Having gotten some experience under my belt with regard to this bus preservation lark, and with the list of things to do getting less on the Dart, my thoughts had started to turn towards a new preservation project.
Now I had bought the Dart on the basis that I drove it when it was new, so it was therefore logical to consider doing some research in relation to another company whose buses I drove when new - I always did like the striking Lime Green & Blue scheme of Harris Bus during the second half of the 90’s. Their Excels were always unreliable though - many have already been scrapped - so I certainly didn’t fancy taking one of those on.
Being as I’ve already got a single decker I felt a double decker might be a nice idea, though I always thought the Volvo Olympians with their East Lancs bodies
were are the ugliest vehicles to ever hit the road. Harris Bus had 8 DAF double deckers; their Northern Counties bodies looked good in my opinion and as far as I remember they were a nice drive.
Following some extensive research speculative emails were sent out in June 2012. I had a mixed response, with some companies not willing to entertain any discussion and others only prepared to agree to my maintaining an interest in their vehicle. One company - Sanders Coaches - however was most accommodating and negotiations thus proceeded with a view to my purchasing P335ROO, this being achieved in August 2012.
The chief reason for my acquiring 335 is no doubt due to the fact she’d been off the road for a while with a failed angle drive - this meant I had to have her towed from Norfolk back to Essex. Happily Sanders were also able to supply a spare angle drive - I just need to engage a specialist to have it fitted. Sadly that angle drive was supplied by another ex Harris DAF, M649RCP. Her engine had previously blown up and she’s now been so heavily canniblised that she’ll never be on the road again. At least I have a source of potential spare parts though.
Given that 335 is in much better condition that the Dart was when I acquired that - this one has all its ORIGINAL seats!! - I expect she’ll be on the road and re-painted relatively quickly. There may well be less to follow with this one but if you’d like to see how things are going, you should use the table below or click here for the images.
Here’s a table of what’s occurred so far: