Old Bus Photos

Carmel Coaches – Albion Victor – LOD 495

Carmel Coaches - Albion Victor - LOD 495

Carmel Coaches
1950
Albion Victor
Duple C??F

As there appears to be no picture of this lovely coach on OBP , I am attaching one. It has been in preservation for many years with Carmel Coaches of Northlew in Devon and can still be seen at local events in the West Country. It was for a while used on Dartmoor Summer Sunday services connecting with trains – and other bus services – at the then newly restored Southern Region station at Okehampton. Initially the route was the 174 to Moretonhampstead where it met the cross Dartmoor 82 between Exeter and Plymouth. For a couple of glorious summers, the 174 was extended onto Widecombe in the Moor using some very narrow lanes. The Albion coped well with the lanes and the hills including the very steep one into Widecombe. One difficulty was with other traffic as visitors and indeed locals seemed to be unable/unwilling to reverse their vehicles in these lanes. This became a major problem when the Pony Club had their occasional meet on the Moor as their exodus with large vehicles or trailers – all at the same time – coincided with the last journey from Widecombe which had to connect with the said 82 and the last train at Okehampton. The owner of the Albion, who was the regular drive on almost every Summer Sunday over the years, was always patient and courteous and I am grateful to him for the opportunities to ride the coach.
The photo is taken at Hound Tor before the steep descent into Widecombe.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Keith Newton


28/08/17 – 10:12

This is a Victor FT39N powered by the Albion 75 bhp 4.88 litre four cylinder diesel engine that was delivered new to Way of Crediton in 1950. I believe that the gearbox is a five speed constant mesh unit. Nowhere can I find the stated capacity of the Duple bodywork, but this was usually 31 or 33.

Roger Cox


29/08/17 – 06:36

Roger,
My 1993 edition of Preserved Buses, Trolleys and Trams gives LOD 495 as an FT39AN with a Duple FC31F body.

Dave Farrier


30/08/17 – 07:57

Thanks for that confirmation about the bodywork, Dave. As for the chassis designation, this is FT39AN as you state, but it was often shortened with the ‘A’ omitted. Why? I don’t know, or indeed what the letter itself stood for. The final ‘N’ indicated the "normal" 16ft wheelbase, the longer 16ft 11ins version having the letter ‘L’ instead. The ‘A’ cannot have indicated an initial variant because the post 1956 versions became the FT39KAN and KAL. Perhaps it indicated forward control, but I know of no normal control examples. I have to admit that the some of the (pre Leyland) Albion company’s type numbering seemed to have no logical basis that I can discover. The initial Viking/Valkyrie/Valiant/Victor were classified as PA/PB/PC etc up to PW which clearly meant successive passenger variants. Then came the Venturer M81 and the Valorous M85, which were superseded in 1937 by the Valkyrie and Venturer CX. After WW2 the Victor name reappeared as the FT as seen above, contemporary with Valiant/Viking/Venturer models all classified CX, and the KP underfloor model. Then under Leyland ownership came the Nlmbus MR9 and the Aberdonian MR11, though the latter had no design similarity with the shorter Nimbus, being essentially a lighter weight version of the Tiger Cub. Then some degree of logic returned with NS for Nimbus (again with AN suffix), LR for Lowlander, VT for Victor, VK for Viking, before the Albion name disappeared forever. (Another firm with puzzling model designations was Thornycroft, but that is by the way.)

Roger Cox


31/08/17 – 04:56

At risk of seeming foolish, did the A stand for Albion (engine)? Valorous belongs to the Wulfrunian school of bus naming & then Valkyrie? With whole dictionaries to go at!
I’ll stick, BMW/Mercedes style with CVD6 and K6A!

Joe


01/09/17 – 05:48

Possibly, Joe, but why didn’t the contemporary Albion engined Venturer CX19 and CX37, Valiant CX39, Viking CX41 (a variant of which was called the HD61 – again why?) and the experimental KP71NW have the ‘A’ also? The numbers, always odds rather than evens, seem to have had some sequential logic albeit with gaps, though the number 39 was duplicated for the Victor and Valiant models. Perhaps Bletchley Park could come up with the answers to the Albion nomenclature.

Roger Cox


01/09/17 – 05:49

In John Gillham’s book "Buses and Coaches 1945-1965", he says that the FT 39 Victor was introduced in early 1947, and that a modified version, known as the "FT 39 AN" appeared at the end of 1951, with the long wheelbase "FT 39 AL" following some three years later. The same thing happened to the Nimbus in 1960, when the NS3N was replaced by the NS3AN.
I take this to mean that the A was just a spec-update marker, rather as Leyland would later use it on PSU3A (and on to G), AN68A etc.

Graham Woods


01/09/17 – 05:50

Roger, according to definitive book ‘Albion of Scotstoun’ (Adama & Milligan) the ‘A’ suffix indicated improvements to the previous version, including a larger wormwheel assembly on the rear axle, improved braking, heavier springs, flexible radiator tubes, improved fuel filtration and minor wheelbase alterations. The insertion of the ‘K’ before the ‘A’ indicated a later variant fitted with the larger EN287 5.5 litre engine (replacing the EN286 4.88 litre unit) and heavier front springs.

