Classic Buses Profiles

CITY OF OXFORD AEC REGALS


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Last updated 12 January 2016

This brain-scrambling colour scheme welcomes you to the City of Oxford Motor Services in our album of buses from the past. Oxford was always a good customer for the AEC Regal, and we examine their acquisitions from the 1930s to the 1950s.

City of Oxford AEC Regal OJO 727

AEC Regal III No 727 (OJO 727) seen on a special visit to the Willowbrook coachwork factory in 1975. Photo kindly supplied by Phil Norris.

The City of Oxford Motor Services has a noble history, being directly descended from a horse bus operation in the city from 1880, and the introduction of motor buses in 1913. From the late 1920s City of Oxford became almost exclusively associated with AEC products and, for example, in 1960 the fleet was entirely made up of AEC Regents, Regals and Reliances. So faithful were Oxford to the Regal, that eleven separate orders were placed during the 1930s.

In the 1950s and 60s the service had two liveries, one of which is supposed to be represented by the colour scheme on this page. Buses were red, with lining in a blue/green/grey colour (sometimes described as duck-egg blue, and sometimes as duck-egg green !), black wheels and wings and maroon roofs, while the coaches were cream with maroon roofs, wheels and lining. Oxford had a reputation for keeping their vehicles in a smart condition.

Two of the Regals survive, and details are given below. Photographs are shown of both vehicles, which can be found at the Oxford Bus Museum. They are both in first class order, and congratulations are due to the guys that brought them back to such a fine condition. The Oxford Bus Museum Trust is at Long Hanborough, Oxfordshire, next to the railway station.

The fleet list below is arranged in order of the year of delivery, which often bears little relationship to the fleet number. In fact, some of the pre-war allocated fleet numbers bordered on the incomprehensible at times, and I hope this list will attempt to unravel the mysteries of the system. As might be expected from this page, I have stopped recording deliveries at the point in 1952 when a batch of underfloor-engined Regal IV coaches were delivered, because this page only covers the halfcabs.

City of Oxford No.703

This photo was kindly supplied by David Beardmore and shows No.703 (NJO 703) at Showbus, Duxford in September 1996. This is the only one of the 1949 batch of Regals to survive. Retired in 1959 it was sold as staff transport to an engineering firm. In 1967 it was then purchased by a preservation group for the princely sum of £163.50. Later its ownership was transferred to the Oxford Bus Museum.

For more information about Oxford Buses visit the Oxford & Chilterns Bus Page . Many thanks to David Root for all his help in getting the facts straight, and to Martin Shaw for additional details.

As always, I'm sure mistakes have crept in, and some relevant information may be missing so, in order to make it as accurate a reference as possible, I would of course welcome any additions or corrections.


FLEET LIST

===============

AEC REGAL I  -  171-176 (Total 6)

Delivered: May 1931

Chassis: AEC Regal I, O662

Body: Park Royal C28D


AEC REGAL 4 -  GC41-46 (Total 6)

Delivered: July 1932

Chassis: AEC Regal 4, 5.1 litre engine

Body: Weymann B32F

Notes: Originally numbered just 41-46.


AEC REGAL 4 -  56-61 (Total 6)

Delivered: August 1933

Chassis: AEC Regal 4, 5.1 litre engine

Body: Weymann B32F


AEC REGAL II  -  J177-182 (Total 6)

Delivered: May 1935

Chassis: AEC Regal II O662, A171 engine (7.7 litre).

Body: Park Royal B32F


AEC REGAL  -  J74-89  (not consecutive) (Total 6)

Delivered: May-June 1935

Chassis: AEC Regal O662, A171 engine (7.7 litre).

Body: Weymann B32F


AEC REGAL I -  J12-159  (not consecutive) (Total 9)

Delivered: March - June 1936

Chassis: AEC Regal I O662, A171 engine (7.7 litre).

Body: Park Royal B32F

Notes: All gone by 1954.

A wartime picture (or at least the white blackout flashes on the front mudguards are still in evidence), also at Gloucester Green bus station. Regal J12 (CFC 778 was new in 1936 and withdrawn in 1950. The photographer is unknown but the picture is from the Chris Stanley collection.


AEC REGAL I   -  J1-J111 (not consecutive) (Total 15)

Delivered: April 1937

Chassis: AEC Regal O662, A171 engine (7.7 litre).

Body: Weymann 32-seat front-entrance bus bodies with roof luggage pannier (106-111 were DP32F).

