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THE SELNEC PRESERVATION SOCIETY

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6990 (DWH 706W) - GREATER MANCHESTER'S LAST FLEETLINE AND THE LAST VEHICLE DELIVERED TO LUT

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Acquisition

Our objectives to obtain Greater Manchester's last Fleetline were that although LUT was purchased by GM Transport Ltd on 1st January 1976, it was not incorporated into the fleet until 1st April 1981. However, in the knowledge that this would one day take place, the later deliveries of rear engined vehicles to LUT were built to the identical specification of the more conventional GMT Standard.

In all, there were 90 vehicles so delivered as LUT 485-529/542/570-613 between 1977 and 1980. We were in negotiations to acquire the first LUT Standard, 6901 to return to its original red/grey condition, when we also considered the subject of trying to decide whether it would be a worthwhile objective to try to preserve Greater Manchester's last, not only Standard Fleetline, but the last Fleetline of all time, following on from the first delivered to LUT 97 (561 TD) and Manchester 4590 (4590 NE) in 1962.

In this exercise, we had to consider which vehicle would warrant the description of the last Greater Manchester Fleetline. The last of the GMT batch of Fleetlines, 8001-8150 was 8150 (4150 - MNC 493W) on 22nd August 1980. However, this was delivered in advance of the last of the LUT batch of Fleetlines, 6990, which was delivered on 1st January 1981. LUT was not incorporated into Greater Manchester Transport until 1st April 1981, but it can now be said that 6990 is, in fact, the last Greater Manchester Fleetline of all time.

Clearly, therefore, when considering preserving the last Fleetline it would have to be 6990. We made contact with Greater Manchester Buses North Ltd (trading as First Manchester) with regard to this vehicle, and they acknowledged our interest in it, being Greater Manchester's last Fleetline.

Indeed, of the 90 Leyland Fleetlines delivered to LUT to GMT Standard specifications, the first 30 (LUT Numbers 485-514) subsequently re-numbered in the GMT series 6901-6930, were delivered in LUT red and grey colours. The remaining 60 (LUT Numbers 515-529/542/570-613) were delivered in a special orange/ white/orange livery with a wavy GMT 'M' symbol but Fleet name Lancashire United Transport and were numbered eventually on incorporation to GMT as 6931-6990. This special orange/white/orange livery was similar as that applied to GMT Leyland Titan B15's - 4001-4015 and the majority of the Metrobuses starting as 5001.

6990 (LUT 613) was also significant in that as well as being Greater Manchester's last Fleetline and a 'book-end' to the preserved 1962 Fleetline 561TD, it is also the very last vehicle delivered new to Lancashire United Transport on 1st January 1981 prior to its absorption into the GMT Fleet on 1st April 1981.

In the article about the end of the West Midlands Fleetlines in the January 1998 edition of Buses Magazine, they indicated that West Midlands had a total of 2,292 Fleetlines in respect of those inherited and those ordered by the West Midlands PTE, of which 840 were their 'Standard Fleetline'. Our research has indicated that SELNEC/GMPTE operated a total of 1,282 Fleetlines from inherited fleets or ordered specifically for them, of which 14 where single deck and 605 were Standard Fleetlines, being EX7-EX21, 7151-7500, 8001-8150 and 6901-6990.

A total list of Fleetlines as inherited by SELNEC/GMPTE or ordered by them, appears below:

Double Deck

Manchester

SHMD

LUT

4590 - 4629

5613 - 5647

97 - 102

4655 - 4684

138 - 142

4701 - 4760

Rochdale

171 - 185

6223 - 6244

2358 - 2363

Mancunians

2394 - 2413

2001 - 2048

Bury

6901 - 6990

2051 - 2097

6317 - 6350

2101 - 2144

SELNEC

2151 - 2304

North Western

EX7 - EX21

1 - 6

7151 - 7400

Salford

8

4036 - 4037

10- 13

GMT

4040 - 4042

15- 21

7401 - 7500

4100 - 4114

8001 - 8150

Ex London

4165 - 4189

2318 - 2337

4197 - 4210

Single Deck

6030 - 6033

6038

6089 - 6097

We had confirmation from First Manchester in February 1998 that when 6990 became available, we would be contacted, which we were, by letter of 7th December 1998. The bus had been taken out of service due to a minor cylinder-head gasket problem which was affecting the heating system. Quite understandably, in the cold weather, drivers were reluctant to take it out on service with no heating. Because a batch of new Volvo Olympians had arrived, it was decided that the bus would not be repaired, and arrangements were made for us to acquire it, which we did on Friday, 11th December 1998, when we received all appropriate paperwork.

We then visited Bolton Depot on Sunday, 13th December 1998, to collect 6990 to take it to our storage premises in Wigan. It was taxed until 31st December 1998, and MOTed until February 1999, so we just needed to put it on our insurance for the day, to drive it to Wigan. During the trip, we kept stopping to keep the water topped-up due to the low water and high water temperature warning lights coming on and going off.

6990 was initially parked up next to EX19 which made an interesting comparison being the earliest existing Standard Fleetline from 1972 (EX19) and Greater Manchester's last Fleetline from 1981 (6990), both with Northern Counties bodywork, it was moved into Leigh during the summer of 2000.

The first co-ordinated body set up as a result of the Transport Act 1968, was SELNEC PTE from 1st November 1969, this became GMT from 1st April 1974 and GM Buses from 26th October 1986 which then became split into two companies due to Conservative Government pressure on 1st April 1994, into GM Buses North Ltd and GM Buses South Ltd.

These Companies subsequently became First Manchester and Stagecoach Manchester respectively.

Whereas Stagecoach Manchester disposed of all the remaining Fleetlines, and indeed their Atlanteans some years ago, the same was not true of the North part of the Company. In terms of Fleetlines, they had a number operating, being ex-GMT vehicles in the batch 8001-8150, and the ex-LUT batch 6901-6990, and had indicated they might consider a last Fleetline running day late in 1999 when the last Fleetlines were scheduled to come out of service.

However, as often happens in operational matters, decisions change and priorities alter. However, despite the withdrawal of 6990 and our acquisition of it on 11th December 1998, we had still anticipated that First Manchester would run Fleetlines until late 1999.

However, the number of Fleetlines had been dwindling towards the end of 1998 and we were then informed on Wednesday 6th January 1999, that the following day, Thursday 7th January 1999 would be the last Fleetline running day, which is what happened, and all operational running vehicles transferred after that date to First Calderdale in Yorkshire.

We were very kindly contacted by the local management at First Manchester's Depot in Bolton, who were the last operators of the Fleetlines, to indicate that they still had in their yard, two Fleetlines, 6982 and 6989, the first being in Manchester Red colours and the second in ex-GMB colours, both ready to be sent to the Scrap Yard, being their last two Fleetlines.

They were obviously aware of our requirement in general for spare parts for our ex-SELNEC/GMT Standard vehicles and in particular, our requirement to service our more recently acquired vehicles, especially EX19, 7501 and, of course, 6990.

Consequently, we were given an excellent opportunity to acquire spare parts to restore our SELNEC/GMT Standards in general and 6990 in particular, by being invited to First Manchester Depot in Bolton on Saturday, 16th January 1999 to remove all parts we need for immediate and long-term preservation from these two scrapped vehicles, 6982 and 6989. Our appreciation to First Manchester has been recorded, for their understanding on a practical level of the difficulties we face in preservation.

It is sad to note that 7th January 1999 was, in fact, the last day of Fleetline operation in Greater Manchester by those organisations reflecting co-ordinated operation of transport operations throughout the area after 37 years.

We have been contacted via our website by an Andrew Bowyer, in respect of how this vehicle was delivered, and the content of his e-mail of 6th June 2001 is reproduced below:

"Your Society may like to note for restoration purposes that 6990 (613), although delivered to LUT in January 1981 in their version of the orange/white Greater Manchester livery, in fact always bore GMT fleetnames from the start, and not "Lancashire United Transport" stacked next to M-blem. 6988 + 6989 were the same (611/612).

