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MERCEDES-BENZ O305 MARK IV - 2728

Between 1977 and 1990, the bulk of the Public Transport Commission/Urban Transit Authority's (PTC/UTA) new buses were German made Mercedes-Benz and MAN chassis, bodied locally to VOV-standard designs by Pressed Metal Corporation (PMC), Smithfield.

 

The fourth generation of Mercedes-Benz, delivered between 1983 and 1987 totalling 355 buses, were known as the 'Mark IV'. The prototype bus was numbered 2717, and the deliveries were allocated fleet numbers 2728 to 3082, with the exception of 3071 being the Mark V prototype.

 

The Mark IVs were bodied to the VOV 'Stadt 80' design, featuring a much squarer design compared to the earlier examples. The windscreens are curved at the sides to eliminate the A pillars that had created a large blind spot.

 

Mark IVs also had a larger destination display, and whilst most were delivered with roller blinds, 20 vehicles (the odd-numbered buses between 2761 and 2799) were delivered with STC-Canon flipdot destination signs. These soon proved troublesome in service, and all were converted to standard roller blinds after their time on the new Route 400 had finished.

 

The Mark IVs were delivered in an attractive livery of all over ivory, with dark navy blue window surround and mid blue stripes under the saloon windows. All ended service in the STA corporate livery of blue and white, with a red stripe by the early 2000s, and some later received repaints into the 'John Lee' corporate livery with no red stripe.

 

Major modifications to the Mark IVs included the removal of a window on the nearside behind the rear door, due to concerns about the structural integrity of the design, and the removal of the lower 'Number 3' destination box.

 

The Museum's example, 2728, was the first production Mark IV. PMC completed the body in May, 1984 with an official handover to the UTA at Kingsgrove Depot with 2717 on June 7, 1984. 2728's entry to service was delayed due to union objections regarding drivers air-conditioning and the lack of a vertical exhaust pipe, with it finally entering service at Kingsgrove Depot in August, 1984.

 

In January, 1985 the bus was withdrawn from UTA service, and commence a demonstration tour for Mercedes-Benz, visiting Melbourne and Adelaide. It returned to Kingsgrove Depot from March 7, 1985, and was transferred to Newcastle later that month.

The bus received a repaint into the new STA corporate livery in October, 1993, and was refurbished in October, 1997. December 2003 saw the bus returned to Sydney, allocated to Ryde Depot. The final refurbishment was received in April, 2008.

 

2728 was withdrawn from service at Ryde Depot in May, 2012, and was donated to the Sydney Bus Museum by the STA in July, 2012.

 

Specifications:

Engine: Rear underfloor mounted Mercedes-Benz OM-407H 11-litre 6-cylinder diesel engine developing 147kw at 2200 r.p.m. Bore 125mm, stroke 155mm.

 

Transmission: Three-speed Mercedes-Benz W3D080 automatic gearbox with inbuilt hydraulic retarder to a hub-reduction rear axle assembly.

 

Brakes: Dual circuit air brakes with ABS, gearbox hydraulic retarder and spring applied parking brake. 

2728 at Marsden Park, 2015. Liam Brundle.

2728 at Marsden Park, 2015. Liam Brundle.

VST 2728 and Mark IV 2728 pose together in Newcastle at Port Waratah, 2015. SBM Archives.

VST 2728 and Mark IV 2728 pose together in Newcastle at Port Waratah, 2015. SBM Archives.

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