Notes: This series originally had the prefix 'J' before the fleet number. This was later altered to 'JD' ('D' standing for 'Direct Injection'), although the dual-purpose vehicles (106-111) were 'JA'; finally the prefix was disused from 1946. All this batch had been sold by 1957.


AEC REGAL I  -  J7-J115 (not consecutive) (Total 4)

Delivered: May 1938

Chassis: AEC Regal I, O662, A171 engine (7.7 litre).

Body: Weymann 32-seat front-entrance bus bodies.

Notes: All gone by 1957.


AEC REGAL  -  EA/EB 63-66  (Total 4)

City of Oxford Regal EA63

Another wartime picture. EA63 (HFC 410) with 'blackout' headlamp masks and white paint on the wings and dumb irons, about to depart for Bedford. Photo, probably taken in 1942, by kind permission of the Omnibus Society, No.77.1359.

Martin Shaw adds; "HFC 410 was also at Gloucester Green bus station, but on the bit that coaches used, ie South Midland and United Counties, etc. This bus is on the Bedford service which had been taken over from G O Gammond (Blue Bus Service) of Bedford, jointly with Eastern National in January 1942. Eastern National operated the Bedford area until 1952 when it all went to United Counties."

Delivered: April/May 1939

Chassis: AEC Regal I, O662

Body: Weymann B32F (63 and 64 were Dual Purpose).

Notes: All sold by 1957.
Dave Farrier emailed me to say that EB66 (HFC 413) went to Malta and became "Y-0349" with a new locally-built body by Barbara. Dave identified it there in 1991, but its eventual fate is not known. He has a photo of it in green livery.


AEC REGAL  -  EB 47-149 (not consecutive) (Total 5)

City of Oxford Regal EB148

Yet another wartime picture, probably taken in 1942, this time of EB148 (JFC 779) at Reading railway station, heading back into Oxford on route 34. Curiously it wears its fleet number on a board mounted in slots in the front passenger saloon window. As the ubiquitous serviceman departs to the right, a bowler-hatted gentleman disembarks with briefcase and brolly. Oxford was fortunate that this bus was virtually new at the time; a very small number of Regals were supplied to customers in 1940 but no more were to appear until the end of hostilities. Photo by kind permission of the Omnibus Society, No.77.1358.

Delivered: March 1940

Chassis: AEC Regal O662

Body: Weymann B32F

Notes: All gone by 1957.


AEC REGAL III   -  601-606 (Total 6)

Delivered: 1948

Chassis: AEC Regal III 9621A, 9.6 litre engines and crash gearboxes.

Body: Modified Duple 'A' style 32-seat front-entrance coach bodies.

Notes: According to my records, I saw all of these in 1962 except No.605. Probably this would have been at Victoria Coach Station, as the whole batch were on loan to Black & White Motorways for the summer of 1962.

City of Oxford No.602

Another Roger Hardy photo, taken around 1961. This is No.602 (MWL 995) near Digbeth Coach Station, Birmingham.


AEC REGAL III   -  701-720 (Total 20)

Delivered: 1949/50

Chassis: AEC Regal III 9621A, 9.6 litre engine and 'crash' gearboxes.

Body: Willowbrook 32-seat front-entrance buses. Entrances had recessed, automatic doors at the top of the steps. (701-710 were dual-purpose).

City of Oxford No.716

This is Oxford AEC Regal III No.716 (NJO 716) built in 1949. Its sister No.703 (NJO 703) is shown at the top of the page, and has been preserved by The Oxford Museum. The photo was taken by Roger Hardy in Gloucester Green Bus Station, on what was known as "The Patch", in (he thinks) 1961. If so, this would probably be nearing the very end of its life with C.O.M.S., as the whole batch had been withdrawn by the end of 1962.


AEC REGAL III   -  721-729 (Total 9)

Delivered: c.April 1950

Chassis: AEC Regal III 9621A, 9.6 litre engine and 'crash' gearbox.

Body: Willowbrook Dual-purpose 32-seat front-entrance bodies.

Notes: These were the last halfcab Regals purchased, and were virtually identical to the previous delivery. The most visible difference was that the automatic doors were at the foot of the steps, rather than recessed at the top. The entire batch was sold in 1963, but all went on to other operators and continued to earn a living. One has survived to the present day, as shown below;

City of Oxford No.727

This photo was kindly supplied by David Beardmore and shows No.727 (OJO 727) from the 1950 delivery (the only survivor from the batch), which is preserved at Islip by Graham Wareham. It is seen here at Sandtoft in July 1992.


TOTAL 103 ( with 3 Survivors, EB66, 703 & 727 )

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