Tuesday, 22 May 2012

LUF828 seating - May 2012

When the former Southdown bus garage at Hilsea closed down many years ago, the then owners held an auction of the contents. We attended, and one of the items we purchased was an original reclining seat first fitted to the Royal Tiger coaches of which 1828 was one. This 1964 brochure gives some idea of what the seats looked like (though not fitted to a Royal Tiger).

We are currently restoring this seat using material remade to the original design The frame can be seen here laid on its back in a dismantled state.

Once repairs to the frame were completed, the seat was reassembled and subsequently displayed at the Amberley Museum, Sussex, 'Harrington vehicle gathering' on Sunday 3rd June, 2012.

A close up of the moquette is seen here. There is a surplus of this material and we are offering this for sale. Interested persons please enquire though our main website.

Monday, 14 May 2012

PUF161H - 2012 update

Dual purpose single deck number 461 (PUF161H) was delivered new in 1969 to Southdown Motor Services, Sussex. The chassis is a Leyland Leopard PSU3 with bodywork by Northern Counties of Wigan.

The vehicle is classed as 'dual purpose', a build specification which meant it could either be used as a coach or an ordinary service bus. It is fitted with 49 'high back' seats, 2 of which can be removed to provide luggage space. Regrettably the vehicle has been out of service for many years and requires complete overhaul which is unlikely to start until after coach 1749 is completed.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

406DCD - 2008 in retrospect

406 is a Leyland Titan PD3 with Northern Counties bodywork and was built in 1964 as one of a batch of 25 convertible open/closed-top vehicles - the detachable roof making this is a particularly unusual vehicle. This bus, the first in our collection, was bought by us back in 1988 from its original owner Southdown Motor Services. Since then, we have carried out a constant restoration and refurbishment process.

This is a retrospective report of the work carried out to the top deck of the bus in early 2008. At that time the linoleum floor covering was showing signs of wear and had started to leak water; not a good idea on an open-top bus! The first thing to do was to remove the seating.

Once the seats were out of the way, the old floor covering could be removed and minor repairs to the plywood floor and aluminium cove panels completed.

The the new linoleum was laid out and cut to size.

Once this had been laid and the floor treads added, the seating could be installed.

Later in the same year, the staircase was rebuilt and the platform repaired and recovered. The view here is looking from the upper saloon down the staircase with just the steel supports showing.

The same view after the refurbishment.

The platform stripped down.

And again, after the refurbishment.

LUF828 - 2011 report

1828 was delivered new in 1952 to Southdown Motor Services, Sussex, for use on their luxury tours and excursions. The chassis is a Leyland Royal Tiger with Wayfarer 1 bodywork by Harrington of Hove. As can be seen from these pictures, the coach is now in almost derelict condition.

Fortunately, many of the original features survive and it is our firm intention to fully restore the vehicle which is now kept in covered accommodation. Further, a generous well-wisher has  made funds available to enable some work to start. Seen below in February 2011 is a newly fabricated stress section which supports the body pillars over the rear wheel-arch.

Although this represents some progress, this vehicle is not our main restoration project yet and is likely to take many years to complete. Occasional jobs are tackled as funds and time allow. These pictures of the interior will give you some idea of the scale of the challenge.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

954CUF - March 2012

New in 1964 to Southdown Motor Services of Sussex, this bus was one of a batch of 25 similar 69 seat vehicles from that year. We bought the bus in 1991 and following a period in store, 954 has undergone a complete refurbishment to the original 1964 specification. This fine vehicle is the very last survivor of the original batch still available for hire to the general public.

In March 2012, 954 is seen undergoing routine maintenance to the front axle and during removal of the steering box prior to having a refurbished replacement fitted.

The inside of the cab showing part of the floor lifted and minus the steering column.

HCD350E - Winter 2011/2012 cab repairs

Originally new in 1967 to Southdown Motor Services of Sussex, this unique vehicle, (now the only one of its type still available for regular private hire), was bought by us early in 1993. Numbered 350, the bus is a Leyland Titan PD3 with Northern Counties 'Panoramic' double-deck bodywork and was one of a batch of 24 vehicles.

We continue to restore the bus to its former glory during the winter months, whilst still making it available for hire each summer season. 

Winter 2011/12 work.
As part of continuing restoration work, we have renewed the framework supporting the upper saloon floor over the cab area. The front end of the bus was completely stripped away to reveal the original steel frame. The bus is seen not long after the repairs were started in October 2011.

Once the existing frame was cut away, newly fabricated section was welded in and painted.

The upper saloon floor and cab ceiling are formed from the same sheet of plywood. The next picture shows the view down into the cab from above after the ply had been removed.

By the January 2012, the new floor was in place and other repairs completed in readiness for laying of the traditional 'Treadmaster' rubber impregnated cork flooring.

By the 22nd May 2012, the work had been completed. Here is the upper saloon.

And the view underneath in the cab.


Welcome to our new Southcoast Motor Services blog. We intend posting regular reports of the extensive behind the scenes work which will ensure the future availability of our vintage buses and coaches for many years to come. We plan to show you some of the painstaking rebuilding work currently taking place on our service fleet and on our latest major project, plus occasional reviews of improvements previously carried out.

You can visit our main site at www.southcoastmotorservices.co.uk