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Bus Graveyard - ex DGT Daimlers

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Bus Graveyard - ex DGT Daimlers

Postby Centralian » Sat Feb 10, 2007 10:38 pm

Here's a row of ex DGT Daimler CVG6SD with Comeng bodies of 1953 vintage awaiting their fate at Casula Wreckers. These vehicles were withdrawn around 1973 and I'd date having taken this photo in the mid to late '70's. Enjoy! (apologies for the leaking battery damage).

http://www.busaustralia.com/gallery/dis ... pos=-17210
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Postby leopard1543 » Sat Feb 10, 2007 11:14 pm

Yes, I can recall that scene at Casula. I'd say the photo was probably taken about 1974/5.
Thanks "Centralian" for sharing this pic with us :!:
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Postby boronia » Sun Feb 11, 2007 6:53 am

Casula Wreckers also had a large number of deckers, mainly Albions and OPD1s around that time, in the big yard out the back
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Postby Bovways » Sun Feb 11, 2007 10:22 am

Can anyone enlighten me on the history of these Daimlers? I've read a few little comments about how the first batch of chassis weren't to spec, they were swapped for a second batch which were reluctantly accepted but then used for single deckers.

What was the story? And how did they go in service?

Thanks :)
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Postby Dave Wilson » Sun Feb 11, 2007 11:30 am

These Daimlers were Model CVG 6 with the wide CD-650 radiator.My understanding is that there were actually three orders placed by the NSW Dept Road Transport and Tramways - the first batch, also CVG-6s were rejected and diverted to Adelaide where they became Fleet 112 -126.

The secong lot is somewhat of a mystery as the DRTT archives are a bit ambiguous on the subject.

I was involved in acquiring MTT Daimler 112 from Adelaide in 1991 for the Sydney Bus Museum and drove it much of the way to Sydney. It was easy to drive and performed extremely well, apart from a crack in the exhaust manifold which made the cab a bit unpleasant with fumes.

As for Sydney 31 seater 2669, which I donated to the Museum a few years ago, I find it the best of all the Sydney 31 seaters to drive. The 20 Daimlers were surrounded by controversy during their operating days and were the subject of fervent industrial action at Willoughby/Nth Sydney depots in the early 60s. This came about because of the alleged hot conditions in the driver's area and the tendency of the selector pedal to kick back savagely if not fully depressed to the floor. I think the ATMOEA was highly critical of the brakes as well. I must say I have never experienced the kick back problem in all the many times I have driven the Museum's example. They are a bit hot, however, but this is more than compensated for by the fact that they are not quite as noisy as AECs and Leylands.The DGT Daimler 31 seaters are equipped with hydraulic brakes, hydraulically assisted preselector gearbox and hydraulic doors.They also have an unusual (for Sydney) high pressure, hydraulic bladder back up system to the brakes should the hydraulics fail. I understand the back up system was poorly understood and consequently poorly maintained by the Department!

There is no doubt that they were specialised odd-bods and for this reason,a big pain in the arse to the mechanics. Story has it that when the bodies were overhauled at the workshops, various hydraulic fittings were thrown inside them to be refitted by the depot staff!

Despite their alleged shortcomings, all were still in service at the early 1971 when 5 or 6 were withdrawn and sold, the remainder lasting until 1973.

'Red and Cream' might like to give us some recollections of his time with the Daimlers.
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My Casula memories.

Postby leopard1543 » Sun Feb 11, 2007 12:18 pm

I remember me and Dad driving past Casula in December, 1970. AEC Regent III: 2397 had just arrived there (minus top deck). A few of the early post-war withdrawals ended up there including Leyland OPD2's: 2163, 2334 and AEC Regent III's: 1845, 2355.
My next visit there was in May & November, 1977 and the condition of these vehicles had deteriorated greatly (although I managed to retrieve a few of the cardboard style ads from the old deckers).
I made a few other photo visits there including August, 1978, December, 1988 then March, 1990 (even a couple of pre-war deckers had appeared by then :shock:). My last visit there was on 30/9/92 and by then only Daimler 2691, Leyland 2163 and AEC's 1654, 1845 (which was burnt out) and 2355 remained. Not long after the site was cleared and a housing development went in.
I've always found wrecking yards interesting :!:
(see my post 'Casula Memories - 1977').
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Postby Swift » Sun Feb 11, 2007 12:27 pm

