Southend Corporation Bus Fleet
Leyland Leopard L1 with Weymann B43D+16 body built 1961
Just as the lightweight deckers had proved a mixed blessing with fuel savings offset by higher maintenance costs, so the same was true with the Aberdonians, only in this case it was the chassis which was the lightweight. So when more saloons were needed in 1961, Southend opted for the more substantial Leyland Leopard chassis, fitted with the bigger 9.8 litre 0600 engine. By the time that 206/7 materialised the Ministry had relented and the Weymann bodies had separate centre exits. The Leopard has proved to be a classic design, even if the L1 version of 1961 is somewhat different from the later PSU models, and Southend has operated over 80 of the type at one time or another.
In the seventies they were on loan to Colchester Corporation at various times during 1973, then during the summer of 1974 they went to Alder Valley for a few months.
206 and 207 in Castle Point livery in 1978
They were both withdrawn at the end of 1977 and sold in March 1978 to local coach company S & M of Benfleet who later between November 1978 and February 1979 loaned them back to Southend Transport.
Many thanks to Richard Delahoy for his kind permission to include extracts from his book in this page and also to Richard, Paul Harrison, Ian Banks and Eamonn Kentell for supplying some of the pictures.