CIE – Leyland Leopard – AZC 411 – E71

CIE - Leyland Leopard - AZC 411 - E71
Copyright Brendan Smith

CIE (Coras Iompair Eirann)
Leyland Leopard L2

CIE’s E-class buses were based on the 30ft Leopard L2 chassis. As well as being the last CIE single- deckers to sport a roof-mounted luggage rack, they were also the last single-deckers to be designed by the Company. They were certainly rugged-looking buses, which would no doubt have been quite at home on Ireland’s country roads. Early models had ‘single’ headlamps, but these were converted on overhaul to the twin-headlamp layout used on the second batch of buses (E81-170). The modified layout is nicely depicted here on E71, and note the almost obligatory advertisement for Fruitfield Jams. Wonder if it is still available?

Photograph and Copy contributed by Brendan Smith

30/04/13 – 17:06

Check out Wikipedia, Brendan: looks as if FruitfIeld are a founder member of a big food conglomerate led by Irish Jacobs biscuits, bought out from Danone: it includes Yorkshire Toffee! Much production is now elsewhere in Europe. The thing about old buses is what you see is what you get! (well except for AEC and Crossley… Park Royal and Roe… Albion and Leyland… Loline or Lodekka)


01/05/13 – 07:05

Thanks for the information Joe. I know what you mean about "who owns what, and where it’s made" these days. It can be more than a bit confusing. If you want to buy a British-built car, it may well have a Japanese name (Honda, Nissan, Toyota). If you buy a Vauxhall, chances are (Astras apart) it will have been manufactured abroad. Ford do not build cars here any longer, but do build engines, and your ‘German’ Volkswagen may actually be Spanish. In the bus world, the American Cummins concern builds engines in Darlington. Optare, once Charles H Roe and part of the old Leyland empire, is now once again under the ‘Leyland’ banner (well, Ashok-Leyland, once an overseas Leyland subsidiary) and Indian-owned. (Talk about going full circle, but hopefully this will provide much needed job security for people). We can probably assume that the new owner will not take the arrogant line with its customers as Leyland did under the watch of that comedian Donald Stokes. We all know what CIE thought of that…..

Brendan Smith

01/05/13 – 07:52

Why did CIE put DAF engines into Atlanteans? To be sure, to be sure. [Sorry!]

David Oldfield

01/05/13 – 07:53

First type of Irish bus I ever rode on from Shannon Airport to Limerick in August 1963. Passengers’ luggage was put on the roof and then had to be taken down again at the "border post" half a mile from the airport buildings as the terminal was in the Free Trade area and you weren’t officially in Ireland until you passed that point.

Phil Blinkhorn

01/05/13 – 11:45

The DAF DK1160 engine, an 11.6 litre derivative of the Leyland O.680 was employed by CIE when its Atlanteans had consistent mechanical problems and very poor support from BL.
Both Leyland 9.8 litre O.600 and 11.1 O.680 engines were replaced

Phil Blinkhorn

02/05/13 – 07:45

As a born and bred Yorkshireman I’ve yet to see Clarendon Yorkshire Toffee for sale in the broad acres. The locally produced toffee is Farrah’s Harrogate Toffee made in Starbeck.

Chris Hough

02/05/13 – 07:46

Nice one David!

Brendan Smith

02/05/13 – 14:19

I just wonder, as the DAF engine was a development of the O.680, how they could have been so sure, or perhaps DAF just offered better service.

Phil Blinkhorn


Tynemouth and District – Guy Arab – FT 9412 – 212

FT 9412 
Photograph by ‘unknown’ if you took this photo please go to the copyright page.

Tynemouth and District
Guy Arab IV
Park Royal H35/28

Tynemouth and District had eight of these – FT 9408/15 – 208/15, but I’m not sure if they were in addition to, or part of the 28 ordered by Northern General Transport. Unlike the Orion bodied Arabs, these beauties were popular with both passengers and crews alike and suffered from none of the constant knocks bangs rattles and squeaks of their predecessors.
The superbly engineered Guy Arab IV was arguably the best chassis of its generation, it was well built, well behaved and reliable. They were a delight to drive, and although not as fast as either the PD2 or 3 for me they were a better vehicle, the combination of the Guy chassis and the very handsome Park Royal H35/28R body made them an act that was extremely hard to follow. But how much better would they have been were it not for the outdated attitude of NGT? The depot Forman at Percy Main once said to me "Leylands are reliable plodders but nothing exiting, AEC’s are thoroughbreds but can be temperamental, but with the right engine you will never beat a GUY". The drawback with these was NGT’s stubborn reluctance to move on from the Gardner 5LW, they were huge fans of it, and over the years they must have used literally hundreds of them. With its unmatched record of proven reliability it was probably their first choice, however, it was designed in an age when PSV vehicles were smaller, lighter, and carried fewer passengers, but as good as it was, by 1956 it was showing its age and the performance was barley adequate for vehicles of this size and weight. Alternative units were available, and the obvious choice would have been the equally reliable but considerably more powerful 6LW. In my opinion, the 6LW would have changed these handsome beasts from what was undeniably a good bus, and turned them into possibly the best half cabs NGT ever had. In my experience with HGV’s, a larger engine with power to spare uses less fuel and is more efficient than one which is being continually pushed to its maximum design limits and has nothing in reserve. I know Southdown had some similar vehicles, but I don’t know if they were 5 or 6LW, I would be interested in comments from anyone who has any knowledge of them.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Ronnie Hoye

