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From Our Collection: Birmingham City Transport Daimler Fleetine BON 472C

Birmingham City Transport Daimler Fleetine BON 472C

Reg No: BON 472C - new 1965
Operator: Birmingham City Transport
Chassis: Daimler Fleetline CRG6
Engine: Gardner 6LX 10.45 litre 6 cylinder diesel
Gearbox: Semi-automatic
Body: Marshall 37 seats

1960s BIRMINGHAM SINGLE-DECKER

24 new single-deck buses were wanted for 1965 with the same entrance specification of one step to the road as new double-deckers. They were for the 27 route under the low bridges at Bournville and Northfield stations, and the special services for the Education Department. The latter ran along narrow roads and worked by several garages whose maintenance pits could not handle longer buses than the double-deckers being received. This length problem eliminated the new designs of rear-underfloor engine buses so the standard double-deck chassis became the obvious choice.

The bodies looked like double-deckers cut down to one deck and their short length meant they only seated 37. This bus, no. 3472, worked the first route serving the new Castle Vale estate in 1966. On 15 January 1967, new route 46 from Queslett became the first BCT service without conductors to run into the city centre. 3472 was one of the buses transferred to Perry Barr garage for the job.

All 24 were taken over by the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive in 1969. Thought was given to fitting them with new double-deck bodies but they enjoyed full lives in their original form. No. 3472 retired in April 1981.

Preservation

3472 was sold for preservation in 1982 and passed through various ownerships including the Yardley Wood Bus Club which thoroughly restored it. It became available in 2016, the Museum buying it without its defective engine and fitting a spare one instead. The blue panels were repainted and the bus returned to active use.

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