Old Bus Photos

Southdown – Leyland Tiger – HCD 449 – 1249

HCD 449

Southdown Motor Services Ltd
1947
Leyland Tiger PS1/1
ECW C31R

HCD 449 is a Leyland Tiger PS1/1 with an ECW C31R bodywork (with door!) and dates from 1947, when it joined Southdown. We see it at an open day at the Brijan Tours depot in Curdridge – just outside Botley – on 22 April 2012. These open days were always well-attended, collecting money for local charities, normally the Hampshire & Isle Of Wight Air Ambulance. Sadly, Brijan closed down in 2015.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies


29/04/16 – 06:15

Superb in every way.

Ian Thompson


29/04/16 – 07:56

Is this another post which will spark off the old debate about DP v Coach specification? Southdown classed them as coaches but the body shell is unmistakeably bus with just a little additional brightwork embellishment. That apart it is a superb looking vehicle especially with the chromed radiator surround nicely polished.

Philip Halstead


29/04/16 – 14:29

Thanks for your comment, Ian!

Pete Davies


29/04/16 – 14:29

This particular combination of already handsome ECW body with Leyland PS1 chassis has always been particularly pleasing to me as an ardent admirer of both components.
If ever there was a vehicle where everything looks "just right" this is one. Many operators had examples of these but as far as I know only the Southdown ones had half drop windows (and very tidy louvres??)

Chris Youhill


30/04/16 – 06:28

A very interesting thought, Chris Y. I’ve just had a trawl through the contributions in respect of ECW bodies. Among them, there are plenty of single deckers, but none have the half-drop windows. Is one of the Southdown aficionados able to tell us if that operator was indeed the only one to have this combination?

Pete Davies


30/04/16 – 12:16

I am sure that I have travelled on an ECW-bodied Hants & Dorset Bristol LS B35R with half-drops in the late 1950s.

David Wragg


01/05/16 – 05:55

My favourite Southdown vehicles. As a small child in the late 50’s, I used to travel into Storrington on the service 71 which was usually operated by the 15xx East Lancs bodied Royal Tigers. Occasionally, one of these magnificent machines would turn up much to my delight. (They were downgraded from express duties to bus work after 1955).
Some were fitted with bus seats and full size destination boxes front and rear. Others remained as built. Regarding the half drop windows, there is a story that they were delivered with sliders, but altered at Portslade works before entering service. Not sure if this is truth or folklore, but Southdown had a thing about half drop windows, and all pre 1956 vehicles had them.

Roy Nicholson


01/05/16 – 17:20

Roy, according to MG Doggett & AA Townsin’s lovely book ‘ECW 1946-1965’, it would appear that Southdown had accepted most features of ECW’s ‘express’ design on its batch of Tigers, including the trim along the waistline. Interestingly though the authors go on to state: "However, there seems to have been some unease about the opening windows from early on. Some, at least, entered service with the then new ECW standard sliding vents (there being photographic evidence of body 1644 at Victoria thus), but body 1638 had much deeper sliding vents while 1640 (Southdown 1246) had full-depth sliding windows as built". An accompanying three-quarter rear view of 1246(GUF746) clearly shows the full-depth sliders, which gave the vehicle something of an ‘export model’ look. The text continues: "All of these options were considered unsatisfactory, and special half-drop windows conforming to ECW outline were fitted within a few months". The view of 1246 with full-depth sliders shows it without the louvres above the windows, so were these fitted as vehicles received their half-drop windows? Whatever the case, there is no doubt that they were handsome machines, enhanced by the application of Southdown’s distinctive livery. Beautiful.

Brendan Smith


02/05/16 – 06:44

Brendan, thanks for the information confirming the story about the half drop windows. I will keep my eyes open for a copy of said book.

Roy Nicholson


02/05/16 – 06:44

Many thanks for your further comments, folks.

