AEC REGENT III - 2643
After World War II, a total of 845 double decker bus chassis were ordered by the Department of Road Transport & Tramways from the firms AEC, Albion and Leyland in the UK. AEC ended up supplying 359 Regent III chassis, including the prototype (792). All were fitted with the then-revolutionary pre-selector semi-automatic gearbox.
2643 is one of 50 bodied by Clyde Engineering of Granville. It entered service on March 27, 1953. It is fitted with a front air door, allowing quicker loading & unloading of downstairs passengers in a safer manner than with the previous canvas doors.
Initially allocated to Kingsgrove depot but was 2643 only there very briefly before being sent to the Eastern Suburbs, being based at Waverley, Randwick and Pagewood depots for various periods.
In 1973, whilst based at Pagewood depot, the bus recieved an overhaul at Chullora Bus Workshops and was repainted into the Public Transport Commission livery of blue and white, the livery the then-new Leyland Atlanteans had been delivered in. It was one of only four 'old style' double deckers painted in this livery.
2643 was finally withdrawn from Pagewood depot in April 1976 and was sold to Simes Bus Service of Lismore on NSW's North Coast. Registered MO 7962, the back platform was enclosed with a door to enable driver only operation.
A Museum member purchased the bus in 1984 and restored to PTC condition, including rebuilding the back platform. In the mid-2000s, 2643 underwent another overhaul where framework and body panels were replaced. Early 2014 saw the bus undergo an engine change.
2643 is now fully operational and is one of the Museum's workhorses.
Engine: 9.6 litre OHV AEC diesel engine, bore 4.72", stroke 5.59" developing 125 B.H.P. at 1800 R.P.M.
Transmission: Four speed 'Wilson' pre-selector gearbox to a worm drive differential.
Brakes: Air operated footbrake and a mechanical park brake.