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During the 1930s, the Department of Road Transport & Tramways (DRTT) designed a standard single deck bus design, suitable for fitting to various types of chassis manufactured by various firms in the UK. The design seated 34 passengers, had front & rear entrances and positioned the driver in a separate cabin ahead of the saloon. They became known as the 'half-cab' buses, and 79 examples were built on AEC, Dennis, Leyland and Albion chassis.
Six Dennis single deck chassis were ordered between 1936 and 1938. The first two were bodied by Syd Wood of Bankstown, and the following four by Waddingtons of Granville.
492 was built by Waddingtons on a Dennis Lancet II chassis. It was registered m/o 1492. The bus served out of Burwood and later North Sydney depot.
This bus, and the other three Waddington's buses (1496, 1499 and 1503) had four cylinder Dennis engines, which were difficult to maintain, made worse by the impossibility of getting spare parts from the UK during World War II. Accordingly, they did very little mileage and 1492 was withdrawn in June 1947 after accruing only 137,584 miles.
It then spent two years languishing at Leichhardt Bus Workshops (now the site of the Museum), and in 1949 was sold to Punchbowl Bus Co. West Bankstown Bus Service acquired it from Punchbowl in the early 1950s, who ran it until it was finally retired in 1958. The bus was then sold to a grazier at Warren in country NSW for use as a hay shed.
In 1978, the body shell and chassis was discovered and arrangements were made to tow it to Sydney. Restoration was completed with grants from the Australian Bi-Centennial Committee, the NSW Heritage Council and through volunteer work from the Museum.
The problematic Dennis engine was replaced with a Perkins diesel during restoration, however the bus is currently off the road awaiting some further work.
6.5 litre Four cylinder Dennis diesel engine, bore 4.6", stroke 5.9" developing 82 B.H.P.
Five speed synchromesh with overdriv to a worm drive differential.
Lockheed hydraulic assisted by a Dewandre vacuum servo.