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Leyland Olympic 1950

In 1948, Leyland and the MCW sales organisation concluded a twenty-year agreement that they would exclusively collaborate on integral designs and favour one another with body-on-chassis business. Their idea was that an under-frame comprising durable Leyland engines and other mechanical units would be permanently attached to a similarly heavy-duty body structure. This idea became the Leyland-MCW Olympic and was built over three series from 1949.

Although very successful as an export model the home market versions did not attract the sales hoped for as operators preferred the Royal Tiger chassis which shared the same running units but allowed them to have their choice of bodybuilder. As operators became more concerned about fuel consumption and looked for lighter vehicles the Olympic fell further out of favour and was deleted from the home catalogue as the Olympian, based on Tiger Cub running units, took over the ‘integral’ role for Leyland with no more success. 

The first Olympics were the HR40 variant with dimensions of 27’6” x 7’6”. The change in legislation allowing for longer vehicles led to the HR44 variant being produced allowing 44 seats in its 30’ length. 8’ became the standard width. The wheelbase remained the same, the front and rear overhangs being extended. 

The kit represents the Ribble version which had a rear number box. A check of photographs will be needed to confirm whether any operators had this feature. UK operators taking delivery of the HR44 version include; 

Demonstrator                                                    RPA 771                                           B44F(later Sheffield Corporation 211)
Fishwick, Leyland             9,10,22,12-13,27  MTD 513-5/NTC 231-2/NTD 516 B44F
Ribble                                248-277                  DRN 112-141                                   B44F
Sheffield Corporation     226-228                 NWA 926-928                                   B44F
Yorkshire Woollen           689-692                HD 8542-8546                                   B44F 

Vehicles with the same body but with different seating arrangements were; 

Fishwick, Leyland              16-17                     NTC 233-4                                        DP40F
Jennings, Ashen                                               SPU 985                                             DP40F
 Yorkshire Woollen           735-739               HD 9126-9130                                   B42F 

Vehicles to the same basic design but with a modified destination box were delivered to ; 

North Western                  396-397                EDB 323-324                                      B44F
Western Welsh                404-413                 FUH 404-413                                      B44F 

A vehicle with an additional door behind the rear axle was delivered to; 

Stockton Corporation      26                         MPT 858                                               B41D    (later converted to B41F) 

A further vehicle with open rear, ‘cut away’, platform was delivered to Edinburgh; 

Edinburgh Corporation    802                      JFS 525                                                  B32RP
(later converted to a front entrance 36 seat coach) 

Subsequent operators include McLennan, Spittalfield andUTA (later Ulsterbus) who took some former Ribble vehicles. 

Some vehicles, notably those of Fishwick, were modified during their existence so reference to photographs is essential to depict a particular vehicle at different periods in its life.


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