DAF P337ROO was acquired on 20th March 2014 from TM Travel of Halfway, Sheffield, and thus entered preservation from that date. It was initially rallied during the 2014 season in its as withdrawn TM Travel livery (with permission) but was quickly put into Harris Bus Green & Blue.
The vehicle has Northern Counties Palatine 2 double deck bodywork and was new to Harris Bus in May 1997 alongside my former DAF, P335ROO.
As with 335, when 337 was new Harris Bus were making extensive use of localised branding and thus 337 became part of the Ilford Link group of vehicles operating routes under contract to London Transport in that area. Although Harris Bus vehicles carried local identities, their vehicles often strayed onto other routes in other areas; the DAF’s were never popular with drivers on the London work as they didn’t have assault screens fitted (unlike the mainstay of Ilford fleet of vehicles, the Volvo Olympians with their East Lancs bodies).
As far as I’m aware, P337ROO is the Third former Harris Bus vehicle in preservation - the first being Fred Lawrance’s very well presented Leyland PD3 BUF426C, and the other is my Volvo D302PEV.
Whilst I’ve restored the vehicle to it’s original Green & Blue Harris Bus livery, I’ve used some ‘artistic licence’. Given that the centre exit doors won’t be put back in (cost far outweighs any justification), and that I also quite like the flexibility offered by the electronic blind; I’ve decided to put the word “Thurrock” on the side rather than the original “Ilford” - the idea being that I’m showing what I think Harris Bus might have done once the vehicle was finished on its London contract work. If you’re a Harris Bus expert you’ll know that the DAF’s never carried Thurrock link branding on their sides, but I hope the enthusiast community will embrace the compromise.........if nothing else it certainly shows the clever flexibility of the livery!
P337ROO is insured to carry passengers on free services at bus rallies & road running days (I have a PCV driving licence), so you could be in with a chance of having a free ride if you’re very lucky!!
Clacton & Canvey rallies are always good bets as I always run whichever vehicle I take in service as much as I can get away with!