• Daimler Fleetline PYJ461L photographed when new on the St. Mary's route

Vehicle details

Year

December 1972

Registration

PYJ461L

Fleet number(s)

161

Chassis

Daimler Fleetline (Dr CRG6LXB)

Chassis number

66154

Engine

Gardner 6LXB Diesel

Body

Alexander Ar AL7/4970/20

Seating

H49/34D

New to

Dundee Corporation

Other operators

Tayside Regional Council

Current owner(s)

Taybus Vintage Vehicle Society member(s)

Current livery

-

Status

Restoration underway

 

Vehicle history

Dundee Corporation was an enthusiastic customer for the Daimler Fleetline, buying several batches of Alexander-bodied single-door buses during the 1960s including GYJ495G now preserved by the Society. One batch of single-deck Fleetlines was delivered in 1970 but like many other rear-engined single-deckers of the period they proved structurally unsound and short-lived and double-deckers were specified again in 1972. PYJ461L comes from the first of two batches which featured a long-wheelbase chassis and dual-door bodywork. A similar batch was delivered two years later and GSL908N from this batch is also in the Society’s collection.

The L-registered Fleetlines were used initially on St Mary’s routes 1, 1a and 1b with 161 entering service for the first time on 10 December 1972. Later in life 161 was given branding for the Tayway services that were launched by Tayside in conjunction with British Rail and the Scottish Bus Group and a few of these Fleetlines were used initially on Tayside’s share of the services.

Tayside had standardised on the Ailsa and was so dissatisfied with British Leyland products that it moved to clear them from the fleet as quickly as possible. This meant that the final batches of Fleetlines were withdrawn when relatively young. This batch was withdrawn in March 1983 on the delivery of 25 Mark III Ailsas. Some of them went for scrap but a number went to other operators including Alexander (Fife), Cedar Coaches of Bedford and McLennan of Spittalfield. PYJ450L was converted into a mobile exhibition on behalf of the European Community, becoming probably the only double-decker bus ever to carry diplomatic registration plates 901X407.

161 was sold to a farmer locally for use as a berry bus and remained there until 1991. It then passed to an owner at Errol Airfield where it was a familiar sight at car boot sales.
 

In preservation

The bus was sold for scrap in January 2006. A member of TVVS found this out in the nick of time and a deal was struck with the scrapyard owner who had the cutter in his hand! The bus is complete and a runner, though the bodywork is untidy and contains several scrapes sustained on its journey to the scrapyard. So far much of the floor has been stripped away and replaced, ceiling panels refitted and replaced if necessary, the chassis cleaned and painted and the engine repaired. The owner of the bus whilst at Errol removed all the seats so another set was acquired from another Dundee bus and they have been cleaned, primed and some already painted green. Otherwise the bus is in as withdrawn condition and retains its centre door. It is fitted with the curved windscreens that were installed at the renewal of its Certificate of Fitness; when delivered they had flat windscreens. If the bus was to return to Dundee Corporation livery this change of windscreen would have to be reversed and so it has been decided to restore the bus to how it looked when operating the Tayway service.

Despite claims made by a local transport museum this vehicle is not one of their restoration projects nor a potential exhibit in their premises. To be absolutely clear this bus is not linked with or connected to this organisation and a number of our copyrighted photographs are being used on their website without permission.

For further information about the restoration of this vehicle, see the blog here, or click on one of the latest blog posts below. Please note that this blog is independent from and not in any way related to TVVS.

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