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The British UTIC AEC Coaches

Portuguese manufacturer UTIC is well known for building vehicles based on AEC running units over a considerable peiod of years, continuing to do so even after the 1979 closure of Southall works. UTIC first started building on AEC Monocoach (an integral design) underframes in the 1950s, and then followed by importing large numbers of AEC Reliance chassis to build on bodywork for local operators. They also built an integral rear-engine coach using AEC Swift components and ZF gearboxes. These latter are perhaps the most interesting as there was no equivalent model for the British market. State owned Rodoviaria Nacional was a major customer for both Reliances and the integrals. The RN fleet passed to Arriva Portugal, who only withdrew the last in 2005. Some have now been preserved (see AECs in Europe page).

A small batch of nine UTIC U2043 integrals were imported into the UK by Loughborough dealer Moseley's. The first was registered in August 1971 and was purchased by L F Bowen of Birmingham. Bowen's only kept it for two months but then surprisingly purchased two others in 1974 which had previously been operated by Bonas of Coventry.

Chassis number Registration number Original owner Notes
U2043 001 AOH 561K L F Bowen, Birmingham Sold on in 1971.
U2043 002 GDU 65L Bonas (Supreme Coaches), Coventry Sold to Bowen, Birmingham 1974
U2043 003 GDU 66L Bonas (Supreme Coaches), Coventry  
U2043 004 KNX 792L L S Court, Fillongley near Coventry  
U2043 005 GHP 994L Bonas (Supreme Coaches), Coventry Sold to Bowen, Birmingham 1974 , then to Westbourne Travel, Bournemouth 1975.
U2043 006 OAG 214L Woods, Largs  
U2043 007 RBM 426M Charles Cook, Dunstable  
U2043 008 PSY 611L Ambassador, Edinburgh  
U2043 009 UVY 765M Terra Nova, London W14  

Vehicle information supplied by Andrew Roberts, supplemented by material from Alan Townsin's Blue Triangle book.

UTIC U2043 integral GHP 994L ran with two other companies before moving to Westbourne Travel of Bournemouth. It was often used on feeder services between Bournemouth and Birmingham for Wallace Arnold tours. In 1982, a boom year for National Express during and after the national rail strike, it was seen running a National Express relief at Victoria, still in the two tone blue livery of original owner Supreme Tours.

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