Old Bus Sounds

Old Bus Sounds

Thanks to Richard Fieldhouse for the idea to have a "Bus sounds reference library" where favourite sound clips or videos of bus sounds, engines, gearboxes or any other bus related sounds can be listed.
There used to be a video player embedded into the page but Yahoo withdrew the service unfortunately, but if you click on the heading the video will load in a separate page. Titles with (so) at the end are sound only.


AEC 661T/EE (Portsmouth Corporation) (so)

Portsmouth Corporation AEC 661T/EE - Craven with a trolleybus driver that sounds his horn and then does a Grand Prix getaway. "You can hear the overhead wires 'twang' at one stage"
Chris Hebbron


AEC Regent III (Liverpool Corporation)

Take a 13 minute ride on Merseyside Transport Trust's recently re-restored Crossley-bodied AEC Regent III A36 (NKD 536) of 1953. Originally fitted with a 9.6 litre engine, it now has an 11.3 litre unit. There are all the familiar manual AEC sounds, the gearbox and transmission whining and quivering to perfection. I had the pleasure of driving A36 in the 1970's when it was still with its original owner - Dave Ellis - and in spite of its ugly, bull-nosed looks (A36's - not Dave's), it was an absolute joy.
John Stringer


AEC Regent III (York Pullman)

Here we have another Regent III but this time it has the sliding mesh (crash) gearbox, as opposed to the synchromesh box on some later IIIs as well as the Vs and Renowns. The sound is subtly but distinctly different - mellow and soulful (in my view) - rather than the whine of the synchro version.
It is preserved York Pullman JDN 668 and it is again from the LVVS running day at Easter 2010 and follows a similar route into Lincoln as the Leyland TD7 (below), although the filming started at South Park roundabout. There is the stop at Dixon Street traffic lights, and then again twice alongside where St Marks railway station used to be. At the second set of lights there is a start in first gear. All the rest are in second, which always seemed to be the usual practise, except pulling away from stops on hills. I particularly like this, because it is wound up to the top of the scale in each gear - which might not be the most economical way of driving, but certainly the most musical!
Now, are there decent Daimler CVD6, CVG6, Guy Arab and Pre-selector AEC Regent clips to be found?
Stephen Ford


AEC Regent III RT (London Transport) RT3238

I have just discovered this video of London Transports KYY 967 RT3238, which is the first time I have found a decent clip that includes the classic AEC Regent pre-selector sound. Sadly no first gear starts (Chris Youhill will disapprove!) but this is the sound I remember from my early days in Nottingham.
Stephen Ford


AEC Regent V (Devon General)

This Willowbrook-bodied AEC Regent V 2D3RA was new to Devon General in 1964 as it's 507(507 RUO), and was later converted to open top by DG. (In later life, it was operated by Obsolete Fleet). Bear with the video, as the first few minutes are mainly in top gear, but at 2.58 things liven up considerably as steep hills are encountered. A real delight for aficionados of the manual 'box Regent V.
Brendan Smith


AEC Regent V (Nottingham City Transport) (so)

Recorded in 1970 Nottingham City Transport AEC Regent V (Park Royal) No. 229 (UTV 229) is heard starting out from Old Market Square on one of the Arnold group of routes; the driver stalls it at the top of King Street but restarts and the bus is heard climbing Mansfield Road, dropping into third near the top of the hill.
David Page


AEC Renown (Leicester City Transport)

A run through its home town in Leicester City Transport 190 a 1965 East Lancs bodied AEC Renown. Notice how much more strident this later generation AV590 engined, synchromesh gearboxed AEC is, compared to Liverpool Regent III A36 with the same gearbox, but an earlier generation 11.3 engine. The Renown model was a favourite of mine, and I owned one for a few years in the 1970's. Despite its close relationship to the more numerous Regent V, I always felt there were distinct differences in the sound effects - additional slightly deeper undertones probably due to the more complicated transmission and convoluted exhaust system. Enjoy !
(You anti AEC chaps may want to skip this one !).
John Stringer

Comments regarding this clip can be read here.


