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Bedford Vega 1950

Following Bedford’s post war success with the OB the SB was introduced late in 1950. It had a wheelbase of 17’ 2” intended to suit the 27’ 6” overall length limit on 2 axle single deck vehicles that had existed prior to 1st June 1950 when it was increased to 30’. 

Supplied with a similar bulbous front cowl to that on the Bedford goods vehicles the chassis allowed bodybuilders to fit 33 seats, an increase of 4 from the OB. 

Duple worked closely with Bedford in designing their Vega model and achieved the best result in styling round the supplied front cowl. Although the option of an 8’ wide version was added later the original dimensions were 27’ 7” x 7’ 6”. 

The kit is based on this model which was produced in vast numbers until the spring of 1952. 

Using the same 17’ 2” wheelbase Duple then extended the rear overhang to extend the overall length to 28’ 11 3/4” allowing the seating capacity to be increased to 35 or even 37 seats. The external design, based on the Bedford cowl, remained largely the same although the cab side windows were not quite so rounded. An additional small window was inserted at the front of the first bay and the original body ‘moved back’ accordingly. 

 It was to be the end of 1953 before the body was substantially redesigned, eliminating the Bedford cowl and redesigning the front end so that a seat could be fitted in front of the entrance increasing the maximum capacity to 38. 

Most of these coaches were delivered to independent operators. Some found their way into larger fleets as a result of takeovers. 

East Kent bought 2 vehicles new but these were 8’ wide. Additionally the vehicles were bought as body shells and finished by East Kent themselves. 

The distinguishing features of 8’ wide vehicles were the body sides overhanging the chassis ( visible at the wheel  arches ) and the headlamps being slightly offset over the vents rather than more central as on the 7’ 6” wide version.

Master for the BD3:


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