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BAthurst Coaches AEC Merlin Mo7978

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Postby Andy Lee » Fri Sep 28, 2007 12:30 am

I think going and saving the National 2 from it's fate would be a good choice.
As you get older you start to tick more boxes.....................why is it so?
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Postby SMS88AEC » Fri Sep 28, 2007 6:18 am

Andy Lee wrote:I think going and saving the National 2 from it's fate would be a good choice.

Excellent idea, does anybody want to see it in Singapore Bus colors again???
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Postby SMS88AEC » Fri Sep 28, 2007 6:36 am

bus2681 wrote:Hi Guys,

It looks like MBS448 escaped the cutters torch. Yes it did get sold
to Wombwell diesels around June 1977 possibly non running.
Wombwell diesels scrapped a number of Merlins but MBS448
was onsold within a month to Cranes & Commercial Winchester
who I assume returned it to running order. It was then sold to
Rowes Coach Tours Plumpton NSW Australia July 1977. 52 Merlins hence were exported to Australia. As to its fate after this no information
is available. I will try and find more out about Rowes coach tours fleet
to confirm this.
Best wishes :roll:


I would be very interested to know the source of this information , because Rowes did buy MBS446 and MBS468 ,and I suspect the report that you have is a mis-reporting of either 446 or 468 because all 16 Rowes Merlins imports have been accounted for, unless there is some photographic evidence of MBS448, which would be a 17th??. Cranes and Commercials were in on the original January 1977 Wombwells bid for a share of the 300 Merlins that were at Radlett. MBS448 was not part of that batch bid
It sounds mighty fishy to me that Cranes with so many unsold driveable Merlins in the summer of 1977 would buy an extra non runner and repair it for export, and that this fact would escape reports in the PSV circle newsletters for the 1970s and upto 1982 that I have.I hope you can prove this long shot that there was a 52nd Merlin exported to Australia rather than a copying error,because it would be wonderful to find another survivor
Last edited by SMS88AEC on Fri Sep 28, 2007 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Andy Lee » Fri Sep 28, 2007 12:31 pm

SMS88AEC wrote:
Andy Lee wrote:I think going and saving the National 2 from it's fate would be a good choice.

Excellent idea, does anybody want to see it in Singapore Bus colors again???


Ummm yuk,spew splatter.
Bathurst Coaches livery will be just fine, unless you want to re-install the centre door.
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Postby Windy » Fri Sep 28, 2007 7:01 pm

The problem is that the Singapore colours will be hard to re-enact, while there are examples of vehicles still in the Bathurst livery. Personally, while I would like to see it in SBS demonstrator livery, it isn't an accurate depiction of the livery of the day, and acquiring all the necessary things associated with that period (destination boards, interior signs and ticket machine and cashbox) will be quite difficult.
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Postby bus2681 » Fri Sep 28, 2007 11:38 pm

Hi Guys,

Starting point for MBS448 is Ian's Bus Stop website in the UK which
shows that MBS448 was sold to Australia as per my outline above.
As to its fate after aquisition unknown at this point. How I cross check
information is checking for consistencies between various bus enthusiasts
lists and archival footage sent to me. I think we have reason to suspect the 52 bus was sent to Australia could be possible it was sent as a parts bus.

As to the Nationals I have quite a bit of archival video footage of the Australian Nationals covering examples from MTT, Forest Coachlines,
Surfside and some privates all showing them to be 10.9 metre buses.
The MTT buses for Melbourne were actually assembled in the UK and sent to Australia as complete buses and have MK2 Mercedes lookalike windows. All other buses of the 234 imported to Australia were kit built here by pressed metal corp. The 10.9 metreNationals were unusual in having the front half of the bus with the long 11.3 bus windows and the rear half having the 10.3 short bus windows. Leylands answer I guess at providing the intermediate length for OZ as these buses were built in modular form with the door sections common to all lengths. All buses imported to Australia with the exception of the Singapore Mk2 were MK1 Nationals prior to LS13 arriving being the only MK1A. The short 10.3 buses are distinct in having the small length windows the full length of the bus. London Transport chose the short bus because of the tight streets they have to negotiate. The rack and pinion power steering, short body combined with the larger differential in the Mk1A gave them a very fast power to weight ratio with brilliant cornering. I think had Leyland Australia
gone with the later Mk1A in a short 10.3 wheelbase instead of the 10.9
the Nationals may have enjoyed more success here.

Best wishes 8)
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Postby SMS88AEC » Sat Sep 29, 2007 4:01 am

bus2681 wrote:Hi Guys,

Starting point for MBS448 is Ian's Bus Stop website in the UK which
shows that MBS448 was sold to Australia as per my outline above.
As to its fate after aquisition unknown at this point. How I cross check
information is checking for consistencies between various bus enthusiasts
lists and archival footage sent to me. I think we have reason to suspect the 52 bus was sent to Australia could be possible it was sent as a parts bus.



