Old Bus Photos

Karefree Travel – Austin CXB – NPF 140

Karefree Travel - Austin CXB - NPF 140

Karefree Travel
Austin CXB
Mann Egerton C31F

There appears to be some confusion about the exact model definition of the immediate post war Austin passenger model range. The Austin “near clone” of the Bedford O haulage vehicle was the K type, and the equivalent passenger model (and OB lookalike) was the CX. Some sources suggest that the bonneted model was simply classified CX, and this became the CXB in forward control form. Others state that the bonneted type was the CXB and the forward control version the CXD. When a Perkins P6 diesel option was offered from around 1950 the type became CXD Series II, which appeared in 1956 in Series III form, essentially for export, with the BMC 5.1 litre diesel. However, pictures of the bonneted model and the forward control version are both frequently described it being the CXB, so what is the true position? The Commercial Motor for 1st October 1948 states that the first forward control CXB example which appeared at the Commercial Motor Show in that year was converted from normal control by the Norwich based coach builder and Austin dealer Mann Egerton. A picture of this exhibit may be found here carrying the fictitious registration number M(ann) E(gerton) 1949:-
www.stilltimecollection.co.uk/ I remain sceptical that the 1948 forward control conversion was entirely carried out by Mann Egerton as production examples from Austin began appearing shortly after the Earls Court Show, though it may well be that the Norwich based coach builder put pressure on, and collaborated with, Austin in bringing the model to the market. The standard coach bodywork by Mann Egerton for the forward control CXB was given the name “Norfolk” and was distinguished by its curiously sculpted front end to which the standard Austin radiator grille (an upsized version of the shape employed on the cars) was rather incongruously attached. The result certainly lacked the businesslike appearance of the Bedford SB that appeared in 1950. Somewhere around 1953 the Norfolk body became rather more stylish, but the Austin coach was then in its twilight days on the home market, though exports continued into the 1960s. The 1947 bonneted Austin CX series originally had a 67 bhp 3½ litre petrol engine, but from 1948 this was upgraded with a 68 bhp 4 litre unit. The gearbox was a four speed synchromesh, which compared favourably with the crash box of the Bedford OB, but, unlike the Austin, the Bedford had servo assisted brakes and remained the more popular type by far.
NPF 140 shown above was photographed in the large Croydon council estate of New Addington in 1960, and bore the trading name Karefree Travel about whom I know nothing. The livery bears a close resemblance to the 1948 Show exhibit – could it be the same vehicle, I wonder?
It can also be seen in this 1950 shot taken in Parliament Square.

NPF 140_2
Copyright NA3T Arthur Hustwitt (Memorial)Collection)

Some interesting comments concerning the relative merits of the Bedford OB and the Austin CX range may be found here (scroll halfway down):-

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox

19/07/17 – 11:07

In John Carman’s excellent book, AUSTIN K SERIES BUSES & COACHES, the following information is shown.
NPF 140, FC31F, K4/CXB, Mann Egerton, 139990, 9/49. L.G Lambird (Carshalton & Wallington Coaches) Wallington Surrey

John Rentell

20/07/17 – 07:20

John Carman’s book has an appendix of all the known Austin K series (including the 3 way van based K8) It also explains in detail the different designations.
Well worth £12 including p&p direct from John at Mont du Herissaon Grande Maison Road St Sampson Guernsey GY2 4JH

John Wakefield

21/07/17 – 07:07

Amazing that a postwar 31-seat coach should have no servo braking. As with the Bedford OB, the appearance of this Austin coach suffers from the narrowness of the front track, which shows up to particular disadvantage in the lower photograph, but even with a full-width front axle the top-heavy, ungainly body design would still spoil the whole effect. Why were just-postwar builders and their customers not content with simple, unpretentious, straight-waisted bodywork that sat easily on the chassis instead of appearing to crush it? The CXB chassis deserved better! Thanks too, Roger, for the fascinating link.