Pete Davies


03/05/16 – 07:09

A real favourite of mine, especially since I once travelled on one, with my mum, back from Southsea to Kingston, in 1953. I never thought of it other than a coach, especially so as it bore the ‘coach’ script on the side. The odd ones were always the utility open-topped Guy Arab II’s who also bore ‘coach’ script, not really deserving it, although I was fond of them!

Chris Hebbron


04/05/16 – 06:21

Chris, your comment confirms my recollection that these ECW bodied PS1s were the ones used on the London – Gosport coach service that I travelled on several times as a kid between 1949 and 1952. I recall the first time I saw one before getting on it in Gosport, and marvelling at its smart appearance. Having been a great fan of the Maidstone and District pre-war Tigers when previously living in Kent, I looked forward to being treated to the glorious musical sounds that the word ‘Leyland’ had come to mean to me. Oh, how the PS1 disappointed – like hearing Stockhausen after Sibelius. The E181 engine had a very harsh rattle, even if it propelled the coach along adequately. Back in the early days of Buses Illustrated, there used to be a regular column called ‘From The Driver’s Seat’ by a certain T.A. Dalton, who, I think, worked for United Automobile. He was consistently disparaging about the E181 engine, but our own OBP expert, Chris Youhill, takes a completely opposite view, and none of us, I’m sure, would challenge Chris’s unparalleled practical knowledge on the subject. Like the Crossley and Daimler engines of the early post war period, the E181 was probably best suited to single deck applications, and the PS1 continued to be the standard Leyland saloon bus offering after the PS2 had appeared.

Roger Cox


05/05/16 – 06:53

Many thanks Roger, and I must say though that my impression of the E181 engines was as unfavourable as anyone else’s when they first appeared in 1945/6. I think initially the stark contrast with the lusty but silky smooth prewar 8.6 litre unit hit us all very forcibly, and secondly, although I have no technical knowledge on the matter, I do think that fitter unfamiliarity and poor quality fuel contributed to that harsh "knock" which they displayed. In my experience they became much more mellow and delightful in later years for whatever reason and had remarkable power when properly "tuned and fed" and driven for their 7.4 litres. No use expecting them to pull with trolleybus like power at ridiculously low road speeds in the higher ratios – that’s where proper use of the very precise gearboxes was essential – oh there now, I’m drooling again. I often think of the occasion when I was just at the start of a very busy late Saturday duty when the AEC Regent V suffered a flat rear tyre and was changed over with JUM 376, one of the original half dozen bought new in 1946. The apologetic but understanding fitter promised to return the Regent within the hour with a new tyre – I said that I’d rather keep 376 for the rest of the duty and he agreed – I had a lovely evening but we were both lucky to get away with it as, if the eagle eyed manager had spotted on Monday morning that we’d un-necessarily sacrificed 65 seats for 58 we’d have been for the high jump. In the event of course we never left anybody all evening – did somebody mutter something about "eight standing" ?? – never heard them !!

Chris Youhill


 

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Southdown – Leyland Titan – BUF 279C – 279

Southdown - Leyland Titan - BUF 279C - 279

Southdown Motor Services Ltd
1965
Leyland Titan PD3/4
Northern Counties FH39/30F

BUF 279C fleet number 279 is nearest the camera in this view taken at Dunsfold on 10 April 2011. Her close cousin, 972 CUF fleet number 972, is alongside. Both are Leyland titan PD3/4 vehicles with Northern Counties FH69F bodies. 972 was new in 1964 and 279 is from 1965. The third member of the group is UUF 116J fleet number 516, a Bristol VR/ECW combination. The vehicle is obviously too new for these pages, but it does show what a timeless livery the Southdown one was – dignified on any outline and far better than certain random applications of paint seen on too many buses these days.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies


13/04/16 – 06:04

The "dignified colour scheme" seems to have had quite an evolution. When venturing darn sarth many years ago, the scheme that impressed and still does is that olivey green which can be seen on the ill-starred 1952 PD2 "coach" on this site. We seem to have moved on here, even allowing for colour process and it’s now a bit vivid – but at least not the miserable NBC green which has also featured here.