Indeed, it started operating with GMT legal lettering - but this was corrected, by some loyal LUT man, no doubt!"

Consequently, although we show in our publicity a "wavy M" and Lancashire United Transport against 6990, this is incorrect and it is one of perhaps only three Standards to be delivered in the orange/white/orange LUT application with a GMT fleet name as opposed to LUT. Obviously this will have to be borne in mind when we restore this vehicle to its original condition in years to come.

Interestingly this brings to three the applications of fleet names and symbols to the 60 Leyland Fleetlines delivered to Lancashire United Transport in orange/white. It should be remembered that the first 30, 6901-6930 were delivered in LUT red/grey, and thereafter 6931-6990 in orange/white/orange. The first 11 however, 6931-6941, had a large white "wavy M" emblem on the bonnet (no fleet name), but from 6942 onwards they just had conventional "wavy M" and LUT fleet names on the sides of the vehicles until they reached 6988-6990, where these three last vehicles had the LUT (Lancashire United Transport) replaced with the wording "Greater Manchester Transport".

6990

BATCH:

6931 - 6990 (Type iv (R))

lut.gif (1410 bytes)

(DWH 706W)

BODY:

Northern Counties H43/32F - Mark 1A

 

CHASSIS:

Leyland Fleetline FE30GR

 

FIRST REGISTERED:

1st January, 1981

 

PURCHASED:

11th December, 1998

 

DETAILS:

Greater Manchester's last Fleetline and the last vehicle delivered to Lancashire United Transport, in special LUT orange and white livery.

Restoration commences...

Although our major project for restoration during 2005 was 7960, which is now nearing completion in terms of the internal rectification we have decided to divert resources onto the subsequent project 6990 in order to hopefully have it ready for the event of 100 Years of Lancashire United Transport to be organised and run by the Museum of Transport on Saturday and Sunday 20th and 21st May 2006.

This vehicle delivered as LUT 613 was the last new bus purchased by LUT on 1st January 1981 before its amalgamation fully into the GMT fleet on 1st April 1981.  In addition because it was delivered after the last GMT Standard Fleetline 8150 (MNC 493W) on 22nd August 1980 it also represents the last Fleetline delivered to Greater Manchester.  Consequently, on our first working day of 2006, being Sunday 8th January 2006, whilst a small amount of rectification took place on 7960 the major attention turned to 6990 in the continuation of work on the upper deck melamine, windows, aluminium, fibreglass, ducting and seat frames all being attended to in situ.  Also the damaged front panel and offside and nearside lower fibreglass corner panels were removed in order to be replaced.  Whilst these were off the vehicle areas of the front of the chassis were attended to, principally being cleaned, red-oxided and painted.  It will also be necessary to replace one of the windscreens, the driver’s side, and because the rubber surrounds are in a poor state of repair samples of the windscreen rubber and the central rubber divider that keeps the two windscreens apart were taken away and subsequently sent to Auto Windscreens for new rubber to be manufactured.  We do have original destination and via blinds for this bus representing LUT style at its original depot of Swinton but they are in poor condition.  Consequently these were sent away to Norbury Blinds in order for new blinds in the correct typeface to be manufactured.  In anticipation of the rectification of 6990 a full set of new front, side and rear white on black route number blinds had been secured and the first of these were fitted during this working day.

7960 still has problems with its automatic gear change function, in that upon a road test which took place on the working day on 8th January 2006, the gears still did not operate in sequence in that it was necessary to over-rev second gear to obtain third and then the vehicle would change direct to fifth gear.  This has caused us to have a look again at the piping of the air supply to the EP unit with a view to having this issue rectified once and for all.

Previously 6990 has exhibited problems in that it does not start from the cab or the rear and has to be fired into action by shorting out the starter motor and some work was undertaken on the electrics and a new button ordered to resolve the problem permanently. 