AEC Routemaster

A ten minute ride around Scarborough on East Yorkshire's open-top Routemaster 812 (ALM65B), formerly London Transport RM2065. Beautiful sounds abound from the AEC engine and epicyclic gearbox. Listen to the bus humming contentedly to itself, when idling in neutral. It may have lost it's roof, but the RM's lost none of it's charm. (Last two minutes are 'up top' - a bit blowy but very atmospheric).
Brendan Smith


Bedford OB

This video is very good for the OB because it is shot from the front of the bus, so it shows the way ahead and also shows driving technique like double de-clutching aswell as the sound of the OBs Gearbox.
John Stringer


Bedford OWB

This video is perfect for the OWB gearbox sound but start from 3mins in, or shut your eyes from the beginning to that point, or you'll get a headache! It's ears that matter here!
Chris Hebbron


Bristol K5G (Eastern Counties) (so)

Eastern Counties Bristol K5G/ECW HPW 135 fleet number 135 on route 101 in Cambridge, recorded from Emmanuel Street and heading for the station.
David Page


Bristol L5G (Bristol Tramways)

This is Bristol Tramways and Carriage Company Bristol L - LHY 976 - C2736 with a 5-cylinder Gardner 5LW diesel engine and a five speed manual gearbox. It was recorded on the Bristol Bus Running Day and includes some superb gear changing!
Richard Leaman


Bristol Lodekka (Eastern National)

Here is a clip of an Eastern National Bristol Lodekka FLF with a semi-auto gearbox it was fleet number 2614 in their fleet with a the registration AVX 975G, it's an aural delight.
Andy Spiller


Bristol RESL6G (Southern Vectis)

A chance to listen to the dulcet tones of preserved Southern Vectis 810 (HDL 25E), as it meanders through Winchester in 2011. A 1967 Bristol RESL6G Series II, with semi-automatic transmission, it has ECW bus bodywork to the original, more rounded style usually associated with the Series I chassis. It does have a 5-speed 'box, but is unable to get into top gear until 7.17, and then only briefly due to traffic. Nonetheless, a lovely clip, and the brief sorties into fifth do make it quite tantalising for those of us who love that distinctive whine.
Brendan Smith


Crossley Condor

This is the only video I can trace of a Crossley Condor (later converted into a breakdown tender, now preserved) it has a wealth of interesting noises and I feel unique clips are valuable.
Chris Hebbron


Crossley DD42

This is a link to a video of ex Sunderland Corporation 1947 Crossley DD42 GR 9007, in Clacton last year.
Stephen Ford

Comments regarding this clip can be read here.


Daimler CWD6 (Northampton Corporation)

Here is a short clip of Northampton Corporation's No. 129 (VV 8934) of 1945, the sole surviving Daimler CWD6 with Duple H30/26R body. Love the fruity engine note and fast pre-selective gearchange!
It is also posted on this site at this link.
Chris Hebbron


Daimler CVD6 (City of Exeter)

I noticed that Stephen Ford wrote on 08/05/12, that you had no sound for the Exeter Corporation Daimler CVD6 - JFJ 873 - 173. Coincidentally, I recorded a snippet of the sound of this bus whilst videoing the Coventry Transport Museums Open Store Day, and Centenary of Coventry Corporation Transport event on 12th May 2012. Feel free to use the video if you think it is useful.
Graham Clarke


Daimler CVD6 (W Gash & Son) (so)

Recording on board W.Gash Daimler CVD6 fleet no. DD3 registration KAL 580 (Massey bodywork): leaving Broad Marsh bus station and heading for Trent Bridge: stopping and starting at Lady Bay; made in November 1976.
David Page

Comments regarding this clip can be read here.