Joe


13/04/16 – 06:05

BUF 279C_2

BUF 279C_3

Attached are 2 pictures of 279 with OK Motor Services of Bishop Auckland.
This bus was my regular vehicle when I worked there, on the Bishop Auckland to Wolsingham School AM journey.

Stephen Howarth


13/04/16 – 13:42

Joe, I ventured ‘darn sarth’ many years ago, but I stayed! I only remember this style and the NBC green. Perhaps the livery on that PD2 was a failed experiment! My trouble is that, when I return to the north west, folk up there think I’m a Southerner. Nice views, Stephen! Another dignified livery.

Pete Davies


13/04/16 – 13:43

The Southdown livery is one of my favourites, along with Royal Blue and Brighton Corporation/BH&D, before the Corporation changed to an insipid blue and white, while BH&D was absorbed by Southdown and the livery became the much detested National Green.

David Wragg


14/04/16 – 06:02

I am Sussex born and bred, and feel I can make some comments on Southdown livery. The green used on most preserved vehicles tends to be a little too bright. From memory, and looking at some of the other Southdown colour pics on this site and in various books, Southdown green was slightly more ‘yellowy’ and closer to a true apple green. However, we should not let this detract from the splendid job that the preservationists have done.

Roy Nicholson


14/04/16 – 08:14

Interesting, Roy. The Southdown which made such an impression on me was yes, apple green (introduced, it says somewhere, in 1932) which was less vivid and yes a bit yellowy or even olivey. If you look around the net, there seem many shades of Southdown green, but occasionally I see the one I remember. It went with holidays!

Joe


31/07/17 – 07:25

Southdown livery brings back many happy memories of holidays with relatives in Fareham in the 1960’s, taking buses to Lee-on-Solent or Southsea

Andrew Stevens


23/11/17 – 07:23

I drove one of these in the eighties. It had been converted for exhibitions, with lengthways seating, a fridge, sink and a bar upstairs and downstairs. It was registered as a motor caravan by this time. I’m fairly positive it is no longer in existence.

Geoff Bragg


 

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Southdown – Commer Avenger – XUF 55 – 55

Southdown - Commer Avenger - XUF 55 - 55

Southdown Motor Services Ltd
1960
Commer Avenger IV
Harrington C35F

Southdown, ever primarily a Leyland operator (though Guy got a look in from time to time) also had a modest requirement for lighter chassis. Despite having operated the OB model successfully, Southdown then eschewed the Bedford SB when it looked for a lightweight coach chassis in the late 1950s. It is understandable that the Bedford petrol engine did not appeal, and the alternative Perkins R6 was not a very attractive diesel option either. From 1960 Bedford offered the SB with a Leyland engine, but even this did not entice the Southdown company. Instead, whilst still favouring Leyland’s lightweight Tiger Cub, hitherto highly conservative Southdown became surprisingly interested in the unconventional Tilling Stevens TS3 opposed piston, three cylinder, horizontal two stroke engine, and bought 25 Beadle Rochester C41F coaches in 1956-57. In 1959, after further Tiger Cub deliveries, Southdown returned to the TS3 engine with a batch of 15 Commer Avengers with Burlingham C35F bodies, their first from this coachbuilder since the 1930s. Another batch of 15 Avengers followed in 1959-60, but these were given Harrington Crusader Mk1 C35F bodies. The Beadles and the Commers all gave up to 12 years service with Southdown, the last being sold off in 1971. I recall seeing – and hearing – the Avengers quite regularly on the Brighton service along the A23. Their distinctive sound was unmistakeable. Seen here tucked away in a corner of Victoria Coach Station in 1960 is the last of the Harrington batch, No.55, XUF 55.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox


10/03/16 – 15:45

I hope the panelling and upholstery had sound deadening qualities of the highest order. Detroit diesels of the period had a reputation for noise but the TS3 was in a league of its own!

