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MELBOURNE AEC REGAL III - 352

Between 1951 and 1954, AEC (Associated Equipment Company) supplied 135 chassis to the Melbourne & Metropolitan Tramways Board, who operated a fleet of nearly 300 buses in addition to its electric trams.

 

The Museum's example was bodied by the Commonwealth Engineering company of Granville, Sydney, completed on the 3rd of March, 1952. It was then forwarded to Melbourne and commenced operation from Doncaster depot in the outer eastern suburbs as fleet number 352.

 

An industrial dispute regarding conversion of some buses to one-man/driver only operation saw the body of some buses shortened after the rear wheel to lower the vehicles' capacity. These rebuilt buses became known as 'bob-tails', of which 352 is an example.

Following withdrawal from service in Melbourne, 352 was one of three buses purchased by the engineering firm Simon Carves for transport of employees to construction sites. All three ended up in Sydney, and a syndicate of bus enthusiasts inspected the buses and in 1982 purchased 352 as it was judged to be in the best condition.

 

A full restoration took place under the leadership of Bob James, and ownership later passed to Bob James and Jim Miller. In 1996 the bus was donated to the Museum.

 

This exhibit is currently awaiting mechanical attention to return it to service.

 

Specifications: 

Engine: 9.6 litre 6-cylinder AEC diesel engine, bore 4.72", stroke 5.59", developing 125 b.h.p. at 1800 r.p.m.

 

Transmission: Air operated 'Wilson' four speed pre-selector gearbox to a worm drive differential.

 

Brakes: Full air operated footbrake and a mechanical hand brake.

Melbourne 352 at the Museum in 2014. Liam Brundle.

Melbourne 352 at the Museum in 2014. Liam Brundle.

MMTB AEC halfcabs 523 and 352 at North Fitzroy Depot, 1970. John Ward, SBM Archives.

MMTB AEC halfcabs 523 and 352 at North Fitzroy Depot, 1970. John Ward, SBM Archives.

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