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Athol Hedges to Austral-Denning:a history.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:08 am
by Denv12
D1010010 (686 x 405).jpg
Athol Hedges bodied Beford.
D1010010 (686 x 405).jpg (58.16 KiB) Viewed 9330 times
As I had various photographs I wanted to post a topic covering the whole history from Athol Heges through to Austral Denning.Thats every bus and coach made through all of those companies.If you would like to contribute any information,photos,etc here,please do.

Throughout the companies history they produced a wide variety of vehicles.They include buses,coaches and even fire trucks.Buses like the Metroliner,coaches like the Tourmaster,DD1,HD1,what would have been the Austral licensed Setra,etc.Their companies were regular advetisers in the Truck & Bus magazines over their history.If you have any exterior and interior photos of any buses and coaches and other vehicles made by the companies please add them here.I'd like to see the changes between all the Starliner,Metroliners,Tourmasters,the Allstar,etc.That includes every variation all these companies made.

The companies involved are:
Athol Hedges
A.B. Denning
Dennmack ,Denning-McKinnon.
Domino Denning
Domino Industries
Austral
Austral-Denning.
Did I miss any here?

I have catered for Denning in another post:

viewtopic.php?f=48&t=73857

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=76588

I havent posted about the later A.B Denning company or the current Denning company.

It was common practice for the company to build a 12.2 metre version of a single axle bus like the metroliner.There were several of those made.I saw some being operated on tours in Sydney around 1985-86.I would like to see photos of all their bus and coach variations here posted here if you have any.

The Tourmaster's front overhang varied depending on the chassis.Mercedes had the longest overhang then in 2nd pace was the MAN's,I think scania and Austral's own chassis were either the same overhang or near enough.

Did Austral-Denning have their own chassis? If so was it a combination of the best of both Austral and Denning's respective chassis'? If you have photos please post them here.

Did the Tourmaster appear from around 1976 onwards?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austral_%2 ... acturer%29

I also started a post about a possibility of a book being published to cater for this topic:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=76724
Maybe we can all contribute where possible.

I also started up a post to generate interest and demand for a "Trux" Domino and Austral Tourmasters:

viewtopic.php?f=44&t=76738
And,I edited this post I started to include identification of each model Tourmaster.
viewtopic.php?f=48&t=76306&p=906829#p906829

You are welcome to contribute anything such as photo,information,memorabillia,etc here.Thanks for stopping by.

Re: Athol Hedges to Austral-Denning:a history.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:18 am
by Denv12
3.36 (643 x 434).jpg
Austral Metroliner in new livery.
3.36 (643 x 434).jpg (62.35 KiB) Viewed 9328 times
A few more photos.

Re: Athol Hedges to Austral-Denning:a history.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:54 am
by VIKing
The Domino single axle coach for "Clipper Tours" was TV060 with Clipper. The photograph shows it after sale in May 1985 to Whitecar Coaches in Cairns. Hence the Qld rego plates and QTP plate.

Re: Athol Hedges to Austral-Denning:a history.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:48 pm
by Bus_Control
Gotta love the Tourmaster!! The screaming GM engines gave them such a gutsy and robust feel to them.

Re: Athol Hedges to Austral-Denning:a history.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:44 am
by Denv12
Bus_Control wrote:Gotta love the Tourmaster!! The screaming GM engines gave them such a gutsy and robust feel to them.


Now you're talking.They were great coaches.Powerful and stable on the road with a nice gutsy engine.The non turbos took some pushing.There's a few of us the forum who love the Tourmasters.Thanks for posting.

Re: Athol Hedges to Austral-Denning:a history.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:22 pm
by Boss
Hi Denv12- thanks for posting these pics, they bring back so many memories!!! Awesome

Re: Athol Hedges to Austral-Denning:a history.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 5:43 am
by Denv12
Boss wrote:Hi Denv12- thanks for posting these pics, they bring back so many memories!!! Awesome


You are most welcome.These Coaches were amoungst my favourites.

Re: Athol Hedges to Austral-Denning:a history.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:22 pm
by dominodc122
...just a few I picked up along the way (cheers for the heads up on spotting this thread Jas :D 8) )
64953_10152388180375596_707748913_n.jpg

DomTourDimensions.jpg
DomTourDimensions.jpg (43.75 KiB) Viewed 8922 times

544024_10152388197035596_131128813_n.jpg

wj5246.jpg


Best in class!!!

Re: Athol Hedges to Austral-Denning:a history.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:05 pm
by Bedford-29
Here are 10 pictures of buses and coaches built by Athol Hedges and Domino Hedges.Pictures from the Andrew Potts collection.

Re: Athol Hedges to Austral-Denning:a history.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:21 am
by Denv12
dominodc122 wrote:...just a few I picked up along the way (cheers for the heads up on spotting this thread Jas :D 8) )
64953_10152388180375596_707748913_n.jpg

DomTourDimensions.jpg

544024_10152388197035596_131128813_n.jpg

wj5246.jpg


Best in class!!!


