Reo buses in Victoria

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system improver
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Reo buses in Victoria

Post by system improver »

The first Reo buses appeared in the mid 20s as seen by this Cheetham & Borwick bodied bus for Ventura Motors:
IMG_0178 - Copy.jpg
This normal control Reo "Safety Bus" with a Symons & Fowler body was new in 1936:
Reo Safety Bus bodied by Symons & Fowler - Copy.jpg
The Reo 2LM bus chassis was bodied by Cheetham & Borwick as a track bus as seen in this example for Lew Page in 1936:
IMG_0135 (2).jpg
And as a coach as in this example for Percy Withers' Parlor Cars of 1936:
IMG_0234 - Copy.jpg
Here are two Keith Kings photos of a 1942 rear engined Grummet bodied Reo that operated for Warrnambool BL into the 70s. The second photo shows an inside shot of the rear engine cowl that was visible from inside the bus, much as a forward control engine cowl with the engine up the front did.
The most common Reo bus was built on a Reo truck chassis. Here are two example with the Ansair Metro style body. First, working for the short lived Micro Tours on the St Kilda to Chadstone service and seen in Glen Eira Road, the ex Carr, ex Ricardo 1948 version seen in 1961:
!cid_C7356E5B-47EC-49A4-A295-01AEBAAF341D - Copy.jpg
And this rare two door version for Ansett's Eastern Roadlines:
Eastern Roadlines Reo Metro 2 door - Copy.jpg
Another rear engined Reo bus was constructed for Pioneer Tours by Ansair in early 1947, but the chassis model number is unclear. It was given a write up T&BT in September 1947 and again in March 1948, but the model number was never mentioned in either. The wheelbase was said to be 194 inches with a body length of 31feet. Seating was for 28 passengers. It was meant to be a "prototype" for many more but the importation of the the Flxible Clipper in October 1947 put paid to that. The body on the Reo was of composite structure:
1949 Progress BL Ansair Reo.jpg
As far as I am aware, only three Reos buses were converted to forward control and built in Victoria, a C&B bodied bus in 1952, another C&B bodied bus in 1953 and a Freighter Victoria bodied Reo in 1957 all for Mylons, although it was quote common in NSW. The last normal control Reo bus built here was a Gold Comet with Cheetham & Borwick body that was new to C&B's charter arm - Cheetah Bus Lines in 1957. Five more Reo chassis were bodied in Victoria - the five Scenicruisers for Pioneer Tours bodied by Ansair in 1965. Here is John Masterton's photo of the Cheetah BL vehicle taken outside C&B in Cardigan Street Carlton:
GRZ 158.jpg
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