John Stringer


01/09/17 – 15:19

Thank you Graham and John. That explanation does make sense. Back in its vastly superior days when Classic Bus was under Gavin Booth’s editorship it included a series of comprehensive articles on the history of the Albion passenger ranges by Alan Townsin. Sadly I gave all my copies away after being totally disenchanted with the magazine’s altered and self obsessed guise under subsequent editors. I remain rather baffled by the type letters of the heavier Albion models which all, passenger and haulage, seem to have been classified CX. In addition to the Venturer CX19 and 37, the Valiant CX39 and the Viking CX 41, there were the CX1 7 tonner, CX3 6½ tonner, CX5 12 tonner six wheeler and CX7 eight wheeler 14½ tonner. The FT3 code included a haulage version for 4 to 5 ton loads and one suspects that the straight framed FT39 Victor was a simple derivative from it. This webpage gives a list of some pre 1945 Albion types, though it is far from comprehensive in detail:- www.autogallery.org.ru/m/albion.htm

Roger Cox


02/09/17 – 08:08

Sorry to dive off the main subject but I just want to say how much I agree with Roger about Classic Bus magazine. Totally ruined by the Best Impressions outfit and a total rip-off based on the lack of content and acres of empty space on the pages. I have lapsed my subscription in disgust.
There I feel better now!

Philip Halstead


02/09/17 – 08:54

Interesting comment on Classic Bus as I feel it has gone the other way and improved enormously making it more readable and not just for the anorak which is where Gavin (an extremely knowledgeable guy) was taking it.
Best forgotten is the editor in-between.
Even if I am not totally in agreement with the content I still keep my subscriptions going as if we lose the magazines Bus & Coach History and reach to the public will be diminished and ultimately it makes the movement more fragmented

Roger Burdett


 

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King Alfred – Albion Victor – AAA 756 – Victor 6

King Alfred - Albion Victor - AAA 756 - Victor 6

King Alfred Motor Services
1935
Albion Victor PK114
Abbott C20C

AAA 756 is an Albion Victor PK114 and it dates from 1935, when it was delivered to the King Alfred fleet. It has an Abbott C20C body and is seen outside Winchester Guildhall on 25 April 1993, the running day having been moved to April to mark the anniversary of the operator’s sale to Hants & Dorset. Its fleet number was Victor 6, according to the book on KAMS, but such things don’t seem to have appeared on the vehicles themselves. I know I’m digressing and perhaps it’s just my warped mind – please, don’t all agree! – but Victor 6 seems reminiscent of "Z Cars", though there were only ever two of them, ZV1 and ZV2. I know that one of them was KTJ 578 and the other was (numbers unknown) VTB. I know, too, that KTJ was actually a Leyland Comet chassis which was bodied as the Lancashire Constabulary horse box. I saw it parked in Lancaster on a number of occasions. Any thoughts, please about what VTB was?

Photograph and Copy contributed by Pete Davies


23/03/17 – 07:55

ZV2 Registration number was 348 VTB, a Ford Consul saloon in the series. Information found on You Tube, hope this will be of use to the experts.

Ian Mason


23/03/17 – 07:56

No info on VTB, but IMCDb has JVX 959C and PHK 613D as well as KTJ 578 www.imcdb.org/movie_129723-Z-Cars.html

John Lomas


24/03/17 – 17:03

Thanks, John & Ian. I had stopped watching by the time the two Essex registrations came into the programme.

Pete Davies


24/03/17 – 17:03

Both this handsome Albion Victor and the little 1931 Dennis 30cwt, a fraction of which is just visible in the left of the picture, will be in service on King Alfred Running Day on the first of May.

Ian Thompson


28/03/17 – 07:25

AAA 756_2

Here is another picture of this Albion taken in Brighton during the May 1970 HCVC run, when it wore a less than accurate version of the King Alfred livery. I believe this vehicle still has its original 65 bhp 3.89 litre four cylinder petrol engine. The PK114 was the 17ft 2in wheelbase normal control version which appeared in 1934, four years after the introduction of the Victor model in 1930. Victor production ended in 1939 with the outbreak of war. The Abbott business emerged in 1929 from the failure of the car coach builder, Page & Hunt, at Wrecclesham, just south of Farnham on the Bordon/Petersfield Road. The firm concentrated mainly on car bodywork, but, during the lean 1930s, commercial vehicle coach building and sailplane construction was undertaken also, though these latter activities ended with the advent of WW2. Abbott continued car bodywork manufacture post war, but the diminishing market for this specialised business led to the firm’s closure in 1972.
AAA 756 has a curious history. It was bought by Robert Chisnell in 1935 as a coach for special outings, notably to race meetings at Epsom and Ascot, and it continued in service until war broke out, during which conflict it seemingly met with little use. Probably it was lucky to escape being requisitioned by the military. It saw some activity post war until withdrawal in 1949, after which it lurked in the basement of King Alfred’s Chesil Street garage until emerging from its hibernation after private purchase in 1959 by the Rolls brothers. It made several appearances thereafter before a programme of restoration was undertaken by Dave Hurley, by then its owner, in the 1980s. From 1993, now restored and in the correct livery, AAA 756 made many appearances from its base at the Scottish Vintage Bus Museum, until, in 2013, it became part of the FoKAB fleet. Incidentally, I think that the fleet name/number of AAA 756 is Victor 2 rather than Victor 6. Victor 1 was AAA 755, another PK114 of 1935, but fitted with a Duple C20R body. This was withdrawn in 1951. The third and last Victor to enter the King Alfred fleet in came in 1938, but this was a PK115 forward control example equipped with a Strachan C26F body. This one did get requisitioned during the war, and never came back.
The complete King Alfred fleet list may be found :- at this link

Roger Cox


29/03/17 – 06:25

You are correct, Roger. 756 is listed in the Freeman, Jowitt and Murphy history of the operator as "Victor 2". Now, how did I conjure up "Victor 6"? It can’t be a simple typing error!

Pete Davies


 

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