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Representing the first style of buses designed for driver-only operation by the Department of Road Transport and Tramways (DRTT) to cut labour costs, 2669 is one of the 172 '31-seaters' delivered between 1951 and 1955.

Commonwealth Engineering of Granville built bodies with slight variations on chassis from three manufacturers, comprising of 84 Leylands, 68 AECs, and 20 Daimlers. These small buses replaced the last pre-war 'half-cab' type single-decker buses on routes which were either unsuitable for double-deckers, or where the patronage was so light that they were not warranted.

The DRTT had initially intended the order of 20 Daimler chassis to be bodied as double-deckers, however, the 20 COG6 chassis originally delivered for bodying in 1946 did not comply with DRTT specifications, nor did the replacement 20 CVG6 chassis which arrived in 1948.


When the supplier advised the Department in 1950 that the third batch of 20 chassis would be delivered with modifications, including a smaller than originally specified engine, the DRTT conceded and it was decided to have the chassis bodied as single-deckers. 

In service, problems associated with the Daimler's unique hydraulic system required rectification and redesign, leading to claims, and counter-claims by customer and supplier. However, the major concerns arose from drivers, whose complaints about the vehicles' brakes, gearbox and excessive engine heat never subsided. A dispute in 1960 resulted in the bus type being banned for a period, following which they were only used during peak periods. 

All 20 Daimlers spent their final years at Brookvale Depot. As the first 31-seaters to be removed from service, the unpopular vehicles were sold between 1971 and 1973 - with none going to private operators for further use. 2669 was withdrawn in September, 1973, and received its first overhaul not at a Government works, but in the hands of Museum Members in January, 1988.

2669 was kept operational throughout the 1980s and 1990s, appearing at numerous Museum events and running days. The exhibit is currently awaiting further work to the hydraulic systems before being returned to operational condition.


Engine: Gardener 6LW 6-cylinder diesel.


Transmission: Daimler-Wilson 4-speed pre-selector gearbox.


Brakes: Hydraulic assisted, and a mechanical park brake to the rear wheels.  

2669 on an enthusiasts' tour at Mosman Wharf with the Lady McKell in the background, April 24, 1971.

2669 on an enthusiasts' tour at Mosman Wharf with the Lady McKell in the background, April 24, 1971.

John Ward SBM Archives.

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