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The 1930s was a busy time for the Department of Road Transport & Tramways (DRTT). The compulsory acquisition of many private operators had left the Department with a non-standard fleet of many different mechanical and body makes.

Between 1935 and 1937, Leyland Motors of the UK supplied 42 TD4 chassis - 35 were fitted with constant mesh 'crash' gearboxes, and 7 TD4C with torque converters. The torque converters were a failure, and within a few years all were converted to crash gearboxes.

All were bodied to the same design by Syd Wood, Waddingtons and Clyde Engineering, except for 3 'low-bridge' variants bodied by Syd Wood.

1379 is an example of a Waddingtons bodied bus. It entered service in late June, 1937 at Mosman Depot. In September, 1939 it was transferred to Randwick, then again in September, 1940 to North Sydney. It was then sent to Burwood in late 1941, then to Kingsgrove in 1948, and back to North Sydney in early 1950. It then went back to Burwood in June, 1958, then to Willoughby Depot in July, 1958, and back to Burwood in August of that year, finishing up its Government Transport service as a Driver training vehicle.

It was finally withdrawn from Dept. of Government Transport (DGT) service on the 17th of September, 1961.

Initially sold to an individual at Artarmon for use as a motorhome, it was sold again to a company in Wellington, Central West NSW, and used as a mine engine. There it had a cable attached to the front of the bus, reversing to pull buckets out of a mine. It later went to Yeoval, and was used as accommodation for farm workers. An enthusiast discovered the vehicle in 1975, and together with another enthusiast arranged for it to be towed back to Sydney for preservation in 1984.

Another Member purchased the bus and over the following 20 years completely restored the bus to DRTT condition.

The restoration was complete in early 2007, and the bus made its return to service at the Australia Day Motorfest of that year.


1579 operating at the Transport Heritage Expo, June 9, 2014. John Ward, SBM Archives.



8.6 litre Overhead cam shaft 6 cylinder Leyland diesel engine, bore 4.5", stroke 5.5", developing 82 B.H.P.


Four speed constant mesh 'crash' gearbox to a worm drive differential


Vacuum assisted hydraulic footbrake and a mechanical park brake to the rear wheels.

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