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8765 (A765 NNA)

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Having formed the SELNEC Preservation Society in January 1987 and started to collect a number of relevant vehicles that reflected design and development of passenger transport in the Greater Manchester area, we formulated the policy of attempting to secure wherever possible, relevant firsts and lasts from the various batches of vehicles that were delivered to SELNEC and GMT.

We had identified quite early that a vehicle which clearly needed to be added to our collection was 8765 (A765 NNA), as this represented a very significant vehicle indeed.

One of the key objectives of the preservation objectives of The SELNEC Preservation Society is to perpetuate the unique design and development of the SELNEC and GMT Standard vehicle, originally created after the formation of the SELNEC PTE on 1st November 1969 by the engineers of SELNEC and Northern Counties in creating the very first prototype, EX1 (PNF 941J).

A further 20 prototypes were developed, being EX2-EX21, and thereafter 1815 production Standards on both Atlantean and Fleetline chassis.

During the years these production Standards have been in operation, between 1972 and the date the final Standard, 8765, was delivered, in 1984 a number of design changes and experiments.

We have been keen to track these design developments by securing key vehicles over the years for preservation reflecting the progression of the SELNEC/GMT Standard, and thus far we had 11 vehicles depicting this onward progression, being EX1, EX19, 7143, 7185, 7206, 7232, 7501, 7960, 8001, 6901 and 6990.

We believe that our acquisition of 8765 would be a natural conclusion to the reflecting design and development to the Standard body on its application to first generation rear-engined chassis, especially as it has a number of features showing the very last application of the Standard body.

Not only is 8765 the last SELNEC/GMT Standard body applied to a first generation rear-engined chassis but would also be a bookend to EX1, being the first and last Standard Atlanteans. It also represents Greater Manchester's last ever Atlantean, and would be an excellent stablemate for 6990 (DWH 706W), Greater Manchester's last Fleetline.

It was delivered new on 1st July 1984 in white/orange/brown colours and ran through its entire operating life from Oldham Depot.

It passed from Greater Manchester Transport to Greater Manchester Buses Ltd upon the formation of that company on 26th October 1986 and thereafter to G.M. Buses North Ltd, on 1st April 1994 and ran in G.M. Buses North colours. Upon this company being secured by First Manchester, it was painted in March 2000 in First Manchester corporate red colours. For a number of years we have been in contact with G.M. Buses North Ltd., and more recently, First Manchester, with a view to securing this vehicle for preservation whenever their use for it came to an end.

Very helpfully, the management at First Manchester have kept us in touch with developments with this vehicle, and indeed they did not re-moquette the seat backs in First Manchester red when it was repainted in September 1999, but kept them in salt and pepper, to assist with its preservation.

It would probably still be in service today, except for the circumstances which led to its early withdrawal, in that because Oldham Depot received a batch of 60 Mercedes Citaros, they had to move out their Atlanteans from the depot and consequently, a number of them were parked at Bury Depot, including 8765 in May 2000.

Its MOT had also expired on 11th June 2000 and it had developed a head gasket fault. Consequently, we were contacted by First Manchester and were able to secure the vehicle for preservation when it was transferred to our ownership on 2nd August 2000.

We then visited Bury Depot by arrangement with the local management on Sunday 13th August 2000, to collect the bus and were able to undertake a seat cushion swap exercise to ensure that the bus has within it a full set of brown salt and pepper seats and also we were very kindly allowed to take some spare parts from scrap Atlanteans stored at Bury to assist with ongoing repairs and future rectification.

At the same time, whilst there on 13th August 2000, Adam Stephenson was inspecting another alloy bodied Atlantean 8697 (A697 HNB) which was subsequently purchased for preservation and collected on Friday 18th August 2000 and moved to St. Helens Museum of Transport.

We have previously published the ongoing aspects of the change to the Standard body that has been incorporated by Northern Counties over the years since EX1 was built in 1970, and 8765 represents the final version of the Standard body as applied to the first generation rear-engined chassis. The main differences to our other Standard vehicles, being its alloy frame and the rubber gasketted windows. It also has brown seat frames, brown salt and pepper moquette, black staircase surround and depicts the latest cab layout, only reflected on the last few Atlanteans, with the switch panel from the side being removed and switches being incorporated in front of the driver on the dash display.

It has the later AN68D/1R engine designation, is fully automatic and has full length hopper windows.

Together with 1451, it made its debut in our ownership at our attendance at the Trans Lancs Historic Vehicle Rally on 3rd September 2000.



8526 - 8765 (Type iii (R))

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(A765 NNA)


Northern Counties H43/32F - Light Alloy



Leyland Atlantean AN68D/1R



1st July, 1974



2nd August, 2000



Greater Manchester's last Atlantean and the last Standard body applied to a first generation rear engined chassis.

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