Ian Thompson


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Sheffield Corporation – Leyland Titan PD2 – NWE 561 – 361

Sheffield Corporation - Leyland Titan PD2 - NWE 561 - 361
From the Tom Robinson Collection

Sheffield Corporation
Leyland Titan PD2/12
Mann Egerton H30/26R

There have been many previous references to Sheffield PD2s including those bodied by Leyland, Weymann/MCW, Roe and ECW but as far as I know, the small but rare order for two buses from Mann Egerton hasn’t been mentioned. These buses enjoyed the usual thirteen year life with Sheffield prior to selling on. Tom Robinson of the Sheffield Transport Study Group comments and I quote "362 went via a Barnsley scrapman to Paton’s of Renfrew. Paton was so pleased with the bus he immediately tried to buy 361 which was at the same scrapyard. Alas it was in the course of being scrapped. In time ex 362 was cut down to single deck. The result of a fire, I think, and used as a tow wagon. They really were impressive and heavy vehicles. The saloon woodwork was especially opulent."
Keith Beeden advises that although the original contract called for H30/26R, steps were taken shortly after delivery to change this to H32/26R possibly because Roe were seating H33/25R on their deliveries at the time

Photograph and Copy contributed by John Darwent

A full list of Titan codes can be seen here.

The Roe PD2s were the first of many bodies from the Crossgate works. They were NWE 586-594 but were delivered earlier, in 1951. I suspect the reason for both bodies being higher seating capacity was that they were (Sheffield’s) earliest vehicles to 27′ rather 26′ length.
Despite many comments to the contrary, even by eminent experts, there was a standard – but not standardised – Sheffield bus. [During most of the ‘fifties it was either a Regent or Titan with either a Weymann or Roe body.] It changed with time and the demise of certain companies but a lot of the post war interest was with the "distress purchases" when, especially Weymann, could not meet demand. Occasionally the distress purchases turned out to be gems – true of these two Mann Egertons. There are two magnificent green London Transport Ts on the Rally Circuit (9.6 powered Regal III – a single deck RT) which attest to the beauty and quality of Mann Egerton’s work.
Mann Egerton were better known as the Norwich Austin dealer and they bodied many early post war Austins as small coaches, but the London Transport work did no harm to their reputation and their balance sheet.

David Oldfield

13/09/12 – 07:05

Here is a picture of 362 with Patons: www.flickr.com

Stephen Bloomfield

13/09/12 – 08:33

Very handsome vehicle, especially in that fine livery. Had no idea that Mann Egerton had ever built d/deckers. Sad that 361 was broken up after such a short life: if they were heavy then they must have been pretty robust too.

Ian Thompson

14/09/12 – 06:29

Ian, they are supposed to be the only deckers they ever built. They did get as far as building underfloor coaches as well – including a pair of AEC Regal IVs for Creamline of Bordon Hants.

Stephen. Can’t find 362 on flickr.

David Oldfield

14/09/12 – 06:32

They were certainly unusual looking, and stood out, especially with that slightly recessed panel at the front where the destination boxes were, which was unique in the fleet. But to my mind, they weren’t nearly as handsome as the OWB-registered PD2/10’s (656-667) alongside which they ran regularly on the 69 service joint with Rotherham Corporation. I seem to recall the two Mann Egerton’s sat down at the back end quite noticeably, especially when they had a good load on, but perhaps that was just a perception.
Ironically, one of the PD2/10’s, 666, was cut down to a gritter/towing vehicle by STD, just like Paton’s ended up doing with the former 362, and in its sheared off form, G56, as it became, was kept busy for many years, considerably longer than the fourteen years it served as a bus, towing all kinds of disgraced rear-engined machines back to Central Works from wherever they’d decided to expire. And it always looked quite happy doing it!

Dave Careless

14/09/12 – 06:34

A smart bus, indeed – but does anyone know why these had the sunken destination screen box? I know some pre-war and early post-war Sheffield buses had this feature, but it was by no means universal. It would be interesting to speculate that, had Mann Egerton ever tried to sell d/d’s to LT following on from their successful PS1s, then this large screen box area would be almost the same proportions as that used for the roof-box RT!

Paul Haywood

14/09/12 – 06:35

A quicker link to the ex- 362 picture Stephen.
Debateable whether the Patons livery does the bus any favours though. www.flickr.com/

John Darwent

14/09/12 – 06:37

Is it just me, or can anyone else see a distinct resemblance to Roberts bodywork (also very heavy!) sct61.org.uk/da86  ?

Peter Williamson

14/09/12 – 06:14

Apparently Glasgow Corporation FYS 494 fleet number D66 was a Daimler CVD6 with a Mann Egerton H30/26R body, new in 1951, scrapped 1960 and rebodied with an Alexander body from FYS 488 fleet number D60 which was a Daimler CD650, (10.6 litre with power steering) but chassis scrapped, not a very popular bus that one.


