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Leyland PD2/12 East Lancs 'Highbridge' body 'Southdown'

In June 1946 it was announced that a new 0.600 oil engine of 9.8 litres was soon to go into production, and that it would require no more fuel than the 7.4. In May 1947 194711 a new “PD2” chassis was announced, using this engine, and with a new synchromesh gearbox, the first heavy-duty one on the British market. The PD2 became one of the most successful British bus designs ever, and many thousands were made over the next 22 years. Variations in 1947 were: “PD2/1” with 16 ft. 3 in.  wheelbase for 26 ft. x 7 ft. 6 in. length and width; “PD2 /3” the same but 8 ft. wide; and “OPD2/ 1” with 17 ft. 6 in. wheelbase for overseas 27 ft. 6 in. x 8 ft.  bodywork. Five PD/S to these larger dimensions, and seating 66 instead of 56, had recently entered service in Dublin, Ireland, as a foretaste of what was not yet allowed in Britain but soon would be. As soon as the 27ft. length was allowed in Britain, from 1 June 1950 onwards, Leyland increased the home PD2 wheelbase to 16ft. 5in., and produced the 7ft. 6in. wide “PD2/1O” and “PD2/ 11” chassis with vacuum and air brakes respectively; also the 8 ft. wide “PD2/12” and “PD2/13” with vacuum and air brakes.

In 1956/7  Southdown took delivery of a batch of Leyland Titan PD2/12 with East Lancs bodies. Obviously based on Southdown’s individual requirements they were similar in general appearance to previous batches with Park Royal (765-776) and Beadle (777-788)  bodies delivered in 1955-56. They were the last double deck buses to be delivered with rear entrances and also in fully lined out livery. They featured a sliding rear door which retracted in 2 parts and was thus able to fit behind the rear axle. 

789-812 RUF 189-212   H31/28RD

Subsequent operators included;

Tyne Valley Coaches, Acomb.
Connor & Graham, Easington
Boon, Boreham
Avro, Corringham

 805 is preserved.


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