 55 to 60 MPH while it drops. Good advice, never had overheating on later Reliances.
Leyland Leopard, very good, but I think the chassis was more suited to a service bus body rather than a premium coach. As a coach, the gear ratios were all wrong on a semi auto Leopard, but in terms of reliability & strength of the chassis they were unsurpassed.

Andrew Spriggs


26/01/19 – 09:59

Not sure about the overheating: if you had a Sunbeam Imp with the usual gasket problem, going faster improved the air cooling effect!

Joe


06/03/19 – 07:17

I think the overheating problems associated with the Reliance were mainly confined to the wet lined AH470 engine, later replaced by the more successful, dry lined AH505.
The least said about the Hillman Imp, especially the very early examples, probably the better.

John B


 

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Leeds City Transport – AEC Reliance – KUA 46 – 46

Leeds City Transport - AEC Reliance - KUA 46 - 46

Leeds City Transport
1964
AEC Reliance 2MU2RA
Roe B41D

Seen in April 1970 is Leeds City Transport No. 46, 46 KUA, an AEC Reliance 2MU2RA with Roe B41D bodywork, one of four, Nos. 44 – 47, 44 – 47 KUA delivered in 1964. These followed an earlier order for six similar vehicles in 1962, Nos 39 – 43, 839 – 843 CUM. I understand that all these Reliances had quite a short life of around 8 years or so with Leeds.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


03/12/18 – 07:13

I can’t comment on the others, but 45 and 47 went to Aberdeen. I have a view of each from the late Arnold Richardson’s collection.

Pete Davies


04/12/18 – 06:33

All four were new in August 1964 and withdrawn in December 1970.
44 and 45 went to Aberdeen on 30th June 1971, being followed on 7th July by 46 and 47, retaining the same fleet numbers.

John Kaye


05/12/18 – 07:46

Oh dear, that destination box doesn’t look comfortable, balanced up there.

Petras409


11/12/18 – 07:43

These Reliance’s really came too late. They were in effect an update of the standee single deckers 29-38, to the same 30ft. length when 36 ft. had become available. Getting 41seats into the shorter length, with dual doors meant they had poor access/exit and tight seat spacing. As with many AECs of that design they were not comfortable, or liked by passengers or drivers. Just two years later, the first 36 ft. Swifts with wider doors, easier steps and 48 better spaced seats arrived. They may not have been great, but they were better. In a year or so there were 50 Swifts in operation and 39 to 46 were consigned to relief work and then sale.

Andy Buckland


13/12/18 – 05:53

Several of these also ended up in Scotland with Greyhound of Arbroath.

Chris Hough


07/01/19 – 07:12

I’ve sometimes wondered what was so wrong with the AEC Swift and the Leyland Panther that caused many operators to not get on with them, prematurely retire them (especially London’s AECs) and overall have bad experiences, while the conceptually similar Bristol RE seems to have commonly led a full life with its original operators.
It’s not as if they did not incorporate standard components in use elsewhere.

Bill


12/01/19 – 08:23

In the absence of a more comprehensive reply from someone who knows more, I will say that one of the differences between Bristol’s approach and the Panther/Swift approach was the position of the driveline and its effect on weight distribution. In the Panther and Swift the engine and gearbox were at the extreme rear of the overhang, whereas the RE had the engine further forward, with the gearbox in front of the rear axle.

Peter Williamson


16/01/19 – 07:27

The Panther also had a much weaker frame causing bending and breaking. Even in preservation I can think of a couple where following you can see the curve.

Roger Burdett


17/01/19 – 07:09

The radiator for the Swift was not at the front, as in the Panther or the RE, but tucked away behind a panel in the bodywork behind the offside back wheels.
Although this arrangement probably insured against air locks in the cooling system, it restricted the flow of cooling air over the surface of the radiator and could result in the engine overheating.

John B


18/01/19 – 06:30

My Foden which has the Rad in the same position still airlocks so concur John B comment.

Roger Burdett


18/01/19 – 06:32

In the Bristol RE the drive went forward from the engine to the gearbox located in front of the rear axle, and then back again to the differential. This gave a prop shaft of decent length to accommodate the suspension travel of the rear axle, something that competitive designs (the worst being the Seddon RU) lacked. Contrary to popular belief, the RE did not pioneer this layout. The Rutland Clipper of 1954 used a similar arrangement.

Roger Cox


 

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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Monday 22nd April 2019