Significant progress was achieved principally with 6990 over the next two working days of the New Year, Sunday 29th January and Sunday 19th February 2006, in that 6990 had put in it the new three side route numbers, a new tax disc holder, new wing mirrors and arms in the correct style exhibited on the bus when it was new and new rear view mirror again in the correct style.  The vehicles built around the time of 6990 had on the lower deck four slider windows, the last two windows on the nearside and offside.  There were only two in the bus, one in the wrong position on the nearside and the smaller one in the offside position five was in place but had a damaged aluminium sliding mechanism.  Consequently, work commenced on returning the window configuration to normal in that the hopper and the slider were switched over on the nearside and a spare full length slider was located in stock to be fitted at a future point as was a replacement small slider window with fully operating aluminium fittings.  A replacement front fibreglass corner panel was fitted to the nearside of the bus having been donated to us on 15th June 2002 from a Delaine Atlantean No. 119 (ex-GMT 8224 – ANA 224T) and the existing offside lower fibreglass corner panel had been repaired with a fibreglass renovation kit and was made ready to be put back on the offside.  Both the windscreens were taken out with the nearside one being set aside and retained to be refitted and the offside one disposed off with an appropriate design and good condition spare offside windscreen being sourced from spares.  These are now ready to fit subject to work in the windscreen area in terms of repainting and cleaning being concluded, access being relatively easy to this area whilst windscreens are out. 

Also supplied was new rubber for the windscreen surrounds and the central dividing rubber had been sourced from RAC Auto Windscreens so that the damaged windscreen rubber can be disposed of in order to improve enormously the whole front end, in terms of windscreens, rubber and the three piece lower fibreglass front.  The central panel of 6990 had become damaged and consequently from stock we switched it for a spare which incidentally comes from the same batch of vehicles, being ex-6971, still exhibiting its registration plate when we extracted it from stock.  All four wheels on 6990 have been wire brushed, sanded down and painted in red oxide.  From stock we have found two Fleetline hub cap clips which are to be rectified before fitting.  We also located two front Fleetline hub caps which require a little bit of attention before they too can be fitted once the clips have been fitted to the bus.  The problem with starting the bus from the cab was resolved with a new start switch being fitted to the cab and the sticking accelerator had some attention to make it more responsive.  The bonnet did cause us some concern, initially we were looking to replace it, however, by relocating some fixtures and fittings under the bonnet, moving the heat shield and by adjusting the bolts and screws we managed to level it up.  Finally a couple of small cracks on the bonnet were rectified by use of the fibreglass restoration kit.

We had attempted to fit the new rear route number blinds but the gear mechanism was seized solid and after some difficulty removing it a spare unit was obtained from stores and repainted so that on a future working day the rear route numbers can be fitted and the unit returned to the bus.  Whilst it was out the opportunity was taken to vacuum out the entire area behind the unit, licence plate and behind the back seat.

In terms of lights on the vehicle it was determined that all of them should be replaced except for the headlights and consequently the standard BMAC 757 indicator units were fitted both to the offside and the nearside of the vehicle, having swapped over the orange lenses from criss-cross to circles.  Combination BMAC 758 side light and indicator units were fitted to the replacement and repaired two front lower fibreglass front corner panels as a prelude to being refitted to the vehicle.  Brand new clear fog and fluted spotlights were also fitted to the two lower fibreglass front corner panels, the originals having been long removed and finally the more modern BMAC rear combination light units 343 VRFS were fitted to both rear pods thereby replacing all the lights other than the two headlights on the vehicle. 

Work also continued on the inside of the bus in that the upper deck had its windows cleaned in terms of the glass and the aluminium hoppers including inside the hoppers themselves which can harbour dirt over a number of years.  All the upper deck seat frames were painted grey and a start was made to paint the upper deck floor.  Initial sanding and red-oxiding had taken place on the lower deck to aluminium areas and seat frames. 

