Old Bus Photos

Manchester Corporation – Panther Cub – BND 872C – 72

BND 872C

Manchester Corporation
Leyland Panther Cub PSRC1/1
Park Royal B43D

Delivered in April 1965 and photographed in June 1970 following the formation of Selnec is Manchester Corporation Panther Cub No 72, BND 872C. The Panther Cub was a shortened version of the Panther, the length being reduced from 36ft. to 33ft. 6ins. on an 18ft. 6ins wheelbase. With the 6.5 litre Leyland O400H engine instead of the Panther’s 9.8 litre O600H, the Panther Cub proved to be somewhat underpowered. The limited appeal of the model resulted in its being offered only from 1964 to 1968 during which 94 examples were built, though the same basic chassis with more powerful AEC engines was more successful as the AEC Swift. Manchester took eight Panther Cubs, BND 863C- 880C, Nos. 63 to 80, with Park Royal B43D bodywork, though the seating capacity was later altered on No. 71 to B36D and on No. 74 to B42D. The Corporation tried to improve the engine output on some of these buses by experimenting with turbocharging, not entirely successfully. The picture above is of additional interest in that the fleet number of BND 872C is displayed as 27 rather than 72. Was this just an inadvertent “numerical spoonerism” by the body shop?

Photograph and Copy contributed by Roger Cox

09/02/20 – 08:31

The legal lettering on a Southampton Atlantean mentioned, for some odd reason, PROTSWOOD Road rather than the correct PORTSWOOD. I saw in Stubbington on one occasion a road marking for GOPSROT, and there is a hotel in Southampton which ‘failed’ some years ago. The rot seems to have set in after the opening of a brasserie, spelled incorrectly after one has to assume the sign writer was distracted by the presence of a lap-dancing club opposite. Who knows what distractions the fellow applying 27 had?

Pete Davies

09/02/20 – 10:22

The fleet number is correct – it had been renumbered not long before when Manchester renumbered their single-deckers from 46 upwards as 1 upwards (so fleet numbers were reduced by 45). The whole batch of Panther Cubs totalled twenty with the original pair new as 61/62 (ANF 161/2B).

David Beilby

10/02/20 – 06:47

CPPTD made a success of our Panther Cubs, mainly because the city is mostly dead flat. One survives.

Dave French

10/02/20 – 06:48

Thanks for the corrections, David. I overlooked the original two. I did not know that these buses had been renumbered – Peter Gould’s LTHL listings do not record this. Apologies also for the typo in my copy. Eight should read eighteen.

Roger Cox

10/02/20 – 06:50

I didn’t know about that renumbering, and evidently I’m not alone, as Peter Gould’s fleet history in the Transport History Library says that 61-80, 81-99 and 101-110 passed to SELNEC retaining the same fleet numbers. I wonder, did the missing Panther 100 (destroyed by fire at MCW before delivery) result in a missing 55, or were 101-110 reduced by 46 instead of 45?

Peter Williamson

10/02/20 – 11:12

I suppose Portsmouth (CPPTD) could be described as making more of a success of the Panther Cub, but they were still rather short-lived compared with more traditional vehicles. Typically, the PD2s and PDR1 Atlanteans worked for around 16 years, those converted to open-top even longer. But of the 26 Panther Cubs, nine went in 1977, at just ten years old. Four more went in 1979/80. The remaining 13 were withdrawn in 1981, which may have been life-expired withdrawals, but was also influenced by the results of the then-recent MAP project. The result of that saw a "rationalisation" of services, and saw all 14 of the five-year old Leyland Nationals sold as well! The Panther Cubs did look smart when new in their traditional CPPTD livery, but I did not like the eventual transformation to an almost all-white scheme with just a red line. I wonder whether drivers, mechanics, etc saw them as a "success"?

Mr Anon One

10/02/20 – 11:13

It was SELNEC which renumbered the ex Manchester single deckers.

Mr Anon Two

11/02/20 – 06:53

To add to the comments from Mr Anon Two, according to the P.S.V. Circle SELNEC Fleet History (PC7), the vehicles transferred to SELNEC under their old numbers on 1st November 1969, and the fleet renumbering was introduced in March 1970.
Peter W asks about the Panther Cubs and the Panthers. 61-99 became 16-54, and 101-110 became 55-64.

John Kaye

11/02/20 – 06:55

SELNEC 55 was GND 101E, so there was no gap in the new numbers for the missing GND 100E.

Dave Farrier

11/02/20 – 16:26

Thanks everyone for clarification. I hadn’t noticed the date of the photo, and I was fooled by the apparent survival of the "City of Manchester" fleet name, though I must say whatever is above it doesn’t look much like the city coat of arms.

Peter Williamson

12/02/20 – 16:46

Did the registration number GND 100E signify the bus was fitted with a Ford side valve engine? If so, it is not surprising that it was missing, although not in the accepted sense of the word. Try changing the plugs!

Mr Anon Three

13/02/20 – 06:06

72/4/6/8/80 were allocated to Queens Road Depot from new. I used to travel to school on them sometimes on service no 142. There was one regular driver who always started in third gear, another started in second then slammed it into fourth without a pause. I always thought they were lively performers.
I believe 61-70 had the turbocharged engine. Some if not all of these had machines to cancel prepaid tickets which were bought in books of ten. These ten also had lever controls for the exit door, while 71-80 had the exit door controlled by an extra position on the gear lever, as later became standard on the Mancunians. All had the front door controlled by a foot control.

Don McKeown

15/02/20 – 06:31

It was 71-80 that had the turbochargers, but they were troublesome and usually disconnected. I too thought the Panther Cubs were lively performers, as long as the revs were kept up. I’m quite surprised at the widespread view that they were underpowered.

Peter Williamson


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Brighton Corporation – Leyland Panther Cub – NUF 137G – 37

Brighton Corporation - Leyland Panther Cub - NUF 137G - 37

Brighton Corporation
Leyland Panther Cub PSRC1/1
Strachans B??D

This photo shows No 37 one of Brighton Corporation’s three Leyland Panther Cubs No’s 36-38 registration NUF 136-138G with Strachans B–D bodywork, listed on some other sites as B43F which is obviously incorrect as it can clearly be seen to have a centre exit. A further four with Marshall B43F bodies followed on as No’s 39-42 registration NUF 139-142G so maybe 36-38 were to the same layout. The Panther Cub was a fairly rare beast as less than a hundred were built in total and of those only seven had Strachans bodies three for Thomas Bros of South Wales and a demonstrator YTB 771D which was bought by Eastbourne Corporation some time after being used by them as transport for delegates at the 1967 MPTA conference held in the town (Municipal Passenger Transport Association). I worked for Eastbourne Corporation at that time and drove YTB both during the conference and after it was bought by them and numbered 92 and always found it to be a pleasant lively vehicle to drive if a bit raucous.
The manager at that time Mr R. R Davies said the interior Formica panelling pattern looked like a coffee bar.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Diesel Dave

06/04/14 – 11:29

The Panthers we had at Percy Main were the B48D Marshall Camair bodied PSRU1A1R version, and they too had somewhat garish interiors. Whoever designed the cab layout obviously never had to drive one, if they did they must have been a contortionist. Being a semi auto with no clutch pedal, the designer must have been under the impression that they would only be driven by drivers who didn’t have a left leg. The gearchange was positioned in such a way that it was almost impossible to get into or out of the dammed thing unless you had supreme manoeuvring skills, and once in you couldn’t get comfortable as you had nowhere to put your left leg.

Ronnie Hoye

06/04/14 – 18:23

I know just what you mean Ronnie. At Halifax we had three ex-Yorkshire Traction Marshall-bodied Leopard PSU4’s which had exactly the same layout. In order to get installed into the cab seat I used to have to climb onto, then over it into the tight space at the other side with both legs, sit down then swivel anticlockwise into position. Then, unless you wound the seat almost down into the floor, your upper legs were jammed tight under the large steering wheel rim, which would rub against them as you steered. Then of course you had to go through the reverse of all that procedure when you came to get out.
Having said all that, though cab ergonomics have improved a bit since then, I honestly can’t say that I’m ever comfortable in any of today’s buses, and nearly always finish a stint in one with pains in my back and legs.

