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Bonds Tours Adelaide - the 60s (plus bonus)

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Bonds Tours Adelaide - the 60s (plus bonus)

Postby system improver » Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:10 pm

Bonds Tours dates from 1910 (Bert Bond with his father George). To say that they trailblazed would be a classic understatement. They did tours and ran express services throughout the south east of Australia in the most trying of circumstances - roads and weather, in particular. My first encounter with them was in a little more civilised terrain (just!) - Adelaide.

After my sister won " An all expenses paid bus trip for two from Melbourne to Adelaide" in 1962 on the Tarax Show on Channel 9 (prizes seem to have improved a bit since then), and since my sister hated buses and I had the opposite emotion towards them, my mother and myself (aged 11) set out for Adelaide in May 1963 (my mum always said that we travelled on every bus in Adelaide whilst we were there, but I have since learned that we missed two in Elizabeth). We travelled Pioneer Express (Flxible Clipper, a beautiful trip) and stayed at the Grosvenor Hotel in North Terrace, just opposite the railway station. Could it get any better? Well, yes. The tourist bureau was just next door and Bonds operated the day tour to Victor Harbour. We took the trip and the bus was not like anything I had ever seen before, the reason why, I was only to find out years later - Bonds made their own buses! I vividly remember the door operating lever was in the floor to the right of the driver.

These pictures were taken by Bruce Tilley and John Masterton, from the JM Collection, a little after my visit but capture the unique style of Bonds in the 60s:
The first shot is an International chassis with Perkins engine:

This time a Morris BMC Diesel, photographed on tour in Dandenong:

This is a Bedford VAM5 (maybe a converted SB5) new in 1966

Next, another Inter Diesel (the fare is written on the side on the bus, looks like single £2.0.0 (that's two pounds no shillings and no pence, or $4) and return £3.15.0 ($7.50):

And, an Inter C1800, with what looks like the fare in decimal currency, which came in, "On the 14th of February 1966!":

And finally, the bonus. Here are two shots from an actual tour undertaken by Bill Kingsley in 1948, the first on route to Sydney from Melbourne at Cann River and, the second, in Sydney. Two different buses, the second a relatively new Inter KB6:


Comments, additions, corrections and further history of Bonds welcomed.
Last edited by system improver on Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bonds Tours Adelaide - the 60s (plus bonus)

Postby beddy » Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:31 pm

Great Photos system improver. Very interesting that they mad there own buses!.
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Re: Bonds Tours Adelaide - the 60s (plus bonus)

Postby VFC222 » Sat Jun 27, 2009 9:54 pm

My father drove for Bonds Mount Gambier Motor Service which was owned by Colin Bond they did weekly services from Adelaide to Mount Gambier daily, they then sold out to Premier Stateliner in May or June of 1997.
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Re: Bonds Tours Adelaide - the 60s (plus bonus)

Postby Herbert » Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:04 am

Great photos & story, system improver. RUP812 later became A3767 with Loves Bus Service (Albany), together with similar RTG178, which was No 22 with Bonds. I've got a photo of the former somewhere, and here's a Will Plumridge view of the latter after it moved from Albany to Love's Bunbury fleet:

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Re: Bonds Tours Adelaide - the 60s (plus bonus)

Postby tbc1983 » Sun Jun 28, 2009 4:04 pm

Herbie, the bus on the left looks like one that's part of the BPSWA's collection... :?

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Re: Bonds Tours Adelaide - the 60s (plus bonus)

Postby Carlisle 8 » Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:57 pm

I've located this photo of A3767, which I took in 1975.

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Re: Bonds Tours Adelaide - the 60s (plus bonus)

Postby Looselion » Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:23 am

Not sure if it's well known, but Bertie Bond was into aviation right from his younger days, and was one of the earliest licensed pilots in Australia!
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Re: Bonds Tours Adelaide - the 60s (plus bonus)

Postby brumer » Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:05 am

I have some old pics here that may be of interest to some. Additional info welcome!
First picture is one of Bond's buses at the Kingston SE, SA bus stop outside Hancock's Garage in Agnes St. Note the 44 gal drums for refueling!

An early bus but the owner operator isn't known. Any info appreciated.

Another early bus without owner's name on it but possibly it may be Bond's Bus? Any tips welcome!
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