Ilike the ad you can make out for the Kodak Instamatic on the side.
A true product of the time.
This is why I like ads to be left on preserved withdrawn buses.
I cannot understand why some insist that buses be free of any ads.
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Postby Dave Wilson » Sun Feb 11, 2007 12:43 pm

Swift Obsessor - you will have to transmogrify into a divinity if you want to see vehicles preserved with period advertisements in 'as found' condition. Most preservationists are obsessed with concourse/showroom appearance and would never allow a vehicle to stay in as acquired conditon.Of course it's impossible with some restoration projects to maintain 'as acquired' appearance as they may be found as wrecks - such as the recently completed 1937 Leyland double decker 1379.

Nevertheless, some cracking original examples have been ruined, and have been transformed from the extraordinary to the very ordinary by so called 'restoration'.
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Postby Bovways » Sun Feb 11, 2007 1:25 pm

Thanks very much Dave. I had no idea the Daimlers were so different mechanically. Fascinating stuff.

Does anyone know why the first batch were rejected?
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Postby Dave Wilson » Sun Feb 11, 2007 1:59 pm

I think they were rejected because they had a shorter wheelbase 16'6'' as opposed to 17'6'' (thus reducing capacity) and maybe because they were mechanical preselectors without hydraulic assistance - by then an outdated concept. I think Daimler might have been palming off what was essentially a prewar chassis since they arrived in 1946 and were bodied in 1947. Althought the Albion CX-19 was also essentially a prewar dd chassis, the Dept already had experience of the trusty and rugged Albion and saw it as the ideal bus for the hilly and arduous north. The Leyland OPD1, on the other hand, was a completely new vacuum braked chassis but was equipped with a 6 cylinder engine that had the same block/head as the prewar TD series. So at least there was commonality on the engine overhaul line.

I suspect Daimler really didn't offer anything spectacular relative to Sydney's needs; not even the Gardner engine was of interest to the DRTT, otherwise the CX19s would have been Gardner powered (mind you a Gardner would have been much dearer than an Albion oil engine). The price of the Daimler chassis may not have been competitive either - I think this was demonstrated in the Leyland OPD2 order where the penny pinching Dept opted for the cheaper synchro mesh gearbox version - it was roughly 175 pounds cheaper than an all air AEC Regent preselector.
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Postby Herbert » Sun Feb 11, 2007 2:28 pm

I'm sure RK215 will know for sure, but I have a feeling these CVG6s were in the transition stage to the CD650 chassis (hence the radiators). The hydraulic system was not very successful.

Did these CVG6s have the pre-selector mounted to the left of the steering column?
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Postby Dave Wilson » Sun Feb 11, 2007 3:21 pm

I'll have to check, but I think MTT Adelaide 112 has got vacuum brakes. Herbert do you know what model the BCC Brisbane Daimlers were? By way of comment, front engined Daimlers don't really seem to have caught on in this country. The Sydney sds have the selector on the left in the usual preselec layout but the Adelaide CVG-6 has the old fashioned in line ratchet arrangement on the right.
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Postby Herbert » Sun Feb 11, 2007 4:04 pm

No, sorry, I don't know about the Brisbane units - however the WA Govt Tramways had two batches of Charles Hope bodied Daimlers which would have been similar. Most of these were CVG6, but two were CVD6.

Thanks for confirming my hunch that the Sydney ones had a gate selector mounted on the left. This was a feature of the CD650 model whereas the earlier COG, CWG, CVG & CVDs had the quadrant (in-line) selector on the right as per the Adelaide one.

Daimler certainly had its customers in the west, most notably United (who were also the Daimler agent) and Scarborough. The WAGT seems to have bought what they could get in the post-war years. Once the MTT was established, front-engined Daimlers were on average withdrawn much earlier than Guys, AECs or Leylands.

Sadly no WA Daimler featured that magnificent CD650 radiator (the four CD650s here were full-front with concealed radiators).
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Postby RK215 » Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:16 pm

As far as I can work out, the Sydney Daimler CVG6's were unusual, perhaps unique hybrids, being fitted with the CD650 radiator and hydraulic system, although minus the power-assisted steering and power-assisted handbrake. Whether they had the standard CVG6 chassis, or the CD650 variety I don't know, but this could probably be ascertained by inspection of the example at Tempe.

