| UTIC in Portugal
built many vehicles around AEC Monocoach and then AEC Swift
units, and the latter continued to be built for a while after
production at Southall ceased in 1979. One batch of nine of
these interesting vehicles found its way to Britain. One was
GHP 994L, seen working for Westbourne Tours on a National
Express duty in 1982. More information about this batch of
coaches can be found in the Features
|So what's a Bristol
L doing on an AEC website? Because it has an AEC engine of
course! GFM882 is one of a batch of AEC engined Bristol Ls
new to Crosville, and was photographed with MacEwans of Dumfries
in 1993. Photo by Murdock Currie.
||This is the 1967
AEC-Gold Leaf Team Lotus Formula 1 Truck, built on an AEC
Swift chassis and originally registered LVF 480E. It was rebuilt
by the team in early 2005, and is kept in Austria. This 2009
picture shows it following full restoration.
Photo provided by Joe Willenpart, who
welcomes correspondence and any pictures of it between 1967
and 2004, email@example.com.
Thanks to Martin Ingle for the chassis
Another AEC Race Car Transporter was commissioned in 1967
to carry the Ford Mirage and GT40 race cars around Europe
for JW Automotive Engineering Ltd. It subsequently carried
Porsche 917 race cars also. It was built on an AEC Regal
VI chassis and delivered in 1968, registered KKX 328G and
then reregistered 1129 BH. Originally painted light blue
and orange in the colours of sponsor, Gulf Oil, it was left
hand drive. Later it was lettered "Gulf Research Racing,"
still blue and orange. In 1976 it was purchased, along with
the 1975 Le Mans winning Mirages, by American, Harley E.
Cluxton III, of Phoenix, Arizona. There it was repainted
yellow, red and black and lettered "Grand Touring Cars."
It has disappeared somewhere in the USA. If anyone knows
of its whereabouts, John Horsman would be interested to
hear. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
And here is a picture of 1129 BH in its original guise with
JW Automotive lettering being driven off a ferry, kindly
provided by Martin Rowley who's dad Phil was driving the
transporter in the picture, and used with the permission
of John Horsman. Photo from the J.
which was in the heritage fleet of Crosville Motor Services
(the 21st century reincarnation in Somerset, not the original),
appears to have become a "piano bus" in this picture
takenin October 2013 in a dealer's yard in Bristol by Ken
||Ex Premier Travel
Plaxton bodied AEC Reliance NEB 346R has been converted to
a racing car transporter. Martin Halpin of Morecambe uses
it to carry their F1 Stock Car around the UK and Europe. A
photograph of it in action in May 2007 is on David Beadmore's
Flickr page. http://www.flickr.com/photos/45726467@N02/4196908813/in/photostream/
coach put to use as a transporter is Plaxton Panorama bodied
Reliance FVO 67D. Nicely restored in the livery of K&R
Walsh, it was pictured by Ken Jones at Fleetwood during a
Tram Sunday event in 2012.
former PSV Reliance now put to another use is former Greenline
RS34. Private owner Daren French rescued it from the cutter's
torch to put it to good use as a motorhome. He drove it
for Tedburn Coaches of Devon and bought it when it became
redundant. Seven years of restoration work has been undertaken
to restore it,including replacement of almost every body
panel. It was on the road in mid-2011 with a fresh coat
of paint. Although a working vehicle it is to keep its original
appearance as far as possible, including authentic blinds,
and it makes appearances at rallies and fairs.
Daren has provided these photos of his
bus (home!) and you can see more of it's progress by entering
its reg number on the Flickr website. He would welcome any
pictures of it during its working days as a PSV. He can
be contacted on email@example.com
Reliance being used as a motorhome, but a litttle longer ago.
XFJ 592 was a Duple Britannia model new to Greenslades Tours.
It was caught in Phil Cattermole's
camera lens at the Hastings Old Town coach park in 1978.
||For a number of
years in the 1970s, the recovery vechicle at the Maidstone
& District Tunbridge Wells depot was an AEC Matador truck
equipped with mini-workshop for carrying emergency spares.
It was seen there in the summer of 1975 displaying the tradeplates
on which it usually ran.
||Another AEC recovery
vehicle, this is a Marshal Major truck preserved at the Ruddington
centre and pictured in July 2014. Picture
by Ken Jones.
This is an AEC Mandator truck, of the type
used by many bus companies as recovery vehicles. In preservation
ownership it was pictured at the Alton rally and running
day in July 2009.