Best wishes 8)

Ian´s Bus stop site is riddled with errors and omissions, part of the problem being that he doesnt have access to original 1970s and 1980s TLBs and PSV circle newsletters. So in fact we can safely assume that MBS448 never did make it to Australia, it is just a copying error of MBS 446 and or MBS468.
Ian is a very nice guy working hard to build a cool web site without much support from the older guys who were there at the time. In fact, approximately 50% of the accurate subsequent disposal information on his site covering Merlins and Swifts was supplied by me, because I was there at the time and involved as an owner and friend/customer of the other Merlin/Swift owners and dealers.I actually eyeballed MBS448 in its robbed state at Catford in June 1977 when apart from Chiswick experimental MBS217 and MBS2xx, it was the last MBS at a London garage so it made a big impression on me.
The 1977 London Bus Magazine issue that covered Aussie Merlins included a visit to Rowes , with photographs and comments from a company official about their ´16 Merlins´ viz.166,168,169,170,171,174,176,178,179,181,229,268,446,468,483,502

The Fleetlists here on this site for the Merlins is accurate and as complete as we can make it without recent reports,based upon the original 1970s PSV circle newsletters plus information gathered by myself in 1988-93 when I visited almost all the Aussie operators and spoke personally with the mechanical staff and in as many cases as possible, the owners or their family members.There is also photographic evidence to support almost all info on the Fleetlists here, and there are no unexplained or unidentifiable Merlins with Aussie bus operators as far as I know - please do post any unidentified Merlin shots here and I will enjoy having a shot at identifying the buses.
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Postby SMS88AEC » Sat Sep 29, 2007 5:39 am

spud wrote:I found an unidentified Merlin in a caravan park at Coolgardie WA on my recent Westbus to Buswest trip




Image


125


It is a very interesting task to try and identify this bus with the aid of an almost complete collection of photos of Aussie Merlins in service.It looks most like former Edwards of Armidale MB324 to me. Because it has a full depth black roller blind, square style front below-the-window-indicators, tube tyres, an original curved front screen (50% had Aussie made flat ones), original tow hatch and low front bumper brackets,both front dome vents still in place,appears to have the thick ribbing over the centre door bay suggesting an original single door bus(ruling out all ex-Rowes buses with squared indicators).In 1992 Edwards actually advertised these buses for sale as being former London Transport buses which is the reference on the blind today and may well date from its service days with Edwards.It could of course be another Merlin (Edwards MB363 and 368 also being strong contenders).But I wanted to share my best guess and my reasoning with everybody
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Re: BAthurst Coaches AEC Merlin Mo7978

Postby wyth » Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:06 pm

Hi there, I just stumbled onto this thread and was thrilled to see the AEC's painted into local operators colours, never saw pics before so was a nice surprise, thx guys! :mrgreen:
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Re:

Postby OLYMPIAN » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:33 am

Windy wrote:The problem is that the Singapore colours will be hard to re-enact, while there are examples of vehicles still in the Bathurst livery. Personally, while I would like to see it in SBS demonstrator livery, it isn't an accurate depiction of the livery of the day, and acquiring all the necessary things associated with that period (destination boards, interior signs and ticket machine and cashbox) will be quite difficult.

Interior sigb is not hard as there were some just got send back from Hong Kong to Singapore
From the Atlanteans

Desto sign ia not a problem, bcoz the bus only hv route number on the front


The problem is the back door
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Re: BAthurst Coaches AEC Merlin Mo7978

Postby Swift » Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:15 pm

The National's modular construction makes refitting a rear door more straightforward than other buses. Seeing as it once had a centre exit, the wiring and some of the associated works may still be in place. The doors and panelling off an earlier National are the same so it's only a matter of finding a wreck to scavenge.One of the real difficulties would be obtaining an aveldok riveting tool to refit the panels. They are hard to come by and cost a packet!
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Re: BAthurst Coaches AEC Merlin Mo7978

Postby User7526 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:55 pm

If my memory serves me correctly, Fred Bowman had a few Merlins running around in St Marys too. You guys out there seem to have a lot of info and I'm wondering if there are any photos of one as well. I do like the Bathurst Coaches picture as well, their colour scheme has always been a favourite of mine!

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Re: BAthurst Coaches AEC Merlin Mo7978

Postby Bedford-29 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:09 pm

Well there this picture of a Bowmans AEC Merlin doing a Willmott via Luxford rd I ain`t sure if its the Mount Druitt or the St Marys bus interchange that it is standing at but someone would know.Picture from the Leon Batman collection.
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Re: BAthurst Coaches AEC Merlin Mo7978

Postby User7526 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:50 pm

Bedford-29 wrote:Well there this picture of a Bowmans AEC Merlin doing a Willmott via Luxford rd I ain`t sure if its the Mount Druitt or the St Marys bus interchange that it is standing at but someone would know.Picture from the Leon Batman collection.


Thank you very, very much Bedford-29! I'm thinking that it's the old Mt Druitt interchange too, pretty confident of that.

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Re: BAthurst Coaches AEC Merlin Mo7978

Postby Swift » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:39 pm

Did you ever work on any AECs Peta mechanic?
Nice clear picture of that Bowman bus. From London to Western Sydney. These Merlins that avoided scrap at the end of their LT careers went on to such diverse pastures!
It's a shame a dealer didn't import most of the SMS class buses for sale in Australia. They were still a very desireable bus back in the 1970s and too good for scrapping. They just needed a good understanding owner and turned out to be very competent machines once a few alterations were made.
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Re: BAthurst Coaches AEC Merlin Mo7978

Postby Bedford-29 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:59 pm

Malta had a number of Merlins exported some went to the Malta education department and some were rebuilt with manual gearboxes and where put into service on Malta public bus services.At least another lot of Merlins didn`t see the scrapper torch.
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Re: BAthurst Coaches AEC Merlin Mo7978

Postby User7526 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:32 am

Swift wrote:Did you ever work on any AECs Peta mechanic?
Nice clear picture of that Bowman bus. From London to Western Sydney. These Merlins that avoided scrap at the end of their LT careers went on to such diverse pastures!
It's a shame a dealer didn't import most of the SMS class buses for sale in Australia. They were still a very desireable bus back in the 1970s and too good for scrapping. They just needed a good understanding owner and turned out to be very competent machines once a few alterations were made.


No I was just a schoolgirl then, the thing is that I have a lot of fond memories! I used to catch a lot of Freds' vehicles and also a lot of Bruce Palmers' Volvos as well during my school years just as much as a good number of the Jetline Bedfords when I was an apprentice.

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