LOCKDOWN has given us all plenty of time to think.
I'm reminiscing again this time about the part of my life when I was very much into classic buses.
Over the years I have owned five outright and part owned one.
In the 1970s and 80s you were looked on with rather doubting eyes if you owned a vintage bus.
Cars, motorbike fine - but buses, strange. The most common question I was asked was 'Have you bought it for a caravan?'
Today I'm going to write about my AEC Regent 111 exMo2643 double decker.
This, as all but one of my vehicles, was an ex-Department of Government Transport/Public Transport Commission vehicle. (All NSW Government buses are identified by their fleet number, in this case 2643.)
ExMO2643 is one of 50, bodied by Clyde Engineering of Granville.
It entered service on March 27, 1953. Some specs on the bus: Engine: 9.6 litre OHV AEC diesel engine, bore 4.72", stroke 5.59" developing 125 BHP (93Kw) at 1800 RPM Transmission: air operated four speed 'Wilson' pre-selector gearbox to a worm drive differential. Brakes: Air operated footbrake and a mechanical park brake.
The bus was finally withdrawn from Pagewood depot in April 1976 and was sold to Simes Bus Service of Lismore on NSW's North Coast.
The now defunct State Bank sponsored the bus on a number of occasions (Festival of Sydney, numerous anniversaries and celebrations).
Lots of family fun - front seat top deck everybody's favourite. Duck heads for those low bridges!
I loved my days with the old buses and still miss them - the throb of the AEC 6 cylinder diesel and shifting gears with the marvellous Wilson pre-select gearbox.
The top speed was about 30mph (50kph) on the governors. Memories. memories... get down to the Sydney Bus Museum in Leichhardt when they reopen for a nostalgic trip back into motoring history. 2643 lives there now.
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