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Bristol MW ECW Coach 1962

The MW was the mainstay of Bristol single-deck bus and coach output in the late 1950s, and this was to continue to be so until almost the end of production in 1966, even though by then there was a new model, widely praised, also in production but at that stage only in smaller numbers.
 In 1961-2, the MW chassis design was virtually unchanged from the version as first put into production in 1957 and most of the mechanical features were as inherited from the LS, so the roots of the design went back to 1950.
The choice of engines was limited to whether a five- or six-cylinder version of the horizontal HLW range of Gardner unit was fitted, the Bristol option at first also in mind not having been pursued. In general it continued to be usual at that stage for the MW5G with the 5HLW engine to be chosen for bus-bodied examples and the MW6G with 6HLW for coaches, with either for the dual-purpose variants.
There were some exceptions, with the MW5G considered adequate by Eastern Counties for coach as well as bus versions in view of its generally flat terrain, while Red & White had favoured the MW6G as a bus from the beginning, later joined by some examples for United Welsh and, more significantly, Crosville.
The MW was one of those vehicle types which was eminently useful and efficient.  

However, a new ECW coach body design for the MW put it into the pictorial limelight when the first example, based on MW6G chassis 184.014 and registered 1 BXB, was supplied to the Tilling Transport coach fleet based in London in September 1961. It, and two others, on 184.047 and 048 (4 BXB and 5 BXB), had a completely new and controversial design of front-end, with a basically upright profile, though with the divided windscreen made in curved glass and slightly set back from the panels above and below it. The grille was quite small and oval in shape, appearing to have been drawn in inspiration from the ERF lorry cab style as used from 1956.
The new coach design was put into production with slight alterations (including a grille slightly more in the Bristol tradition) for the following season and thus was to be found on 36 ECW≠bodied coaches towards the latter end of 1961. 

Important changes in the legal limits on dimensions of buses and coaches had been proposed at the end of 1960 and came into force on 1st July 1961, the new maximum overall length becoming 36ft while overall width could now be up, it did not hit the headlines as things stood in the early 1960s.

This was partly because Bristolís products had not been available outside the state-owned sector since 1948 and hence it did not advertise its products in the trade press. Even so the editorial staff of the main journals did report the more interesting developments on what might be called technical merit, such as when the Lodekka and the integral≠ construction LS had been introduced.

List of operators with the MW 62 version: 

Eastern Counties


Eastern National


Red & White


Royal Blue


Southern National


Thames Valley




West Yorkshire


Western National


Wilts & Dorset



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