28/04/13 – 08:27

Well Ronnie, we’re seeing eye to eye again. A respected Commercial Motor journalist friend also said that Leyland are the reliable plodders and AEC the thoroughbreds – a comment with which I entirely concur. My driving instructor – who got me through the advanced test and was a part-time driver for Sheffield United Tours – always said that there is no substitute for cc s. Again, a sentiment with which I am in full accord. I couldn’t agree more with you about a preference for a 6LW powered Guy (or Bristol) over a 5LW. […..but just ponder that Eastern Counties in their parsimony put 4LWs in single deckers!] …..and as for the body? Yes, a beauty and a classic.
Isn’t it strange, though, how inefficient the industry could be? Roe were as good as, if not better than, their ACV partner PRV and were entrusted with building PRV style metal framed bodies – often on sub-contract to PRV when they were busy. [Tracky’s PS1 rebuilds were almost identical to this splendid beast.] …..and yet these Guys went down to London before going almost as far north as possible in England. How much did that add to the cost? We can all think of many similar examples.

David Oldfield

28/04/13 – 08:27

PUF 647

The 48 examples delivered to Southdown in 1955/6 were all fitted with 6LW units. The Park Royal bodies fitted to these were based on the RT design, but were 5 bay construction.

Roy Nicholson

28/04/13 – 09:29

Same body, though built by Crossley, but look how much more heavy Stockport’s PD2 looks with its tin front and draught/drip strips  
Northern General and its associated companies had one of the most interesting mixed fleets in the country in the late 1950s and early 1960s and the Guys with their traditional radiators, even those with the Orion bodies, gave added interest at a time when the Guy marque was declining in the face of what one Guy enthusiast remarked, many years later, was the unholy trinity, i.e. AEC, Daimler and Leyland.

Phil Blinkhorn

28/04/13 – 13:51

PUF 650

Here is another picture of one of the 6LW powered Southdown Arab IVs with Park Royal bodywork, shown in Pool Valley bus station, Brighton. I have always regarded these machines as the possibly most handsome buses of all time, and for my money, the Arab IV was "the ultimate thoroughbred" in the conventional front engined double decker category. For sheer economy, engineering dependability and smooth operation it beat much of the opposition hands down. East Kent was another devotee of the Arab/Park Royal combination for very many years until it switched to the AEC Regent V in 1959, possibly because the BET group removed Guy from its list of approved suppliers in the mid 1950s, though by that time the Guy concern was experiencing financial problems anyway.

Roger Cox

28/04/13 – 15:12

The year following the delivery of these Guy’s, NGT took delivery of a further 10 vehicles with RD versions of the handsome PRV bodies, but this time they were on a Leyland PD2/12 chassis, VUP 761/70 1761/70; the order had been placed by Sunderland District, but they were diverted to NGT for use on the longer routes they shared with United.

Ronnie Hoye

29/04/13 – 08:13

PMT had 30 Daimler CVG5 coincidentally also dating from 1956. By the late 60s, over half of them had been upgraded with 6LW engines. The difference between the two engine variants was noticeable, the 6LW versions being much smoother as well as being more powerful. Age was the only reason that all were not fitted with 6LWs, by this time the rear platform layout was outdated compared with the large numbers of Atlanteans and Fleetlines.

Ian Wild

30/04/13 – 05:51

The posting of the Tynemouth Guy Arab with Park Royal body which I thought was one of the most elegant, stylish and well built of it’s time set me thinking that I had something similar among my own photos.

MFN 886

I found this one of an East Kent Arab IV taken in Folkestone bus station around 1970 but this is fitted with Guy’s full front bonnet which I quite like. Despite being a Southdown man all my life I must admit that the 4 bay style looks better than Southdown’s somewhat non-standard 5 bay style, I have no idea why they specified that design, 547 one of those shown was the only one of either batch to have a sliding rather than folding doors and is now in preservation.

Diesel Dave

30/04/13 – 08:47

I prefer 4 bays myself but did Southdown specify 5 bays to make them fit in with the PD2s (5 still being the norm for Leylands) not to mention the Beadle/Park Royal clones.

David Oldfield

01/05/13 – 06:58

This is a perfect example of the difference between BET and Tilling Group Companies. Tilling would order X number of Y type vehicle, depending on where they would be based, some would have doors whilst others were open platform, engines would be either Bristol or Gardner, subject to availability, and the livery would be either green or red, but essentially they would all be pretty much the same. Here we see three BET companies who have ordered what on the face of it is the same type of vehicle, a Park Royal bodied Guy Arab IV, doors apart, look at the differences, Gardner 5LW Vs 6LW, exposed radiator or tin front, four bays or five, and the interiors would all be to individual speck as well.