In relation to 7960 very little activity was embarked upon, except that following its re-piping of the EP valve the vehicle, upon test, now changes correctly through all its gears and the throttle dip is also fully functional.

Further progress was made thereafter on 6990 by various members visiting on odd evenings and odd weekend days as well as progress on the next scheduled working day, Sunday 12th March 2006, in order that externally the bus was in a position to be moved for assessment, re-panelling and filling at North West Bus and Coach Repairs Limited in Blackburn previously S & T Coach Painters Limited.  Work undertaken prior to this move was to finish the front end in that the new windscreen rubber was applied and the windscreens re-fitted.  The offside lower fibreglass corner panel was attached as was the central panel and two new windscreen wiper arms and blades fitted.  Some work was undertaken in sanding down areas round the lower deck windows and some further attention was given to repair work on the bonnet.  All its oils and fluids were checked and a replacement set of batteries wired into the vehicle and once started up a check was made to ensure that all the replacement lights were fully operational.  On the inside of the vehicle the upper deck was almost finished in the sense that the window glass and hoppers had been cleaned with one damaged hopper on the offside of the bus being replaced.  All the fibreglass ducting was re-painted in the correct brown paint, all the seat frames had been painted grey and the floor treated in Neogene deck paint. 

At the same time the opportunity was taken to clean all the upper deck melamine and progress was even made on the lower deck in the sense that all the seat frames were painted grey, the ducting painted brown and all the melamine cleaned, so that there would be less to attend to on the interior of the bus when it returns from re-panelling, servicing and re-painting.

6990 was moved to North West Bus & Coach Repairers Limited on Sunday 19thMarch 2006 and a full assessment of the work they needed to carry out in order to prepare the vehicle for re-painting was identified as follows:
        -
fit new top panels to upper saloon bodysides (6 off);
        -
fit new panels to side destination;
        -
fill N/S upper saloon panel above number 3 N/S lower saloon window;
        -
fill panel rear of entrance doors at door valve;
        -
fit new panel to N/S front wheel;
        -
fit new skirt panel to front and rear of front N/S wheel; .
        -
fit new skirt panel forward of O/S rear wheel;
        -
fit new curved skirt panel rear of N/S front wheel;
        -
fit new skirt panel forward of N/S engine pod;
        -
fibreglass repair O/S engine cover;
        -
fibreglass repair rear centre bumper;
        -
fit six upper saloon bodyside panels;
        -
fit new panel above number O/S window lower saloon;
        -
fill panels above number 3 and number 1 windows;
        -
fill two staircase panels; .
        -
fit new panel under lower saloon emergency door;
        -
fit new panel to O/S rear wheel arch;
        -
re-secure panel forward of O/S rear wheel;
        -
fill panel above fuel filler door;
        -
fill fuel filler door panel;
        -
fibreglass repair O/S front headlamp corner panel;
        -
fibreglass repair O/S front corner panel of destination;
        -
re-secure front waist rail moulding;
        -
fit new upper saloon front screen corner panel;
        -
fit new upper saloon front screen corner panel moulding;
        -
fibreglass repair N/S upper saloon front dome;
        -
replace all missing rivets in mouldings; and
        -
fit budget lock to front N/S hinged door.

Once this work had been carried out by North West Bus & Coach Repairers 6990 was ready for collection but, unfortunately, the air system would not build up sufficient pressure to take the brakes off or allow the vehicle to obtain gears.  Consequently, we had it towed on Wednesday 19th April 2006 to Whittakers Coach Travel in Penwortham where we had originally intended to drive it.  Once there the problem with the air system was resolved by replacing a few valves and the work intended to be carried out on it was undertaken.  This was to fit a replacement bonnet ram, re-wiring the window heater elements, deal with the sticking accelerator, undertake a full service ready for MOT and then steam clean and spray the chassis under the wheel arches and engine unit with anti-corrosive paint.  Unfortunately, however, once servicing work had begun further problems were identified, in particular that the fuel tank was leaking and was sent away for repair and also the vehicle needed a new exhaust silencer box.  At the same time the bus was sanded down, undercoated and re-painted in the orange and white livery that LUT used for its Standard Fleetlines 6931-6990. 