Another AEC Mandator, LGK 954D, was still
being used as a fuel truck by Cyma Petroleum at Langar airfield,
Nottinghamshire, in 2007.
at the 2012 Detling rally were a pair of preserved AEC Mammoth
'Pullman transport for bloodstock'
stable to covertside and race course, with safety comfort
and speed' was how the Hammond 'Newmarket' horse-box was
described to potential customers. And in fact, for some
40 years, the highest in the land chose Hammond vehicles
to move their prized race horses, some of the most famous,
including Golden Miller and Brown Jack 'riding Hammond'.
Although the company used a wide variety
of vehicles Percy Hammond was a devotee of AEC from the
earliest days in the late 1920s. By 1976, when the enterprise
in High Street, Newmarket, finally closed, there were about
20 horse-boxes in Hammond's own fleet.
Rolling chassis were sent to the coachbuilder
after a mechanical check. Some bodies were constructed by
a local company called Watson, but Strachan, Thomas Harrington
in Hove and later Lambourne were used. The whole exercise
took about six months.
Harrington are thought to have built horse-boxes
exclusively for Mr Hammond and it is probably Vincent who
can claim the distinction of making the very first motor
'box' at around the same time as Mr Hammond's 'Newmarket'
design was launched.
Mrs Anne Rolinson the surviving daughter
of Mr Hammond remembers one of the AEC's in particular.
'We had just finished a beautiful example for a nobleman
who sadly died just before delivery. His son cancelled the
order and it was a worrying time, especially as the horse-box
was already painted in their racing colours. However, the
trainer suggested father drove the 'box' to the front of
the owner's house and parked it with its ramps down where
the new earl and his fiancée would pass it on their
way back from church the next Sunday. That trainer proved
a very good friend because the successor to the title could
not resist showing off 'his' new horse-box to the young
lady and the payment for that big expensive AEC was honoured'.
When AEC took over Maudslay in 1948 the
Coventry firm's chassis were also used by Hammond and became
the star attraction on the AEC/Maudslay stand at the Tattersalls
Newmarket horse sale. It is a Maudslay which is used for
the Dinky model of a Hammond horse-box produced by Meccano
between 1953 and '61.
Illustrated are an early offering on the
AEC chassis, a stunningly beautiful interpretation on a
1950s Regal coach chassis and the cover of a brochure depicting
a special low-loading chassis, probably from the mid-1930s.
Photos and article courtesy
of Martyn Nutland, who has checked his research with the
Hammond family. Martyn advises that the gentleman driving
the Regal is Joe Froman; he wonders if Joe is still alive
and welcome the opportunity to speak with him or members
of his family.
knows a bit about the horseboxes too. In July 2006 he wrote:
"There were three postwar Regal chassis bodied as horseboxes
for the UK. Chassis number O6624782 was HXA 167 and 6821A157
was CCF 822, both with Vincent bodies. Can anybody advise
me of the reg of chassis number O6625487 and who bodied
it please? And maybe provide a picture? One of them survives
as a preservation project and was the subject of an earlier
Messageboard post by Keith Finlay from Australia on 23/1/06
– unfortunately the email address given then no longer functions.
Can anybody put me in touch with Keith please?"
Well, we now know that BCF 662 pictured
above, one of those sent by Martyn Nutland, is the third
Martin has also learnt that one of the
ex Railway Company Maudslay Marathon - Harrington horseboxes,
HXW 626, was rescued from a farm near Chepstow.
You can contact Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org
AEC provided the running units for a number
of manufacturers of diesel railcars and multiple units in
the 1960s when British Rail was sourcing these types of
trains from multiple builders to speed up the modernisation
process. In the case of the 'Class 103' multiple units,
Park Royal also built the bodywork. The standard engine
used for these was the A220, which was an 11.1 litre unit
and was a precursor of the AH690. Two engines were fitted
to each carriage (or "car", in railway parlance).
Graham Thornton, who owns the only surviving
'Class 105' "Cravens" unit, has provided the following
information about preserved AEC multiple units:
The Cravens is unique and is based on the East Lancashire
Railway at Bury; it is a class 105. There are approx 10-12
preserved DMU vehicles on A220 engines including a class
126 based at Bo'ness in Scotland (4 engines), three cars
at the Midland railway centre at Butterly - one being a
class 100 built by Gloucester carriage and wagon (two engines),
the other two cars being Derby lightweight vehicles (4 engines).
A Park Royal class 103 set is at Helston (in Cornwall) for
use there, and another in Coventry (again two engines each).
Finally there is the Wickham class 109 on the Llangollen
railway with two engines! So the A220 is alive and well
as most of the above are working vehicles.