Best of British Buses, The No 10 Post-war Regents 1945-1968 by Alan Townsin HC
Best of British Buses, The No 10 Post-war Regents 1945-1968 by Alan Townsin HC
Best of British Buses, The No 10 Post-war Regents 1945-1968 by Alan Townsin HC
Best of British Buses, The No 10 Post-war Regents 1945-1968 by Alan Townsin HC
Best of British Buses, The No 10 Post-war Regents 1945-1968 by Alan Townsin HC
Best of British Buses, The No 10 Post-war Regents 1945-1968 by Alan Townsin HC
Best of British Buses, The No 10 Post-war Regents 1945-1968 by Alan Townsin HC
Best of British Buses, The No 10 Post-war Regents 1945-1968 by Alan Townsin HC

Best of British Buses, The No 10 Post-war Regents 1945-1968 by Alan Townsin HC

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Best of British Buses, The No 10 Post-war Regents 1945-1968 by Alan Townsin HC
 
Best of British Buses, The   No 10 Post-war Regents 1945-1968 by Alan Townsin
Hard Cover
96 pages
Copyright 1986

CONTENTS
Introduction   4
1. Regent II 1945-47   6
2. The post-war RT   15
3. The `provincial' Regent III   26
4. Underfloor interlude, 1950   37
5. 27ft. Regent models 1950-57   41
6. New look Regents 1952-56   51
7. Regent V takes over 1954-56   54
8. Enter the 30ft. Regent 1956-59    62
9. Regents of the 'sixties    69
10. The left-handers    77
11. Post-war Regents in retrospect    84
Acknowledgements and Photocredits    96

INTRODUCTION
Introduction
Not only bus enthusiasts but many drivers, mechanics and managers have a soft spot for the AEC Regent in one or other of its post-war forms, among which the London RT type is particularly prominent. This is partly simple nostalgia, compounded by the demise in 1979 of AEC itself, but it is also based on respect for a series of designs which combined technical advances with immense potential durability and ease of maintenance.
Even so, it is easy to forget just how successful was the Regent range, as built between 1945 and 1968. The total of over 13,000 vehicles built was second among double-deck types only to that of the Leyland Titan range which was its major rival. Inevitably the merger of AEC with Leyland in 1962 led to the overshadowing of the former by the latter, but the Regent's golden days had really ended with the close of the Regent III era in the mid 'fifties.
Though very much in tune with the down-to-earth needs of the immediate post-war period, the Regent II of 1945-47 was really the pre-war model in its final form with a mildly updated brake system. It was the Regent III that captured much of the industry's imagination, even though it took many of the 'non-believers' up to 20 years to accept that its key features-generous engine size, an air pressure brake system and transmission incorporating a fluid coupling and epicyclic gearbox-represented the logical way forward.
The credit for the Regent III must be shared to a large extent with London Transport. AEC had originally been set up specifically to build buses for London service and though the formation of LT in 1933 had broken the direct relationship, co-operation was to remain close until the 'sixties. The RT type had that characteristic blend of advanced concepts and severely practical detail work long typical of LT's Chiswick-based engineering department. It also looked `right' in a way which meant that it still did not seem out of place on the streets 40 years after the first complete example appeared in 1939.
Yet the RT, and in particular its air brake system, might have seemed a troublesome white elephant had the war not provided time to overcome the shortcomings which are apt to be found when there is genuine innovation. As it was, by the time volume production got under way to meet London's large post-war need, it was a well-proved model, as demonstrated by the lack of major design changes during the manufacture of 4,674 post-war RT chassis for London service over the 1946-54 period.
AEC's provincial and export Regent III models gained from this solid production and design basis, even though differing both in appearance and, to a varying degree, in specification. When RT output ended in 1954, the combined total of over 8,000 post-war 9.6-litre Regent III models was several hundred in front of Leyland's output over the same period of the PD2 range (including London RTL and RTW as well as export versions).
Yet the huge London Transport business gave AEC a slightly `unreal' advantage and when London's need for new buses temporarily collapsed, AEC output of double-deckers dropped quite sharply. Moreover, Chiswick was now demanding another technical leap forward with the Routemaster and AEC did not manage, this time, to reconcile it with pressure from other parts of the operating industry, notably the BET group, for a simpler and cheaper type of bus.
So the Regent V was introduced and virtually left to soldier on-even such promotional support as it got concentrated on the lightweight end of the range, yet it was the heavier version, more in the Mark III tradition, that was to be the long-term success, admittedly largely due to the need to introduce a 30ft. option. Exports played a much bigger part in the Mark V story, with the investment in properly designed left-hand models paying off to an unrivalled degree. In the event, the Regent V outsold its more technically advanced AEC stablemates, the Routemaster, Bridgemaster and Renown, taken together.
This book is intended as a record of some very solid achievements as well as a series of models that were favourite to many.

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