We love a good throwback and especially one that includes buses, so here’s a little treat for us all. Currently taking residency in our garages, out in service or available for private hire, we have a number of vintage buses in our fleet that are being restored back to their former glory around the West Midlands.
Dive back in time and indulge in our three-part bus series where we explore the vintage fleet in more detail, two buses per week for the next three weeks! This time we are starting with two old favourites, the first being a “bobby daim-zler”!
Fleet number: 3225
Registration number: MOF 225
Status: Currently in operation
What a beauty this bus is! The chassis of this vehicle was built in Coventry and the body in Manchester in 1954. It has never been sold and has always been in operation with us, showing the high quality specification that our buses have always been made to. This bus was brand new to Birmingham City Transport, passed to West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive on merger in 1969, then moved over to West Midlands Travel Limited on deregulation and it is still owned by us today.
It was withdrawn from service in 1977 on conversion of the ‘Outer Circle’ to ‘One Man Operation’ (that was what it was called back in 1977) and then went to Moseley Road training centre - an old garage throwback too!
This vehicle was fully restored at the apprentice training centre. The apprentices who worked on this vehicle did a full overhaul on it as part of their training. Since then it has had routine maintenance and two repaints.
Now the bus is based at Yardley Wood garage as part of the private hire fleet for special events and shows. It carries the livery it operated in when the bus was new to Birmingham City Transport.
Bus fact: Wendy Richards (Are you being served? and Eastenders fame) travelled around Birmingham on this bus before switching on our Christmas lights in the 1980s.
Fleet number: 3035
Registration number: MOF 35
Status: Currently being restored
A Guy Arab with a Metro-Cammell body. The chassis of this bus was built in Wolverhampton, and the body was built in Birmingham in 1953.
It was brand new to Birmingham City Transport, then was passed over to West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive on merger in 1969. The bus was sadly withdrawn from service in 1977, again on conversion of the ‘Outer Circle’ to a ‘One Man Operation’ route.
The bus was then sold to a bus enthusiast called Mike Wood for preservation. Mike sadly passed away in 2018 and we purchased the bus back from his estate.
Our body makers are currently restoring it back to its former glory at Walsall garage. The current intention is for this bus to be renovated to the condition and livery it was in when it retired in 1977.
Despite its appearance it is currently drivable. It will need a lot of mechanical work before it joins the private hire fleet but we can’t wait to see this one when it is finished!
Feeling nostalgic? Continue travelling back in time and read part 2 here. If you have any other images of the vintage buses in our series, we’d love to see them! Tag us in on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
We would like to say a very big thank you to Tony Hunter and wmbusphotos.com for getting on board and helping us put this information together.
Published: 3rd March 2021
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