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D302PEV - Story So Far

I’ve noticed a tactic being used by other bus preservationists - they have two vehicles; one for ‘locaI’ events and a second vehicle more suited to longer distance events, usually a coach type vehicle.

I decided some time ago that I’m gonna use my double decker for the more local events as those are the ones where I tend to get involved in running the free bus services. The Dart isn’t suited to long distance runs and so it is to either act as my back up vehicle, or I’ll sacrifice it should something suitable come along for the longer distance events. In the mean time I started to do some research regarding the current whereabouts of any coaches that I’d driven in the past. Unfortunately I found they’d all been scrapped.

Then I remembered the Volvo’s that Harris Bus had. I missed out on driving them in service by just two weeks, but they were proper B10M’s, six speed manuals, very much coach chassis & body yet still buses......and they were operated by one of my former employers & local operators (to me) - Harris Bus. They were the perfect solution but did any still exist? There were only 4 in the fleet and they’re 27 years old........

What were the chances?

I already knew that 303 was destroyed in a fire in 2007, so I wasn’t holding out much hope. Word of my research soon spread though and through a contact at the place where I store my buses, I found out that Mullany’s Coaches in Watford had 302 in their possession and they were prepared to discuss selling it to me. To say I was excited was an understatement. Whilst I’d never driven these vehicles in service, I certainly traveled on them as a child and teeenager.

A price was eventually agreed with Mullany’s and thus I acquired 302 on 1st march 2013.

Having spoken to someone who drove these vehicles when they were new to Harris Bus, I was informed that 302 should be capable of achieving a reasonable speed on motorways - well I’m pleased to report that at 27 years of age she quite happily sits at the legal limit of 70 mph - even going uphill!!!

Here’s a table of what’s occurred so far:

DATE

DETAILS

1st March 2013

Vehicle acquired from Mullany’s Coaches, Watford. Images are here.

1st march 2013

302 went in for her class 5 MOT on the way back from collection at Mullany’s Coaches - she passed with just the one advisory, for a broken exhaust silencer bracket.

April - August 2013

Nearside body & framework found to require extensive restoration work. Images HERE.

Sep 13 - Feb 14

Extensive restoration of body & framework completed on offside. Images HERE.

21st - 25th April 2014

Repaint into original Harris bus livery completed. Link to all the images HERE.

© Colin Thorne 2010 - 2017 (unless stated otherwise)

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