Daimler CVG6 (Derby Corporation) (so)

Derby Corporation a 1966 Daimler CVG6/Roe No. 187 (KRC 187D) on route 11, heading for Allestree from the town centre.
David Page


Guy Arab IV (Chester Corporation)

Stephen Ford asks if there are any decent Guy Arab clips out there. I know the sound on this one could be better, but it's worth including I think. Preserved 1953 Chester Corporation Massey-bodied Arab IV fleet number 1 (RFM 641) takes us on a short run around its home town on the last day of operation of the municipality. All the right sounds are there - the no-nonsence, relentless throb of the Gardner 6LW, sonorous moaning from the gearbox when manoeuvring at slow speeds, whistling a-plenty and that occasional strange jangling whilst idling at the start of the clip.
John Stringer

Comments regarding this clip can be read here.


Guy Arab IV (Birmingham Corporation)

Not the finest sound quality, but the only preselector Arab that I have so far found. There is a gravelly sounding Gardner 6LW, with deeply moaning transmission noises beneath. It sounds best as it pulls away from junctions.
John Stringer


Guy Arab IV (West Riding)(so)

Recording on board a West Riding fleet No. 869 registration GHL 718 a Guy Arab Mk IV double-decker (Roe bodywork). It was recorded leaving Wakefield Bus Station and heading for Wrenthorpe in September 1970. It take about 1½ mins to get out of the station but there is a good sound effect of the ticket machine to start with.
David Page

Comments regarding this clip can be read here.


Guy Arab V (Chester Corporation)

Lovely soundtrack and video aboard Chester 47, a Northern Counties- bodied Guy Arab V. It was one of a batch of three (45-47) delivered to the undertaking in 1969, which were sadly the last Arab Vs to enter service in the UK. The clip is split between upper deck (first half), and lower deck (second half). Both are a treat for the ears.
Brendan Smith


Guy Wulfrunian (West Riding)

Regarded as a Classic Blunderbus. The one in this video was one of two, originally new to County Motors of Lepton. Here we take a short ride on it around the Black Country Museum, and hear the throaty Gardner engine and surprisingly whiny gearbox and transmission competing for our aural attention. Note the narrowness of the cab.
John Stringer


Leyland Atlantean PDR1 (Edinburgh Corporation)

Over nine minutes long, this recording starts with Edinburgh City Transport 812 idling whilst loading for quite a while before setting off and getting into its stride. Recorded from the rear of the lower saloon, and sounding quite authentic - if you like this kind of thing (Never keen on Atlanteans myself - sorry !).
John Stringer


Leyland Royal Tiger Cub RTC1/1 (Doncaster Corporation)

Quite a rarity in the U.K., the Royal Tiger Cub was introduced as a beefed up and slightly longer alternative to the Leopard L1 and L2 models, yet shorter than the heavier duty PSU3 36 footer. Later Leyland replaced the L-series with the heavier PSU4, yet they continued to produce the RTC as well, mainly for export. Quite what the difference was I have never understood - maybe someone can enlighten me.
Here Doncaster Corporation 43 is recorded back in 1994, mostly at speed on a dual carriageway, and sounding very crisp and healthy, yet an engine failure shortly afterwards caused it to be put away in a shed, where it apparently still languishes.
John Stringer


Leyland Panther PSUR1A/1R (Chesterfield Corporation)

Pushing things to the limit somewhat for this site as the bus is H-registered, and therefore 1969 or 1970, but it is nowadays quite a rarity - so here goes. The Panther quickly earned itself a name for poor reliability, and most had relatively short lives, yet much of this was attributable to the fashionable two-doored, large windowed standee bodies they tended to be fitted with, being structurally weakened as a result. This one sounds a bit noisy here, but I seem to remember them being quite pleasant to ride on for a modern bus - better than a National One anytime.
John Stringer

Comments regarding this clip can be read here.