The servo-type footbrake and assisted gearchange were interim steps towards the fully powered varieties that were applied to some Freeline models. The gearchange pedal kickback was a normal property for spring operated gearboxes, occuring when the pedal was not pushed right down. It may have been apparently worse for the power-assisted version. According to Daimler data, the hydraulic servo reduced the required pedal pressure from 200 Ibf/in2 to 50 inf/in2; perhaps with the lighter "push", with the left leg less tightly braced, it might have been felt more, but that is speculation on my part.

The hydraulic system was certainly troublesome in its early days, but the faults were progressively remedied. Basically the same Lockheed system was used on the LT RM class, many members of which had long lives. Lack of familiarity and awareness as to how it worked probably contributed to its poor acceptance. Something to bear in mind is that much heavy off-highway machinery is fitted with constant-flow hydraulic braking, which I think does give extra validation for the concept.

Why Daimler produced a special model for Sydney is unclear. Assuming that the order was placed before the LT consultants (Sinclair, Andrews, Ellen) report, nevertheless Daimler might have predicted an outcome that favoured air braked vehicles with air-operated presective gearboxes, and so wanted to ensure that Sydney received buses with its "equivalent" technology. Otherwise, at the time, it was using vacuum-assisted hydraulic brakes for its bus chassis, trolleybuses and the Cape Town six-wheelers excepted. It was not alone in choosing the constant-flow hydraulic option, rather than air as the next step in braking in the late 1940s; amongst others, ERF and Foden did the same.

Cheers,
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Re: Daimler 31 seaters

Postby leopard1543 » Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:27 pm

Centralian wrote:Here's a row of ex DGT Daimler CVG6SD with Comeng bodies of 1953 vintage awaiting their fate at Casula Wreckers.


I also recall that Casula wanted around $2,950 for these buses at the time which was a large amount of money back in the mid '70's :!:
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Postby boronia » Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:48 pm

They were selling the fire engines for about 3 or 4x times what they paid for them (or at least asking that amount, few were actually sold). The sad thing was that were deteriorating rapidly from sitting out in the open, and losing value, but with no reduction in price.
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Postby leopard1543 » Sun Feb 11, 2007 8:32 pm

boronia wrote:They were selling the fire engines for about 3 or 4x times what they paid for them (or at least asking that amount, few were actually sold). The sad thing was that were deteriorating rapidly from sitting out in the open, and losing value, but with no reduction in price.


Yes, a similar story for the Daimlers. I recall that 2661 (the first Daimler) and 2666 were sold (2661 as a caravan) and of course 2669 was recused for restoration & preservation. 2691 was there right until the end in use as a shed (minus engine). During their stay at Casula a large hail storm (in the mid to late '70's put a few huge dents in their roofs :!: :lol:
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Postby Dave Wilson » Sun Feb 11, 2007 10:53 pm

RK 215 - I'm pretty sure that they were ordered prior to the Sinclair Ellen Andrews report being issued - in fact I think they were ordered about 1947 and were continually delayed. In fact I have copies of departmental papers somewhere which I think point to yet another order before those with the CD650 radiators - in other words I think two batches of daimler chasses were rejected by the DRTT.
I don't know why the DRTT persevered with Daimler as I think the price was not really competitive in any case. I think the initial approach by the DRTT to Daimler (resulting in the Adelaide chasses) may have arisen from a desire to get hold of a fleet of preselectors sooner than AEC could deliver. Perhaps Gardner powered preselectors were seen as a good proposition for the hilly northside routes. There was also some desperation on the part of the Government to get rid of ancient toastrack trams and dds/sds with composite bodies (including the remaining TD-1s) and the odd bods like the Renown the three AEC Qs and the Dennis Lance. Union comment began to circulate about these old buses in 1946, culminating in threats to ban them in 1948. They were virtually eliminated by the end of 1949.
The initial postwar orders were placed by February 1946 and included 20 Daimlers and 45 AEC Regent 111s. The Daimler chasses quickly arrived and were quickly rejected, but it wasn't until May 1947 that the first Regent was bodied. In September 1947, an order for 300 Regents was announced.I have feeling that the Albion CX19 s might have killed any further thoughts of Daimler double deckers. Perhaps this notion is supported by the fact that an additional 18 CX19s were ordered after the original batch of 125 were ordered in 2/1946. This number roughly corresponds with the number of Daimlers on order.
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Postby Herbert » Sun Feb 11, 2007 11:53 pm

Dave, would be very interesting to see chassis nos for the DRTT-rejected Daimlers.

