Dennis Dart J317XVX was my first bus and was originally acquired on 16th October 2010 from a private seller in Weymouth, Dorset, and entered preservation proper from that date. It was rallied for the first time during the 2011 season.
Since then, various vehicles have come and gone under my ownership - indeed this Dart has left and come back into my ownership twice. Bus preservation is an expensive “hobby” and from time to time owners question themselves over their financial commitment.
So J317XVX was was sold for further preservation, for the second time, in August 2017 and went “up North” to Lancashire.
Fast forward to October 2019 and I’d heard the owner in Lancashire had put 317 on eBay. I’ve always been mindful of how rare the Wright Handybus bodywork is in preservation which is why I’ve always bought the vehicle back off the person I’ve sold it to previously......hence no exception on this occasion; I would’ve hated to see it end up in the wrong hands.
During the vehicle’s time away from my ownership it was repainted in the all over Orange livery of former operator Pennine. It had also developed an electrical fault whereby the the low air buzzer would sound whenever the handbrake was applied. I also discovered the front & rear sidelights weren’t working on the final part of the journey from Lancashire back to Essex.
Having investigated the electrical problems I’ve since found a number of wires melted together behind the fuse board. Good progress has been made in repairing the damage so the next job is repaint back to original County Bus livery.