Phil Blinkhorn


11/03/16 – 05:56

A further batch followed 41-55 shown in Roger’s picture. There were 15, numbered 56-70 (56-70 AUF) and were also bodied by Harrington. I assume that they were identical to the earlier batch, but my memory of seeing them can no longer recall any detailed differences, if any. I have just looked through the 2-volume history of Southdown by Colin Morris (Venture 1994), and the Vol.2 fleet list only prints the Beadle-Commers 1-25, and has neither list or photo of the Commer Avengers 26-70! Perhaps he had been deafened by the first 25?

Michael Hampton


11/03/16 – 05:56

It may be the angle of the photograph but this vehicle has a rather narrow look about it. Were these coaches 7ft 6ins. or 8ft. wide?

Chris Barker


11/03/16 – 05:57

I’m not sure, Phil. I’ve been in a TS3-engined bus only twice: once in recent years in a preserved coach at King Alfred Running Day at Winchester, and once fifty years ago driving some folk from Reading to Portchester, Hants, in a coach belonging to Spiers of Henley-on-Thames. As to the noise emanating from the exhaust pipe I agree with you all the way, but inside the vehicles things seemed reasonably quiet. Perhaps I enjoyed the sound so much that I was making undue allowances for it…
Commers raise a question in my mind: are they really a lightweight in the same sense as a Bedford or a Ford is?
We often call the Leyland Tiger Cub a lightweight, but I’d prefer a term like "three-quarterweight" or "quality lightweight", since the feel of a Tiger Cub is solid and precise, like that of a heavyweight. In the same way a Guy LUF is every bit as solid as the over-heavy UF.
On that basis perhaps the Commer is a "five-eighths-weight".
Interested to hear fellow OBP-ers’ views.

Ian Thompson


11/03/16 – 12:05

I don’t recall seeing any of these at all – were they based in Portsmouth?
I’ve found a photo of one of each batch side-by-side and they look identical. SEE //tinyurl.com/z49qe6x

Chris Hebbron


11/03/16 – 15:26

That’s a fine image of the two examples from each batch standing together. The only difference I can see is that the XUF driver’s mirrors are attached at the top of the windscreen, whereas the AUF mirrors are attached at the bottom. (And of course the windscreen wipers are facing in opposite directions…). My 1970 fleet list (SEC) shows the Portsmouth allocation as 6 XUF + 3 AUF [9], Eastbourne 4 XUF + 3 AUF [7], Worthing 7 AUF, and Brighton 5 XUF + 2 AUF [7], so they were quite well spread along the coast. The earlier Burlingham bodied batch (26-40) were at Eastbourne (3), Brighton (6), and Chichester (6). This is likely to have been their final allocations as Roger Cox notes that they had all gone by 1971, and the list I’m quoting from is accurate to 1st November 1970.

Michael Hampton


12/03/16 – 05:47

There is one more minor difference between them and that is that the XUF’s sported only a nearside spotlight; the AUF’s, one each side. Thanks, for the allocation details, Michael. You’d have thought that Southdown would have kept them all at one depot for ease of maintenance. Whilst I was looking for a photo of the other batch, I noticed photos of some of these vehicles working for contractors, showing that some had a further life beyond Southdown.

Chris Hebbron


12/03/16 – 05:48

I think all of Southdown Commer coaches and all of the Commer-powered Beadle coaches were eight foot wide. The reason that the Harrington-bodies look narrow is that they are tall compared to similar bodies on Thames or Bedford chassis.