Leyland Panther Cub PSRC1.1 (Warrington Corporation)

Following on from the Chesterfield Panther we now hear an even rarer beast (and beast it apparently was) - a Panther Cub. A shorter (33ft.) version of its larger sibling it featured the O400 engine as used in the Tiger Cub, and here it snarls away in typical style on a brief run at the Bristol Harbourside Rally. The East Lancs. body is typically clinical and a symphony in Formica. A far cry from the mellow, soothing sounds of the TD7 recently posted, but still incredibly it is 44 years old now so perhaps we should allow it to attack our senses at least once.
John Stringer


Leyland Tiger TS7 (Crosville Motors) (so)

The hoarse growl of second gear is heard to full advantage in a recording of heavily-rebodied Crosville Leyland Tiger TS7 of 1937, BFM 144, starting and stopping in heavy traffic in Llandudno.
David Page


Leyland Tiger PS2/12A (West Riding)

Now here's a Leyland I really do like 1952 West Riding 733 Leyland Tiger PS2/12A. A late example of a single deck halfcab, built to the 30 feet length, 733 is a beautiful thing, in surely one of the classiest liveries. Here it can be seen and heard both inside and out, as it takes us on a trip from the Dewsbury Bus Museum at Ravensthorpe to the outer reaches of Brighouse and back. The pneumatic governor whistling sounds and slight hunting on tickover are heard, though the idling speed does seem to be set rather faster than some. I remember riding on Yorkshire Woollen's Willowbrook bodied lengthened PS2/5's (though some were actually similar export Titan OPD2's) around Halifax, Brighouse and Elland, and they were great favourites of mine (despite all my AEC leanings).
John Stringer


Leyland Titan TD1 (Bolton Corporation)

A short ride on the LVVS Museum's preserved Bolton Corporation fleet number 54 a 1929 Leyland Titan TD1 with an open-staircased Leyland body, followed by a final burst as it roars away up the road. A fine vintage machine with the 1930's Leyland moaning sounds, but a remarkable performance that could put many a PD2 to shame. Note the push-on handbrake.
John Stringer


Leyland Titan TD7 (Lincoln Corporation)

Here we have a 7½ minute clip on a preserved Lincoln City Transport Leyland Titan TD7. It starts with a long run with no stops, starts or gear changes, along Newark Road, passing the South Park roundabout, up Lincoln High Street to a longish wait at Dixon Street traffic lights. This is shortly followed by a right turn into Portland Street. The grand finale is a long melodious pull in second gear from almost a dead stand, out of Portland Street onto the gradient of Pelham Bridge.
Stephen Ford


Leyland Titan PD1 (Birkenhead Corporation)

Recently magnificently restored after being stored at various locations for thirty odd years (I actually had about a tenth share in it during the 70's), is Birkenhead Corporation 105 being driven at a fairly sedate pace around its native town. It is unusually subdued for a PD1, but the well built Massey body probably deadens some of the 7.4 litre throb. There are some nice slow hunting idling sounds.
John Stringer


Leyland PD1 (Barton Transport)(so)

On board a Leyland PD1, (actually a PS1 rebuilt with Northern Counties decker body) Bartons No. 790, in March 1972, on a rush-hour duplicate just as a brief but heavy rainstorm had swept over the city and left in its wake a tremendous stormy sunset to light the soaking streets; passengers were few and the driver was first-rate. The recording begins at the foot of Derby Road; the driver frequently makes use of first gear and snatch-changes expertly into second by using the clutch-stop on the hill. The recording ends at Lenton Boulevard traffic lights.
David Page


Leyland PD2/40 (City of Exeter)

A trip on Exeter City Transport VFJ 995 - 60 a 1958 Metro-Cammell bodied Leyland PD2/40 (vacuum brakes) at Kirby Stephen in 2010. Not too many voiceovers on this one. There is the usual gurgly O600 engine, clunky gearchanges and a lot of grumbling and groaning from backlash in the transmission when the driver comes off the accelerator. Just as I remember so many of the PD2's I rode on and later drove at Halifax but without their air brake sounds. Not exactly my favourite bus type (I much preferred the early PD2's, which were even gurglier and made fascinating pneumatic governor whistling sounds) but this is quite a good representation of what a later one sounded like. They served many an operator well though I have to admit.
John Stringer


SOS SON (Trent Motors) (so)

The quiet and refined progress of Trent's SON-type SOS, RC 7917, leaving Derby for Loughborough in the capable hands of driver John Skidmore.
David Page


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Old Bus Photos from Saturday 25th April 2009 to Tuesday 17th September 2019