Ronnie Hoye

01/05/13 – 11:47

…unless they happened to be Midland General/Notts and Derby Traction, in which case the livery would be blue, the seat back tops would be curved instead of straight, the destination layout was non-standard and the only KSWs they ever had would have a cord bell-pull downstairs instead of "push-once" buttons! But I think you are right, Ronnie. MGO were the exception that proved the rule, and not many others got away with it!

Stephen Ford

17/02/15 – 16:01

The East Kent Guy Arab IV photograph above submitted by Diesel Dave is on route 99 which ran from Folkestone town centre to the Shorncliffe Camp Garrison near Cheriton.

Lee Smith


Barnsley & District – Leyland S3 30T – HE 12 – 5

Barnsley & District - Leyland S3.30.T - HE 12 - 5

Barnsley & District - Leyland S3.30.T - HE 12 - 5
Copyright Pete Davies

Barnsley & District
Leyland S3.30.T
Brush B27F

Here are two views of HE 12, a Leyland S3. 30.T from 1913. The body is a Brush B27F and she is in the livery of Barnsley & District (fleet number 5) – a precursor of the famous Yorkshire Traction. She’s seen on display at Longcross, near Chobham, on 1 April 2007. This was the London Bus Preservation Group event, normally held at Wisley airfield.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies

26/04/13 – 07:43

Looks like one of Mike Sutcliffe’s immaculate restorations. Magnificent machine. Only 14 years before the TD1 appeared!

Ian Thompson

26/04/13 – 08:48

I was at that event Pete and Ian, and the restoration of this vehicle is superb beyond description. Incidentally the annual "Cobham" event is no longer held at the windswept and inhospitable Wisley Airfield. We went last weekend and it is now held at Brooklands Motor Museum, where the splendid new bus exhibition is now open.

Chris Youhill

27/04/13 – 07:55

Did you notice, Chris, the careful positioning of the stop for the horse-drawn "STAR OMNIBUS" and Concorde? Quite a dramatic contrast!

Pete Davies

27/04/13 – 09:22

horse bus

I did indeed Pete notice just the fascinating contrast that you mention, and here "hot off the press" is the picture I took on Sunday having had the same feeling about the wonderful "ancient and modern" scene. The horse bus was well patronised most of the day and its rather strange to reflect that it has stayed in service far longer than the ill fated Concorde. The beautiful Belgian horses must have thought that it was their birthday as they were plied with mints and biscuits by delighted onlookers at every "terminus."

Chris Youhill

27/04/13 – 09:50

Great pictures Pete, thanks for posting. Thanks also to whoever has put in the work to achieve this result!

Les Dickinson

27/04/13 – 13:14

At the rate fuel is rising in price, there could be a renaissance in horse buses! With such proud and beautiful horses, many would welcome it! A truly moving photo, Chris Y, and thx so much for posting it.

Chris Hebbron

28/04/13 – 08:19

There is, of course, the difference in opinion about a horse:
1) It’s a form of transport, it keeps the grass down, and feeds the roses.
2) It’s dangerous! The front bites, the middle sags, and the back kicks.
I vote for option 1!

Pete Davies

28/04/13 – 09:28

…..but like any motor vehicle, Pete, option 2 only applies when there is misuse or abuse from the driver…..

David Oldfield

29/04/13 – 16:01

Not sure about that David. I seem to remember that in the olden days, one of the first things children were taught was "Never go close behind a horse" – and it wasn’t for what might drop on your shoes either!

Stephen Ford

30/04/13 – 05:36

Just for kicks?

David Oldfield

30/04/13 – 05:37

Don’t forget, if you abused the mechanical gear change pedal on a pre-selector Daimler you got similar results as….
…. the back leg of an abused horse!

Eric Bawden

30/04/13 – 13:17

horse bus 2
(Copyright unknown)

It’s always been a source of wonderment that horsebuses and the like often appeared to run top-heavy, yet didn’t turn over. However, maybe they did! An extreme example is this 1910 photo of a staff outing of the wonderfully-named Portsea Island Gas, Light & Coke Co., which is likely to have some 20 folk aboard, with perhaps one inside! I’m assuming that climbing Portsdown Hill was a No-No!

Chris Hebbron

22/05/13 – 17:48

"The Muggleton Inn" (Wetherspoon) in Maidstone displays a photo of D 9717 1913 Leyland acquired second-hand by Maidstone & District from an unknown operator in 1914. But Wetherspoon’s have wrongly captioned the photo as a Tilling-Stevens!

John Humphrey

15/11/13 – 08:51

I have produced a CAD Line drawing of this bus and would like to forward a copy to the owners. Does anyone know how to contact them?

Russell Riley


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Sunday 31st July 2016