In all LUT had 90 Fleetlines delivered to a Standard specification because even though it was run as a separate company during the period of delivery of vehicles between 1977 and 1981, it was owned by the Greater Manchester PTE, having been purchased on 1st January 1976 albeit not being fully integrated into the fleet until 1st April 1981.  These vehicles were delivered in a series of different registration batches:-

OBN -R
PTD -S
TWH -T
YTE -V
BCB -W
DWH -W

The LUT numbers were 485-429/542/570-613.

It was only later that they were integrated into the full GMT fleet and renumbered 6901 to 6990.  The first 30 of these were delivered in LUT red and grey, although they had seat coverings in orange.  The latter 60 were painted in metropolitan orange and white as per the GMT colour specs but in an application similar to that used on the Titans 4001-4015 and Metrobuses 5001 to 5120.  They had the same light brown wheels as used across the whole GMT fleet at that time.  This bus is being fast-tracked so it can make its inaugural appearance at the 100 Years of LUT Event at the Museum of Transport on 20th and 21st May 2006 because as well as being Greater Manchester’s last Fleetline it was the last bus delivered new to LUT on 1st January 1981. 

Whilst it has been away at Whittakers Coach Travel in Penwortham two members did visit it on 23rd April 2006 to finish off the fitting of the correct lower deck rear slider windows and to refit the rear route number display. 

Thereafter we were able to provide from our spares a replacement silencer to be fitted in place of the damaged unit that had to be removed and then we had a number of problems with the fuel tank.  Although we have spare Atlantean fuel tanks we do not have any spares for Fleetlines in stock and consequently the badly damaged fuel tank on the bus had to be sent away to a specialist repair unit to be rebuilt with a strengthened bonded structure.  This took longer than anticipated and consequently a temporary fuel tank was fitted to the vehicle so that it could attend and fortuitously pass its Class V MOT on 10th May 2006 and that very evening members of the Society visited Whittakers Coach Travel.  By that time all but the snagging had yet to be undertaken on its re-paint, and we fitted that evening all the appropriate vinyls to the vehicle, being fleet numbers, fleet names, legal lettering and all the various internal and external transfers pointing to the functionality of the operation of the vehicle along with directions for passengers.  Because of the vehicle’s exterior re-paint every single vinyl had to be replaced from the complexities of the large fleet names to small indicative transfers such as water, fuel, etc.  Luckily on the inside of the vehicle many of the original transfers had remained intact and consequently we only had to replace about a third of these with new vinyls in the correct typeface, colour and style.

Also on this evening the majority of the lower deck floor was painted in protective Neogene deck tread paint.

Eventually the fuel tank was returned and fitted on Saturday 13th May 2006 with the vehicle being delivered back to our premises in Leigh on the late evening of that day in preparation for the working day that was to follow.  Unfortunately there appeared to be a blockage in one of the fuel pipes near one of the filters and to save time this was bypassed in order that we could conclude the rectification work and take the vehicle to its unveiling at the 100 Years of LUT Event at Manchester Museum of Transport, with a view to having the fuel problem resolved at a quieter time later in the year.

The full specification of the work carried out at Whittakers Coach Travel of Penwortham was as follows:-
        -
Steam clean chassis
        -
Spray grey and paint
        -
Service belts
        -
Collect exhaust silencer from Leigh
        -
Remove and replace silencer flex
        -
Build temp tank for test .
        -
Check lights, door and replace door valve
        -
Replace wiper
        -
NS flasher fault, rear.  Wiring and bulb
        -
Oil and free wiper linkage
        -
Stack clip; attention to OSR
        -
Grease chassis joints
        -
Adjust brakes
        -
Bonnet lid; manufacture ram carrier, build to bus and secure ram
        -
Window screen heaters; replace wires on heater unit
        -
Free off accelerator pedal and linkage
        -
Service; oil, fuel and air filters
        -
Sump oil and filters
        -
Fuel tank replace
        -
Attention to tank straps
        -
Remove bypass tank
        -
Replace tank and piping
        -
Re-weld and position damaged strap and adjust

On working day Sunday 14th May 2006, 6990 was at the centre of our attention in order that work on it could be completed with a number of snagging items carried out on the external paintwork, original Fleetline hub cap clips and silver disks were fitted to the front of the bus and replacement water and fuel turn off plates to the back.