Stephen Allcroft


Roger Cox

Thanks, Michael for reminding me that there was a further batch of the Harringtons. The straight framed Avenger was introduced in 1949, and the overall dimensions of the 109 bhp 4.75 litre six cylinder petrol engined Mk I were 27ft 6ins by 7ft 6ins. In 1952 the Mk II increased the available dimensions to 30 ft by 8ft, but the petrol engine was retained. Then, in 1954, the Mk III appeared offering the TS3 engine as an option, and this became the Mk IV from 1956 when the petrol and smaller chassis alternatives were dropped. The standard rear axle ratio was 4.3 to 1, but the Eaton two speed axle was also offered. Taking up Ian’s point about internal noise, the compact horizontal engine was installed over the front axle where the (no doubt well insulated) floor went over it, and this contributed to the apparent height of the vehicle. The engine was thus some way forward of the main saloon. Externally, of course, it was a different matter, and one could hear TS3 powered coaches and lorries approaching when they were still leagues distant. The TS3 engine developed 105 bhp at 2400 rpm, but as with other large two strokes, the torque curve was very peaky. Torque rose from 245 lb ft at 800 rpm to a maximum of 270 lb ft at 1200 rpm, but then fell away sharply to 225 lb ft at the 2400 rpm governed speed. Theoretically, the 3.26 litre two stroke TS3 equated to a four stroke motor of about 6.5 litres, though some efficiency and power losses inherent in the type, notably the requirement for a Roots blower to aid induction and scavenging of the cylinders, does prejudice a direct comparison. Nevertheless, as an illustration, the Gardner 5LW of 6.974 litres yielded 300 lbs ft of torque across the entire working speed range. At 1700 rpm the TS3 delivered only some 87 bhp against the 94 bhp of the Gardner. Even so, fuel consumption figures of up to 20 mpg were claimed for the TS3. The standard gearbox in the Avenger Mk IV was a four speed synchromesh unit, for which an optional overdrive was available, but a close ratio five speed constant mesh box was also offered. I am not sure which of these the Southdown coaches had, though I suspect the synchromesh. According to my records, the bare chassis weight of the Avenger was 3.125 tons, the maximum permissible gross weight being 9 tons. The maximum gross weight figure for the contemporary Bedford SB was 8.26 tons. The unladen weight of a bodied contemporary Tiger Cub was about 6 tons, which, with the full added weight for passengers, fuel, luggage etc, would raise this to a maximum of around 9 tons. Perhaps, as Ian suggests, the Avenger was in a similar weight category to the Tiger Cub rather than that of the lighter Bedford.

Roger Cox


13/03/16 – 14:54

Thx for the extra information, Roger. 20mpg was very good fuel consumption and quite possible the prime reason, along with reliability, why this engine was so popular, when two strokes were not highly regarded generally. I don’t know how general is the knowledge that Rootes were well into developing a four-cylinder version of the engine, with several prototypes on the bench. However, this was stymied by the Chrysler takeover and a clash with a similar effort between Chrysler and Cummins. This resulted in a TSR2 scenario, with orders to scrap all traces of this engine’s existence. Suffice to say that the Cummins engine was a complete failure and with the Plan B TS4 scrapped, that was it. There are some stupid people about! The full story can be found here: //tinyurl.com/gvjjutt

Chris Hebbron


14/03/16 – 06:52

I can confirm that my TS3 Rochester regularly achieves 18/20 mpg unless on a hilly route.
My father was development driver for the TS4 and I believe there is a thread somewhere on here about that engine

Roger Burdett


19/03/16 – 17:34

Roger Burdett’s actual consumption of 18-20 mpg for his TS3 Rochester is very impressive. The power saved by having no valvegear to drive must be more than balanced by the energy needed to drive the Roots blower, and all those extra large moving parts look as though they ought to sap power, but evidently not. Since simple crankcase-scavenge 2-stroke engines—whether petrol or diesel—always show poor fuel consumption, it’s easy to assume that all 2-strokes are thirsty by nature, yet the most economical prime mover ever built was the Wärtsilä-Sulzer RT-flex 96C 2-stroke marine engine, which is well worth Googling, until it was recently just overtaken by a 4-stroke engine (model 31) by the same Finnish builder. Both these engines are admittedly a trifle bulky for a coach, but they show what’s possible.
Roger, how does the consumption of your rear-engined Foden coach compare with that of other vehicles of a similar weight?