14/09/12 – 06:39

Glasgow Corporation received a Mann Egerton bodied Daimler CVD6 double-decker in 1951 – D66 (FYS 494).

David Call

15/09/12 – 07:08

You’ll be hard pressed to find many of today’s featherweight Eurobuses fit to be preserved in future years and yet in the fifties the professionals were complaining about buses being too heavy. [Please compare fuel mpg of a fifties half-cab with a Euro 5 diesel.]
Why do people eulogise the Mann Egertons and their contemporary Roberts Regent IIIs – let alone their mainstream Weymann and Roe cousins? They were beautifully made, well made and looked good. The lightweight Orion and similar PRV/Roe offerings were the reaction to these heavy bodies. I ask you, what would you prefer?

The recessed destination display was, indeed, a pre-war Sheffield feature. There are echoes in the 1949/50 Cravens/Regent IIIs – featured on this site earlier this year. The most interesting manifestation was on the immediate pre-war all Leyland TD5cs, which had to have non-standard small upper deck screens to accommodate it. It was also a feature of the 1936 Cravens/TD4cs and "broke" the blue line under the upper deck windows. Weymanns managed to get the display in without either recessing the display or breaking the line.
Some post-war bodies managed to "avoid the line" in the Weymann manner but most encroached into the line surrounding the number display without breaking it. Significantly, the 1953/4 PD2/Weymanns avoided the line, like their predecessors, but the subsequent 1954 Regent III/Weymanns "encroached" in the normal post war fashion. Hours of scrutinising photographs has not yielded a satisfactory answer to the question, Why?

Dave. Couldn’t agree more. 656-667 were my favourite PD2s.

David Oldfield

15/09/12 – 07:09

In Classic Bus 110 I asked if Sheffield was the only order for M.E doubledeckers. The reply, and a follow-up in Classic Bus 112 will probably interest those who have responded above.

Les Dickinson

15/09/12 – 07:11

The reason that Sheffield ordered the two Mann Egerton bodies is quite interesting.
In November 1949 a tender was advertised for 30 double deck buses, complete chassis and bodies or chassis only or bodies only.
At the time, all the STD PD2/1’s delivered since 1947, carried Leyland bodywork. The Leyland management advised the transport committee to "look elsewhere for bodywork"
In consequence, an intended order for 30 buses to the forthcoming new regulations of 27′ x 7’6" was varied. The result was that an order for 10 NCB, 2 Roe and 2 Mann Egerton bodies were contracted.
Surprisingly, Leyland offered to supply 16 complete vehicles to the existing 26’x 7’6" PD2/1 standard. Unfortunately, NCB ceased trading, and Roe were awarded another seven bodies. The balance of the outstanding 11 (9 Roe 2 Mann Egerton) were built on the PD2/12 27’x 8′ chassis, authorised in 1950. This batch of 11 replaced 13 trams for the City to Fulwood tramway abandonment. Therefore the original 30 require was reduced to 27. Quite a complicated situation!

Keith Beeden

15/09/12 – 07:13

I understood that Newcastle Corporation also had some Daimler CW’s rebodied by Mann Egerton

Stephen Bloomfield

16/09/12 – 06:50

So, Keith, Leyland were anticipating pulling out of coach-building that early and at the same time were already showing signs of their later take it or leave it attitude. Thanks for the insight.

David Oldfield

16/09/12 – 06:52

You may or may not remember me from our time together at BCT, but that’s another story.

Newcastle Corporation had a batch of 5 Daimler CWA6 vehicles delivered between 1945-47 that received new Mann Egerton bodies in October 1950. They had been delivered new with second-hand bodies transferred from 1931 vehicles.

Kevin Hey

14/12/12 – 16:17

It is true that Newcastle had Mann Egerton Deckers , there were I believe three on Daimler chassis, possibly rebodies of chassis that had originally been fitted with pre war Metro Cammel bodies taken from scrapped earlier chassis, and also Glasgow had one Mann Egerton bodied Daimler, D66 I believe

Mr Anon

05/07/14 – 17:34

Mr Anon, Newcastle had 5 Mann Egerton bodied Daimlers, they were fleet numbers 1 to 5, JVK 421 to 425.

Peter Stobart


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Monday 24th July 2017