Two of the WAGT's second batch have adjacent chassis nos to the last five Adelaide ones (ie 13782-13783 to Perth; 13784-13789 to Adelaide 121-126). Could this suggest that some of the Perth ones were DRTT rejects?

Also, although all the Perth ones were single-deck, there is evidence that they were double-deck chassis (eg front wheels), with varying wheelbase lenghts (ie extended).

Has anyone got the BCC data?
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Postby Dave Wilson » Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:48 am

Herbert - I will check on this.
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Postby RK215 » Tue Feb 13, 2007 9:44 am

Something to note is that 17'6" was not a standard wheelbase for Daimler in the late 1940s. Instead it used 17'2½" for its standard single-deck model, and did not offer a double-decker at this wheelbase. So it would have had to produce a special model for Sydney anyway. Thinking some more about the wide radiator on the Sydney CVG6's, quite likely its fitment would have required the wider front chassis frame, so it could be that these chassis were effectively 17'6" wheelbase CD650's with Gardner 6LW engines. The standard CD650 had a 16'4" wheelbase, with a long, 20'0" export version also being available.

Albion was in a similar situation, in that its standard single-decker Valkyrie, counterpart to the Venturer, had a 17'7" wheelbase, but the Venturer was not offered with same. So the Sydney Venturer was a special 17'6" wheelbase version, hence the SPCX19W designation sometimes used.

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Postby Herbert » Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:13 am

WAGT CVG6s had a variety of non-standard wheelbases - ie 19'6", 19'9" & 22'0" - could this add weight to my speculation that they were chassis diverted from Sydney & lengthened?

CVG6s & CVD6s from other Perth fleets all had 19'0"; the CD650s had 20'0".

Were the Sydney CD650s initially to have been bodied as double deckers? I understand that some of the AEC "Frogs" were Regents; were any of the Leyland "Frogs" Titans?
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Postby Dave Wilson » Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:57 am

Herbert - the Sydney Daimler order was so delayed, that the chasses arrived after the DRTT had begun to rethink its dd requirements. Had they been available a year or so earlier (1951) they probably would have been bodied as double deckers as one man sd operation was very new. They would have been rather impressive looking dds.

Concurrent with the Government's decision to scrap the trams in November 1953, the DGT also made the firm policy decision not to build further dds. This culminated in stored Regent and Titan chasses being bodied as 31 seaters ('frogs') to hasten the programme of one man operation in Sydney and Newcastle. Incidentally, the term 'Frog' originated in Newcastle and never caught on in Sydney.
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Postby RK215 » Tue Feb 13, 2007 1:01 pm

I think that the final Sydney orders for front-engined chassis were something like:

50 AEC Regal III 9621E
84 AEC Regent III 9612E
50 Leyland Tiger OPS2/1 Special
85 Leyland Titan OPD2/1 Special

Either 50 each of the double-deck chassis got single-deck bodies, the balance double-deck, or the other way around. (Forgotten which, another senior moment).

The "Special" suffix for the Leylands indicated AEC air-operated preselector gearbox and air brakes in place of the standard synchromesh transmission and vacuum brakes. Logically the Titans should have been OPD2/3 Special, as the OPD2/3 designation already existed for an air-braked version, although I don't think that any were actually built as such.

The OPS2/1 Specials must have been amongst the last OPS2's of any kind built, as the model was withdrawn in 1951.

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Postby Herbert » Tue Feb 13, 2007 1:14 pm

RK215 wrote:The "Special" suffix for the Leylands indicated AEC air-operated preselector gearbox and air brakes in place of the standard synchromesh transmission and vacuum brakes. Logically the Titans should have been OPD2/3 Special ...


I was thinking more of 7RT :lol:

DW & RK215, thanks once again a very interesting discussion.
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