Ian Thompson


21/03/16 – 09:00

Ian my Foden consumption is around 12mpg but is inherently more unreliable than the Commer. The fuel system is more complex with a hydraulic governor and to be honest has not had the use it deserved. My LS Gardner powered which is comparable weight is c13.5mpg. The Leylands do around 12 and the Midland Reds 10.
As a rule all my Gardners do 13-14mpg whether 5LW; 6LW, or 6HLX except for my Tilling Stevens which with an overdrive 6LW does 17/18. The Commer is 3.1 litre with no overdrive but is incredibly fuel efficient as you say with the direct injection and a fairly low vehicle weight. The Roots blower once it is moving has far fewer parts than a a vehicle with valve gear. I do run the vehicle between 55-65mph on the motorway which always surprises speed limited modern coaches!

Roger Burdett


14/09/16 – 14:05

3190 UN

Here is a picture of my TS3 Avenger IV The Commer stands at 11 foot high so does look narrow but it is in fact the height that creates the illusion.
Yes 20 mpg is returnable without difficulty, as is cruising at 60 mph.

Russell Price


15/09/16 – 06:46

Those consumption figures for the TS3 engine underline the utter folly of Chrysler in abandoning the promising TS4 development. That engine would have surely been a winner, giving up to 200 bhp and 465 lb ft torque at 1800 rpm, all from 4.7 litres. The TS3 also proved to be outstandingly reliable, the weakest part apparently being the drive to the Roots blower. In playing the American card and going for V6/V8 from Cummins, Chrysler bought possibly the worst engine lemons ever to go into volume production. It’s a miracle that Cummins survived that debacle. On that note, there is a picture on the following site of a Black & White Daimler Roadliner fitted with a TS3 engine:- www.flickr.com/photos/  
I gather that it performed quite satisfactorily, and I wonder why others didn’t try this conversion. Today large two stroke engines fall foul of emission regulations, but the TS4 could have had its heyday well before those rules came into force.

Roger Cox


16/09/16 – 06:24

My father was test driver at Rootes for the TS4 and noise would have killed it as the harmonics were much greater than the Cummins. Let us not forget Cummins was part of Chrysler at that time and the V6/V8 production was only a small part of a big world wide conglomerate.
My father drove the V8 everyday in lorry form and units used to go Coventry-Linwood return 6 days per week up days back nights (different driver). That was 3500 miles per week. Reliability was an issue but never as great as in the Buses or the AEC V8 in the lorries

Roger Burdett


16/09/16 – 06:24

I believe it was noise regulations of 1972/3 that finally killed off the TS3 and TS4. I would agree in 30 odd years of owning it is a well engineered reliable machine.

Russell Price


16/09/16 – 13:35

I was working for Chrysler in Truck development at the time of the TS4. As we understood it, the TS4 greatly outperformed the Cummins V6/V8 in all aspects, but Cummins (a major part of Chrysler at the time) had invested a lot of cash in the V6/V8 and they did not intend to lose it! All the tooling for the TS4 had been ordered & delivered to the Whitley plant in Coventry, where it was put into store and eventually sold for scrap…brand new & unused. It was said at the time that caused the collapse and subsequent closure of Herbert Machine Tools. Cummins "Red Engines" had a number of unusual design feature. They were high speed diesels, which was a problem since drivers were not used to revving a diesel to get performance. In fact a special rev counter was fitted to the trucks with a green band (gear shifting range) and a blue band, complete with a sticker that read "Always drive in the blue band". All fuel lines were drilled into the block, so it was a "clean" engine on the outside, but a problem if you got a blocked fuel line. Originally fitted with rocker operated 3 hole injectors, they suffered a bit of fuel starvation. This was overcome by changing to 5 hole injectors, which were slightly taller than the 3 hole and so necessitated changing the push rods, otherwise, bent push rods and a very unhappy engine! How do we know this? Let’s just say put it down to personal experience and move on!! The V8 was 185hp and the V6 was 160 hp. I think the only production Dodge that had the V6 was the L600, low height chassis, whereas Guy Motors took the V6 for a full size truck (Guy Warrior I think). The failure rate on the Red Engines was huge and we had a large pile of dead engines in the Whitley compound (Chrysler truck development relocated to Coventry from Luton & Dunstable at the end of the 1960’s). I hope this is of interest to you.