Great collection you have there.Thank you for sharing.What year did the Deluxe book come out? I never knew of that one.

Re: Athol Hedges to Austral-Denning:a history.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:02 am
by dominodc122
Hi Denv12 - The top Deluxe brochure is circa 1978 and the lower one is 1981 - hence slab front DC122 then TourMaster 3 featured in images (I must admit that the term "Luxury Austral Domino GM Super Coachs" sums up the TourMaster 3 to a tee!! :D 8) - Regards Chris L (NZ)
Domino TM3 -1.jpg

Re: Athol Hedges to Austral-Denning:a history.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:34 am
by Denv12
dominodc122 wrote:Hi Denv12 - The top Deluxe brochure is circa 1978 and the lower one is 1981 - hence slab front DC122 then TourMaster 3 featured in images (I must admit that the term "Luxury Austral Domino GM Super Coachs" sums up the TourMaster 3 to a tee!! :D 8) - Regards Chris L (NZ)
Domino TM3 -1.jpg


Hi Chris.
I loved these Tourmasters.Love the photo.Thanks for helping here.
Regards Chris.

Re: Athol Hedges to Austral-Denning:a history.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:54 am
by system improver
It would appear the Athol Hedges was born around 1915 and lived in NSW. He moved to Brisbane some time in the late 30s and worked at Hornibrook Highway Bus Service and was involved in the construction of their home made buses. By 1947, he was in business for himself and was building buses for the BCC and private operators (including Hornibrook). He entered into an agreement with Comeng in 1950 to become an "associated company" where sharing of work and matters such as production, design and collective purchasing were undertaken through the group. Royalties were paid to Comeng and although a contract may have had the Comeng name on it, the work was outsourced to the associated company. This arrangement worked better in some states than others, with Athol Hedges being the most successful, at least in terms of buses built. It is why some Hedges designs up to mid 60s looked very much like Comeng buses, particularly the fronts. In the 60s, his premises were at 343 Melton Road Northgate. Here is a pic I took in January 1968:
Image

In the early 70s, Athol Hedges formed a partnership with Domino Industries (whoever they were). The rest comes from Wiki:
"It was later renamed....Domino before becoming Austral in 1982 when purchased by the Australian Manufacturing Group. It originally bodied buses diversifying into integral buses and coaches (body and chassis) in the 1970s.

In December 1988 Austral was sold to Jaguar Rover Australia who also owned Denning, Austral's largest rival in the coach market. Both continued to operate separately until 1990 when the Denning plant in Acacia Ridge was closed and production transferred to the Austral factory.

From 1992, the combined business was rebranded as Austral Denning. In July 1996, along with Jaguar Rover Australia's other bus bodybuilding operations, it was sold to the Clifford Corporation and rebranded Austral Pacific. This resulted in Ansair Orana Volvo B10BLE buses being bodied at Geebung for Brisbane Transport. Following the collapse of Clifford Corporation, the plant closed in November 1998."

Re: Athol Hedges to Austral-Denning:a history.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:03 am
by Denv12
system improver wrote:It would appear the Athol Hedges was born around 1915 and lived in NSW. He moved to Brisbane some time in the late 30s and worked at Hornibrook Highway Bus Service and was involved in the construction of their home made buses. By 1947, he was in business for himself and was building buses for the BCC and private operators (including Hornibrook). He entered into an agreement with Comeng in 1950 to become an "associated company" where sharing of work and matters such as production, design and collective purchasing were undertaken through the group. Royalties were paid to Comeng and although a contract may have had the Comeng name on it, the work was outsourced to the associated company. This arrangement worked better in some states than others, with Athol Hedges being the most successful, at least in terms of buses built. It is why some Hedges designs up to mid 60s looked very much like Comeng buses, particularly the fronts. In the 60s, his premises were at 343 Melton Road Northgate. Here is a pic I took in January 1968:
Image

In the early 70s, Athol Hedges formed a partnership with Domino Industries (whoever they were). The rest comes from Wiki:
"It was later renamed....Domino before becoming Austral in 1982 when purchased by the Australian Manufacturing Group. It originally bodied buses diversifying into integral buses and coaches (body and chassis) in the 1970s.[1]

In December 1988 Austral was sold to Jaguar Rover Australia who also owned Denning, Austral's largest rival in the coach market. Both continued to operate separately until 1990 when the Denning plant in Acacia Ridge was closed and production transferred to the Austral factory.

From 1992, the combined business was rebranded as Austral Denning. In July 1996, along with Jaguar Rover Australia's other bus bodybuilding operations, it was sold to the Clifford Corporation and rebranded Austral Pacific. This resulted in Ansair Orana Volvo B10BLE buses being bodied at Geebung for Brisbane Transport. Following the collapse of Clifford Corporation, the plant closed in November 1998."