The new destination and via blind made by Norbury Blinds of Birmingham reflecting the correct LUT typeface and style were fitted to the bus and Chem Dry came down to thoroughly clean all the seats.  We had managed to make up from spares a full set of the all over orange moquette on both decks.  All the internal melamine was cleaned as were all the inside windows and lower deck outside windows.  The whole of the cab area was attended to and repainted.

Finally finishing touches such as re-fitting the head lamp and fog lamp silver surrounds were attended to before we ran out of time.  Consequently, a couple of members attended the premises on Tuesday 16th May 2006 principally to conclude internal painting of the aluminium surfaces and finish off the Neogene deck tread paint on the lower deck, staircase, steps, etc., with a few final snagging jobs being undertaken on Friday 19th May 2006 with a couple of internal fittings exchanged such as the hazard switch and the concertina blind at the back of the cab from spares.  The upper deck external windows were cleaned and the bus was moved to the Museum of Transport on Friday evening, 19th May 2006, ready for its launch the following day at the 100 Years of LUT Event.

We were faced with a dilemma in choosing the precise vinyls to put on the vehicle because technically although delivered as one of the last three standard LUT Fleetlines it actually had Greater Manchester Transport fleet names and legal lettering whilst carrying an LUT number 613.  Whilst there were 90 vehicles in the original batch which depicted all sorts of varieties of updates and changes, it is highly unlikely that many will be restored and we decided to approach the matter with a more generalised view, to reflect key elements of what the batch represented.  Consequently, we chose to put the fleet number 6990 on it (rather than 613), to reflect its status as Greater Manchester’s last ever Fleetline.  We also chose to apply to it LUT fleet names and legal lettering in order to reflect its status as the last new vehicle delivered to LUT and in order for it to be identified as a LUT vehicle, especially as it was about to attend an event marking 100 years of LUT. 

Securing vehicles for preservation is relatively inexpensive because of a very small second, and subsequent, hand bus market but the main costs are storage, particularly internal storage, and then there is funding required for insurance, breakdown cover, etc.  However, it is when a restoration is embarked upon that the costs start to increase and although many replacement parts are secured from spares obtained over the years from spare vehicles there are still costs in terms of servicing work, items purchased new, repairs, etc.  In order that members might get a feel for the costs of becoming involved in bus restoration we have tracked the costs involved in restoring 6990.  What appears below is a schedule of the costs involved in restoring 6990 from the condition it had been kept in since it appeared in Greater Manchester Buses North colours at the Trans-Lancs Historic Vehicle Rally on 3rd September 1999 to early January 2006 when our rectification programme commenced to have it ready for the 100 Years of LUT Event.

The costs as you will see from the list below are quite extensive. 

RECTIFICATION COSTS – 6990 (DWH 706W)

Tow to Whittakers £287.87
Wing mirrors and rear view mirror £62.63
Wipers (2 arms and 2 blades) £79.01
Windscreen rubber £136.60
Fog and Spot lights £120.00
Front, side and rear lights £453.34
Re-cover some damaged and daded moquette £86.00
All bodywork repairs and repanelling £3,137.25
Paint £269.78
Painting £750.00
Blinds - Destination / via £436.80
Number Blinds x9 £315.49
Repair work at Whittakers £2,593.97
Fuel tank repair £542.58
TOTAL £9,271.59

These costs would however have been significantly higher had it been necessary to purchase many of the spare items that we secured from scrap vehicles over the years in anticipation of a rectification of this kind.


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