David Field


16/09/16 – 17:09

Thanks to David Field for the latest comments. The engine Guy used in the Big J was the VIM v-6 & Vine v-8. These were going to be built in the UK at the former Henry Meadows factory in a joint venture with Jaguar which did not go through. To bring things back to buses it was the Cummins VIM v-6 of 9.6 litres and 192bhp that was launched in the Daimler Roadliner.

Stephen Allcroft


17/09/16 – 05:11

A further bit of trivia regarding the TS3. Lord Rootes was a man who was not renowned for great judgement or making the best decisions. For example, after WW2 he was offered a choice of German engineering businesses as reparation for the damage done to Rootes group factories in UK. His options were VW car manufacturing or a rather strange and obscure 2 stroke engine being developed for aeroplanes (Heinkel I think). He chose the latter, apparently on the basis that the VW would never prove to be popular!
Does anyone know if TS3 engine PSV’s used the Maxiload oil bath air cleaner (located under the passenger seat on the truck) and the Cooper’s self cleaning muffler? Why I ask is because when the TS3 was stretched to 135hp in it’s final form (a stretch too far) one of the problems was that the blower shaft would snap. The first sign of this was a drop in power and the second sign was black oily smoke pouring out through the air filter – not good in a PSV. The quick way of replacing the shaft was to remove the radiator to get to the front of the engine. The front part of the broken shaft was easy to get at, but the rear part involved careful use of a couple of welding rods fused together and poked down the hole. The idea was that you would strike an arc onto the steel shaft and not the alloy block! I was wondering how you get to the front of the engine in both the Harrington and Plaxton bodies featured.
The Coopers muffler would probably scare passengers and other road users half to death today. Carbon was allowed to build up in the muffler until a certain back pressure and exhaust gas temperature was reached. There was then a discernible loud pop as the carbon ignited and was sent out through the tail pipe, as a trail of sparks and sometimes even the odd flame. Very impressive at night on the motorway!

David Field


17/09/16 – 11:41

The posts about the fascinating TS3/4 have been very interesting. Your point, David F, about the Coopers muffler spewing forth sparks reminds me of being in a express steam train, in the mid-1950’s, spewing out glowing smuts whilst climbing Shap Fell flat out at night. It was like descending into Dante’s Inferno! Not a time to put one’s head out of the window!

Chris Hebbron


17/09/16 – 18:36

Hmm yes the standard air filter on an Avenger IV is indeed right under the front double seat alongside the driver! It is essential to use silencers on a TS3 with the correct amount of back pressure. I have on several occasions had flames out of the exhaust of UN mainly when running well last time was on the A419 Swindon Cirencester section. The access to the engine is absolutely dire!! wont say more

Russell Price


07/08/17 – 06:41

Having had only fleeting experience of the Commer marque in my early days at SMS – 45 and 60 I think being the two we had at our depot – I really can’t think of a good word to say about them. The potential brake fade and a sound like an Atco powered football rattle were enough to put me off for life.
However, from before my time, am I right in thinking that the first batch (pre-Harrington) were the notorious ones that eventually ended up derelict in Bognor Yard with brambles etc growing through them? There was a story that the design didn’t allow for the removal of the engine which was an integral requirement in an ‘E Dock’, and they were consigned to Bognor as that maintenance time came. Thereafter, anyone saying ‘Bognor Yard’ about something was immediately understood as meaning ‘throw it away’.

Nick Turner


 

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