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THE SELNEC PRESERVATION SOCIETY

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THE EXPERIMENTAL VOLVO AILSAS 1446 - 1448 AND PRESERVATION OF VOLVO AILSA 1448 (WRJ 448X)

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With the eventual demise of the Fleetline and Atlantean chassis due Greater Manchester Transport were conscious that they would need to look at developing their Standard body to fit newly developed rear engined or mid engined chassis and embarked upon a fleet number series in which to put these which very much mirrored the original EX experimental series used by their predecessors SELNEC.

The fleet number series chosen was the 14xx series. This series started off when the Bristol VRT's ordered by North Western delivered to SELNEC Cheshire had been renumbered, They were delivered as 400 to 424 but were renumbered shortly after to 1400 to 1424.

1400-1424 Chassis Bristol VRT/SL2/6LX   Built 1973  
Bodywork Eastern Coachworks H43/32F Number in Stock 25
1400 AJA 400L 1405 AJA 405L 1410 AJA 410L 1415 AJA 415L 1420 AJA 420L
1401 AJA 401L 1406 AJA 406L 1411 AJA 411L 1416 AJA 416L 1421 AJA 421L
1402 AJA 402L 1407 AJA 407L 1412 AJA 412L 1417 AJA 417L 1422 AJA 422L
1403 AJA 403L 1408 AJA 408L 1413 AJA 413L 1418 AJA 418L 1423 AJA 423L
1404 AJA 404L 1409 AJA 409L 1414 AJA 414L 1419 AJA 419L 1424 AJA 424L

Therefore, in 1974, Greater Manchester Transport took a proving quantity of ten of the new experimental Metropolitain Double Deckers and numbered these in the series 1425 to 1434.

1425-1434 Chassis Metropolitan BR111DH Built 1974
Bodywork Metro-Cammell Weymann H44/29F Number in Stock 10
1425 GNC 277N 1427 GNC 279N 1429 GNC 281N 1431 GNC 283N 1433 GNC 285N
1426 GNC 278N 1428 GNC 280N 1430 GNC 282N 1432 GNC 284N 1434 GNC 286N

They were followed over the years by the following purchases:-

1435-1436 Chassis Foden NC Built 1976
Bodywork Northern Counties H43/32F Number in Stock 2

1435

LNA 258P

1436

PNE 358R            
1437-1440 Chassis Dennis Dominator DD110(1439/40:DDA136) Built 1980/1
Bodywork Northern Counties H43/32F Number in Stock 4
1437 HDB 438V 1438 HDB 438V 1439 TND 439X 1440 TND 440X    
1446-1448 Chassis Volvo Ailsa B55-10 Built 1980/2
Bodywork Northern Counties H44/35F Number in Stock 3
1446 NNA 134W 1447 WRJ 447X 1448 WRJ 448X        
1451 Chassis Leyland (Bristol) Olympian B45 TL11/1R Built 1980
Bodywork Northern Counties H43/30F Number in Stock 1
1451 NJA 568W                
1461-1462 Chassis Scania BR112DH Built On order for 1983
Bodywork Northern Counties H43/32F Number in Stock 2
1461 FWH 471Y 1462 FWH 462Y            
1463-1467 Chassis Scania N113 DRB Built 1991
Bodywork Northern Counties H47/28F Number in Stock 5
1463 H463 GVM 1464 H464 GVM 1465 H465 GVM 1466 H466 GVM 1467 H467 GVM
1471-1473 Chassis Dennis Falcon V DD405 Built 1984
Bodywork Northern Counties H47/37F Number in Stock 3
1471 A471 HNC 1472 A472 HNC 1473 A473 HNC      
1481-1483 Chassis Volvo Citybus B10M-50 Built 1986
Bodywork Northern Counties H46/33F Number in Stock 3
1481 C481 CBU 1482 C483 CBU 1483 C483 CBU        

There are no Metropolitans in the batch 1425 to 1434 still existence and the two Foden NCs, 1435 and 1436, have both been scrapped.  We understand there is still a prototype Dennis Dominator 1439 in existence.

In 2004, we had already secured previously Leyland Olympian 1451, Dennis Falcon 1471 and we were in touch with First Group regarding Volvo Citybus 1481.  Of the vehicles that exist that just leaves the batch 1446 to 1448, the Volvo Ailsas of which only the last one 1448 still exists.  The first of these 1446 in a well presented design with large front grill appeared at the 1980 Commercial Vehicle Motor Show although it did not have a stand but was in the car park at the back whilst 1451 was on the Northern Counties stand and 5031 (MRJ 31W) was on the Metrobus stand.  After a year or so worth of trials with 1446 GMT ordered two further prototype Ailsa’s 1447 and 1448 which came in the more conventional less attractive front end fiberglass design and it is understood over recent years 1446 and 1447 have been scrapped, leaving 1448 as the only remaining example. 

Previous enquiries had indicated that the price required for the vehicle was unrealistic for a bus of this age for a preservation group but through recent negotiations and discussions a purchase was agreed with Greengate Tours and a group of members went to their premises in Melling, Liverpool, on Sunday 28th November 2004 to return the vehicle to Greater Manchester parking it up for the time being at our premises in East Manchester. 

The history of the vehicle is as follows:-

3rd June 1982 Greater Manchester Transport
26th October 1986 Transferred to GM Buses Limited
1st October 1990 Lancaster City Transport
1st July 1993 Harris Bus Company - Geays, Essex
10th May 1997 Dunnline Travel, Nottingham (during this period it was re-registered MIL 8338)
4th May 1999 Coachmaseter Limited, Liverpool
1st December 2001 Mayfold Coaches (Wingate Tours), Ormshirk (Liverpool)
28th November 2004 SELNEC Preservation Society, Manchester

 

1448

BATCH:

1446 - 1448

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(WRJ 448X)

BODY:

Northern Counties H44/35F

 

CHASSIS:

Volvo Ailsa B55-10

 

FIRST REGISTERED:

3rd June 1982

 

PURCHASED:

28th November 2004

 

DETAILS:

This vehicle is the last and only remaining example of the three of these rare prototype vehicles.


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