Hi system improver.Love the photo.Some history there.We need more history on this forum.If you have photos for comparison between Comeng built buses and Athol Hedges built buses where they look similar.
Something else I remembered.I found a letter from Austral.

As for the photo further down showing to Tourmasters at a Roadhouse,where was that photo taken? It looks like a morning photo somewhere on the Nullabor.

Re: Athol Hedges to Austral-Denning:a history.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:57 am
by dominodc122
...and yet more...
309532_10152385049125596_1726678301_n.jpg

looks to be the same workshop premises in later years...?
16579_10152384913925596_1989866737_n.jpg
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602840_10152385563740596_2065740133_n.jpg

397703_10152385157715596_1638580111_n.jpg

400100_10152385196030596_767191151_n.jpg

Deluxe were a major operator of Domino /Austral Domino DC122s

Re: Athol Hedges to Austral-Denning:a history.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:14 pm
by system improver

Re: Athol Hedges to Austral-Denning:a history.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:24 pm
by dominodc122
Do you have the address for viewing on Google Earth?

Re: Athol Hedges to Austral-Denning:a history.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:27 pm
by dominodc122
Phil 5.jpg

...A work in progress... 8)

Re: Athol Hedges to Austral-Denning:a history.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:22 pm
by system improver
dominodc122 wrote:Do you have the address for viewing on Google Earth?


If you click on my link, you should be able to get it. Either that, or punch in 343 Melton Road Northgate into Google, and follow the prompts.

Re: Athol Hedges to Austral-Denning:a history.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:32 pm
by crazyturbo76
I like Bedford-29's shot of that Canberra bus; that early "Yellow Fire" livery as shown on said bus looks quite good.

I think it might have been one of those buses ACTION bought during the '74 bus shortage-correct me if I am wrong.

Re: Athol Hedges to Austral-Denning:a history.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:07 pm
by Bedford-29
ACT Bus wiki say Action 226 a Ford R192 was a stock unit purchase from Athol at the time of the Action 1974 bus shortage.226 had the Ford 300 I6 engine coupled to a 5 speed synchromesh gearbox.226 was withdrawn in 1976.

Re: Athol Hedges to Austral-Denning:a history.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:02 am
by Maladjusted
I remember going to Northgate to pick up some wiper parts for the BCC 1979/80 Bedford in 1983 or 4. I'm sure the parts dept was then on Nudgee Rd.

Around 1997 the Austral Pacific Group, Geebung plant were rectifiing all the body complaints of the 20 MAN 10.155/Ansair Orana assembled at Tamworth and Melbourne plus building the first Volvo B10L/ Ansair Orana body for BCC and the Volvo B10BLE/Ansair Orana for STA. At least that is the year I remember going to all the meetings at their plant.
When I was on the Volvo side of things delivering B10Ms to Austral Geebung back around 1990, (Oh bugger, what happened to all those years before and after?) I remember seeing about 7 Setras lined up on the grass opposite the factory office, all painted nicely in Dulux colors waiting for an owner who wanted them.

Just reading a tender document submitted to Leyland Motor Corporation and signed by A M Hedges, Managing Director, on behalf of Athol Hedges PTY LTD of 343 Melton Rd Northgate, dated October 3 1967. It states:-

We submit our quotation for the supply of twenty (20) Bus Bodies complete, fitted to Leyland Chassis.

Price-
Our price for the fabrication, fitting out and finishing of 20 Bus Bodies in accordance with Brisbane City Council specification T1-1967/68 is a sum of $188,000 ($9,400 price per body).

Meanwhile, on the other side of town:-
Also addressed to Leyland Motor Corporation is a letter signed by Managing Director Allan Denning from abd A.B.Denning & Co Pty Ltd. Raynam St Salisbury North Brisbane Phone 47-1866-7 with a rubber stamped notation of "NOW AT LANDSEER ST ACACIA RIDGE PHONE 40-3151-53

The price per body would be $9,225.

Ansair of Essenden Airport, North Essenden, Victoria quote $10,125 and Freighters Limited of Warrigal Rd Moorabbin, Victoria. quote $10,329.

Re: Athol Hedges to Austral-Denning:a history.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:20 am
by Bedford-29
Could someone tell what sought of chassis is under this Athol bodied bus that was owned by Walker`s Bendigo its rear engine maybe GM powered as I am curious to know.Picture from the Andrew Potts collection.

Re: Athol Hedges to Austral-Denning:a history.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 1:46 pm
by Denv12
A Domino Hedges Advert.

Re: Athol Hedges to Austral-Denning:a history.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 4:59 pm
by Maladjusted
Wow, I thought Athol Hedges did his time with Mr C. Hope.

In Charles Hopes autobiography he states he had some apprentices come through who had gone on to building their own successful businesses, one being George Lester of MBS, I'll ask his son again tomorrow about details.

That picture Bedford 29 put up, that would surely have been an early Hedges chassis as there wouldn't be too many mainstream chassis suppliers putting GM's in