John Stringer

06/04/14 – 18:23

I think all 7 were dual door originally. Someone else may know whether they were subsequently rebuilt as single, as happened in many fleets

John Carr

07/04/14 – 12:46

I have happy memories of travelling to school on Manchester Corporation’s Panther Cubs on Middleton local service 142. Queens Road Depot had nos. 72/74/76/78 and 80 (BND 872C etc) and any one of these would appear each morning on the 142; far more interesting than travelling on the school bus, which was always a PD2. The performance was impressively lively; I remember that one driver always started in 3rd gear, and another started in 2nd but then went straight to 4th.
I don’t know about the driving position causing problems, Manchester’s Panther Cubs had the miniature gear lever attached to the steering column. However the front platform doors were operated by the driver’s left foot (the centre exit doors being opened by a sixth position on the gear lever), I can’t remember seeing any of them struggle to reach the door pedal.

Don McKeown

07/04/14 – 15:16

I think your drivers were trying to wreck the gearbox as they disliked the Panther Cubs. I was once on a Halifax Dennis Loline III fitted with a 5 speed semi-auto gearbox and the driver started from each stop in 3rd gear, thinking it was 2nd as on a Fleetline. Giving plenty of body vibration! bus and passengers alike!

Geoff S

08/04/14 – 07:51

5-speed semi-autos could be a problem in fleets that also had 4-speed ones. Bristol Omnibus had 4-speed RELL buses and 5-speed RELH coaches and DPs. When the RELHs were cascaded to bus use, the drivers treated gears 2,3,4&5 exactly like 1,2,3&4 on the RELLs, changing up far too early and never letting the engine get into its stride. They must have wondered why these former "express" vehicles were so much more sluggish than the local ones!

Peter Williamson

10/04/14 – 07:38

NUF 136G

NUF 137G

Here are two more pictures from 1970 of the Brighton Corporation Strachans bodied Panther Cubs. 36, NUF 136G is seen at Preston Park, with the impressive railway viaduct behind it, and 37, NUF 137 is in Old Steine, Brighton.

NUF 141G 

The later Marshall bodied version is represented here by 41, NUF 141G heading north on the A23 towards Preston Drove, with an array of British built cars in the background – those were the days!

Roger Cox

31/12/16 – 17:09

All of the Panther Cubs for Brighton were dual door from new & remained as such throughout their short lives. They were all withdrawn by 1975. They had been Brighton Corporations first single deckers & it would be 1983 before any more arrived.

Malcolm Pelling


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Stockton Corporation – Leyland Panther Cub – GUP 501C – S1

Stockton Corporation Leyland Panther

Stockton-on-Tees Corporation
Leyland Panther Cub PSRC1/1
Park Royal B43D

Not the best shot in the world I think it was the first shot on the film and suffered from a touch of light getting into the cassette. Anyway there are not many shots of duel entrance vehicles on site so I think it is worth showing. The engine on the Panther was positioned horizontally under the floor at the rear and inline with the chassis as apposed to the Atlantean which had a transverse vertically mounted engine. As can be seen in the above shot the seats behind the centre door had to be raised to go over the rear axel and engine compartment. But having the engine at the rear did as can be seen enable it to have a very low step into the vehicle all though there is a step up immediately behind the driver. The coach version of the Panther had a one level raised floor but with having the engine at the rear it meant it had 120 cubic foot (3·4 cu.m.) underfloor storage for suitcases and the like. The engine was the reliable Leyland O.600 six cylinder diesel developing 125 b.h.p. in the bus chassis and 130 b.h.p. in coaches with a four speed epicycle gearbox with fingertip electric change and air suspension was offered as an option.


I know you are not meaning to mislead, but you haven’t mentioned that the Panther Cub (as opposed to the Panther) had the well regarded, but noisy, 0.400 engine.
This was the final version of the 0.300/0.350/0.375 Comet/Tiger Cub engine. The 0.400 was better known in the Bedford VAL/VAM14 and Bristol LH applications. It was necessary to fit this compact unit to the Panther Cub as it has a shorter rear overhang than the Panther.
The power output, at 125 b.h.p, was the same as the 0.600 but the torque (pulling power) and therefore potential life span was less.

David Oldfield


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Saturday 2nd December 2023