top of page

ALBION VENTURER TYPE 80 - 1187

One of only 15 Albion Venturer chassis acquired by the Department of Road Transport and Tramways (DRTT) between 1934 and 1935, 1187 represents the very early era of Australian double-deck bus design. It features the first double-deck body style built by Waddingtons of Camperdown, the company which would later become Commonwealth Engineering in 1946.

Delivered in May, 1935, 1187 has a composite body which comprises of steel sheeting on a timber frame. With seating for 30 passengers on the upper saloon, and 26 on the lower this was the style which was the forerunner to the 'standard' steel-framed body design produced in large quantities for Sydney and Newcastle in the late 1940s.

Following delivery to the DRTT, 1187 spent much of its Government service at Burwood Depot. Withdrawn in August, 1948, it was then sold to Punchbowl Bus Company in March, 1949 and re-registered as M/O 076. Punchbowl subsequently sold the vehicle for use as a mobile totalisator at Moe Racecourse in Victoria's Latrobe Valley. In 1968 a private buyer then obtained the ageing bus for use as a shed and eventual kid's cubbyhouse. 

Through an exhaustive search, a Museum Member tracked down 1187 in 1982, with the bus being purchased from its previous owners for preservation the following year in late 1983. The weather-beaten bodywork required special bracing and special preparation before a marathon 36-hour trip behind a tow truck to return the Albion to Sydney.

 

With the aide of an Australian Bicentennial grant, 1187 underwent a complete body restoration in 1988. Finished in as-delivered DRTT red and cream livery with full lining, 1187 is the oldest double-deck bus in the Museum collection.

 

1187 remains non-operational, as a replacement engine and radiator are still required to return the exhibit to complete original condition. It forms a central part of our permanent display, showcasing the nature of the DRTT's first purpose-built vehicle designs. 

Specifications:

Engine: Gardener 6LW 8.5 litre 6-cylinder diesel.

Transmission: Four-speed 'crash' constant-mesh gearbox to a worm-drive differential. 

Brakes: Vacuum operated footbrake and a mechanical park brake to the rear wheels.

1187 in the former Museum yard at Tempe Depot following completion of body restoration works, 1988. SBM Archives.

1187 in the former Museum yard at Tempe Depot following completion of body restoration works, 1988. SBM Archives.

1187 still under restoration aside Dennis Lancet 1492 in the former Museum at Tempe Depot, 1987. SBM Archives.

1187 still under restoration aside Dennis Lancet 1492 in the former Museum at Tempe Depot, 1987. SBM Archives.

bottom of page