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Calabros Panther Cub

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Calabros Panther Cub

Postby White Super Power » Thu Jan 04, 2007 11:27 am

http://www.busaustralia.com/gallery/dis ... ?pos=-4894

Calabros imported Panther Cub Park Royal Ex SELNEC 34
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Postby Herbert » Fri Jan 05, 2007 2:25 pm

Very nice - especially to considering my native Perth bias towards BET designs! Were the Panther Cubs more successful in NSW than UK?
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Postby Fleabag » Sat Jan 06, 2007 6:03 pm

Nice looking bus.
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Postby RK215 » Sun Jan 07, 2007 12:02 pm

Herbert wrote:Very nice - especially to considering my native Perth bias towards BET designs! Were the Panther Cubs more successful in NSW than UK?


I wonder how many of the 94 Panther Cubs that were built found there way to Australia after relatively short lives with their original operators.

The Panther Cub was a “blunderbus” in its original context as a “short” Panther urban standee bus. Leyland didn’t really want to build it, but had its arm twisted by its good customer Manchester, so could hardly refuse. The shortened overall length necessitated the use of the “small” O.400 engine, as the O.600 wouldn’t fit. I suspect that Leyland then chose to use Tiger Cub axles and brakes in order to gain some addition weight saving in deference to the small engine.

The short version of the Swift 505 would have been a better choice for the envisaged duties, but at that time, AEC and Leyland were still acting more-or-less independently in respect of UK domestic sales, although by then Leyland was acting as a single supplier in export markets. (The first evidence of domestic market cross-selling seems to have been in the truck sector circa 1966, when the AEC Mammoth Minor was offered to Leyland customers who wanted a twin-steer tractive unit – another unusual type that stemmed from a quirk in the UK C&U regs.) Also, Manchester had O.400-engined Tiger Cubs, so may have wanted to stay with a familiar powerplant.

That the short Panther was fitted with the O.400 engine highlights what was a gap in the Leyland engine range. With the benefit of hindsight, one could say that Leyland might have done better to develop the AEC A470 engine into an “O.500”, instead of pursuing the unsuccessful fixed-head 500 series. Although the AV505 adopted some Leyland features, I haven’t seen evidence that the Lancashire group was seriously involved in either the A470-to-A471/A505 or A590/A690-toA691/A760 transitions.

Anyway, back to the Panther Cub in Australia, assigned to appropriate duties, there is no reason why it would not have performed well enough. I am thinking here of suburban/smaller town/charter/school operations where vehicle like the Albion Viking VK43L might otherwise be deployed. Probably the two-speed axle would be essential for reasonably comfortable cruising.

Also, Australian operators demonstrated their ability to get good service out of the Panther and Swift, despite the more severe operating conditions, where British operators had failed. The Panther Cub belonged to the same family, and used familiar components.

I agree that the 1963 BET body was a nice design, when properly executed. I think it looked better with a continuous waistline, rather than a stepped waistline, but the split-level floor made for a difficult choice between external aesthetics and functionality. The double-curved windscreen was evidently quite expensive relative to the flat-panelled type, the difference being enough to mitigate against it in some markets. In New Zealand, at least, we saw some front ends with flat-panelled windcreens that overall looked like an angular version of the BET.

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Postby White Super Power » Sun Jan 07, 2007 2:30 pm

Calabros had 4 Panther Cubs ex SELNEC, nos 20,21,22 & 34, all via Hills Wollongong. South Bexley Buses had No 28 whilst Johnsons of Edgeworth had another, who were the other operators ?

Calabros mo 058 didn't last all that long as it was destroyed by fire in late 1974.
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Postby Herbert » Sun Jan 07, 2007 2:38 pm

WSP, would these be the remains of it?

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Bruce Harris photo/Ian Kerr Collection
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Postby White Super Power » Sun Jan 07, 2007 4:50 pm

Thats them. I have a similar phoitoexcept its before the roof was cut off.
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Re:

Postby Fleet Lists » Mon May 07, 2012 1:33 pm

White Super Power wrote:Calabros had 4 Panther Cubs ex SELNEC, nos 20,21,22 & 34, all via Hills Wollongong. South Bexley Buses had No 28 whilst Johnsons of Edgeworth had another, who were the other operators ?

Calabros mo 058 didn't last all that long as it was destroyed by fire in late 1974.


I note that in the photos posted in viewtopic.php?f=3&t=66533 which I am currently moving to the photo gallery, showing the fire damage the date is shown as 1972 so that would appear to be incorrect.
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Re:

Postby boronia » Mon May 07, 2012 2:19 pm

Herbert wrote:Very nice - especially to considering my native Perth bias towards BET designs! Were the Panther Cubs more successful in NSW than UK?

I don't know the mechanical situation, but the bodies of most pommie imports of that era did not stand up to poor Australian road conditions and became maintenance problems very quickly.
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Re: Calabros Panther Cub

Postby Car177 » Mon May 07, 2012 3:30 pm

Black and White Sandgate had a pair of Selnec Leyland Panther Cubs amongst their other orphans.
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Re: Calabros Panther Cub

Postby system improver » Tue May 08, 2012 9:39 am

Grenda's had two Panther Cubs.

Number 118 (renumbered 30 in late '74) was a Park Royal bodied bus, new 4/65 to Manchester (No. 73) and registered for Grenda's in 2/74:
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Number 31 was a Marshall bodied bus, new 4/67 to Oldham (No. 117) and registered for Grenda's in 9/74:
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All photos by Bruce Tilley.
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