The AEC Regent V was introduced in 1955. Although generally characterised by a full-width
bonnet front end and concealed radiator, this was not the essential distinguishing
feature of the model compared to its predecessor the Regent III. Some late examples
of the Regent III were fitted with the Regent V style front end and conversely the
traditional exposed radiator remained as an option on the Regent V. Some features
were particular to one or other model. The AV series engine was offered only in the
Regent V range while the preselector epicyclic gearbox found in some Regent Ills
was replaced by AEC's "Monocontrol" direct selection epicyclic gearbox as an option
for the Regent V. However, particularly with the 9.6 litre synchromesh models, the
difference could be a subtle as the width of the springs and dumbirons.
Leeds was a major customer for the Regent V and up to 1960 favoured the exposed radiator
version, of which some 164 were received. These were followed by 60 with concealed
radiators after AEC withdrew the exposed radiator option.
All the Leeds Regent Vs were fitted with the epicyclic gearbox and air brakes and
from 1960 onwards were to 30ft length. All but 14 had bodies built in the city by
Charles Roe, the exceptions being by Metro-Cammell. The Regent V was not the exclusive
Leeds standard despite 204 being supplied between 1956 and 1966 as batches of Leyland
PD3 and Daimler CVG6 were also purchased in this period.
980 is an example of Leeds' last batch of Regent Vs. It entered service in January
1966 registered ENW 980D although it had originally been allocated DUM 980C. It passed
to the West Yorkshire PTE in 1974 and was withdrawn on 20th December 1975.
Former Leeds buses have not commonly been sold for further service but 980 is one
of the exceptions to this rule. After sale to a dealer, it was purchased in April
1976 by Dodds of Troon, a member of the AA Motor Services consortium. It received
AA's green and cream livery with fleet number DT20.
After withdrawal by AA, 980 was secured for preservation in spring 1979 by David
Gray, a member of the Lincolnshire Vintage Vehicle Society and was rallied for a
while in AA colours. At Lincoln it joined another Leeds Regent V (952: 952 JUB) in
the Society's collection. 980 was however resold to the Leeds Regent Preservation
Group in August 1988 and has been stored at Keighley Bus Museum since August 1994.
XYJ 418: London Routemaster
"RM 736" first went into service in 1961 at Edmonton Garage in London before serving
successively at Stamford Hill, Wood Green, West Ham, Shepherd’s Bush, Hanwell, Cricklewood,
Hackney, New Cross, Peckham, Thornton Heath, Stockwell and Brixton.
RM 736 was in regular service on London routes 19, 137 and 159 until mid July 2004
and has since been in store until the auction in December.
Purchased on the 4th December 2004 through the generosity of a KBMT member, it was
driven North up the A1 by Member Andy Richardson and reached Keighley on the evening
of Sunday 5th . RM 736 will be owned by the Trust, which plans to overhaul it ready
for service in the autumn 2005 as a Class 6 vehicle available for private hire work
at weddings and galas.The restoration is still continuing and on schedule.