The SCT61 Beauty Parade
After The Ugly Bus Ball comes the SCT61 beauty parade, where we take a look at some of the most handsome PSVs ever built. Eric & Julia Morley have just taken to the stage, so here in reverse order.
I've always found Red & Whites Lydney bodied Leyland Royal Tigers to be lovely looking vehicles. When underfloor engine saloons began to appear, these were some of the nicest looking. I don't think any of these have survived, which is a great pity.
Another that got it right straight away was Leyland. This style of body remains one of the most handsome coach bodies ever designed, it was not over embellished like some of the early underfloor engine coaches & is a most graceful design, as shown here by these Ribble examples.
Six wheelers are always very impressive & this Northern Counties bodied AEC Renown from the Leicester fleet is just magnificent. It looks much longer than it actually is & we must all be thankful that one of these superb buses has survived for us all to enjoy today.
As much as I'm not a great fan of rear engine double deckers, I have to admit that Alexanders really got it right with this design. The first Atlanteans were very boxy & this body must have looked really space age when it appeared in 1962. It still looks good today after 54 years.
Maybe some controversy here, but I always thought that the Duple Commander was a beautiful coach. It fitted the late 60s perfectly, was free of adornments & is a very graceful coach. They seem to have nearly vanished now with a few precious survivors.
The standard ECW bodied Bristol RE was a lovely looking bus. I always thought the flat screen version edged it, though they all looked good. One of the best buses ever built & one that should have lived much longer than it did.
Arguably the finest bus to operate on the streets of London. The standard RT is a lovely bus to drive & is more than capable of still putting in a full days service in the capital & quite often does. Astonishing when you think the first entered service 77 years ago this year.
Oozing municipal pride is this wonderfully handsome Burlingham bodied Leyland PD2/40. I always found found these more upright Burlingham bodies very attractive & its a great shame that they were nearing the end of their life by the time these buses were being delivered.
One of the best looking half cab bodies were the East Lancs bodied vehicles supplied to a number of municipals & seen here on a Southampton AEC Regent V. These were very graceful & refined buses that gave a very smooth ride. This is one of the last batch for Southampton that lasted until 1981.
Considering the circumstances under which they were designed, the utility double decker was a very long lived vehicle. It was also a very good looking bus, as shown here by this Stockport example. Some utilities lasted well into the 60s largely unmodified.
The Burlingham bodied Leyland PD3s supplied to Sunderland District are superb looking buses. Beautifully proportioned, they, quite rightly, have many admirers. One did survive, but suffered severe fire damage, its current status is unclear.
One of the most attractive single deckers of the 50s was this handsome offering from Weymann. There is not a line out of place. This is one of a trio supplied to King Alfred Motor Services, all three passing to Hants & Dorset in 1973.
The ECW bodied Bristol L is one of the most attractive half cab single deckers ever. At one time they seemed to cover the length & breadth of the country. They have such a friendly look about them. They were long lived, with some lasting into the 70s, just.
The all Crossley DD42 is another splendid bus. They never seemed to have such long lives as their peers, but they were lovely looking buses & were always reliable. there are but a few survivors to remind us of a once great name.
I was initially surprised to find three Burlingham products in the parade, but really shouldn't have been. The original Seagull is one of the most handsome coaches ever. Its sad that as the decade wore on the brilliance of the original design was lost.
Alexanders got it right first time with their design for a single decker in the Early 60s. The Y type is one of the cleanest designs ever. Launched in 1963, it remained in production for nearly twenty years & still look refreshing at the end of its . This example looks superb in the famous Venture of Consett livery.
One of my guilty pleasures are these magnificent Willowbrook bodied PD3s for Trent. I have to admit to a fascination with Willowbrook deckers of this period & this looks great in the traditional Trent livery
One of the finest coaches to take to our roads, the ECW bodied Bristol RELH was a great motor. It was fast, comfortable, lovely to drive & looked stunning. Mercifully, we can still enjoy the number of survivors.
The standard BET style single decker in its finest form. The Marshall bodied version always had the edge on the others & this Maidstone & District example is typical of many vehicles that once covered virtually the whole country.
The all Leyland PD2 was one of the cleanest double deck bodies & was one of those that looked great in any livery. It looks superb in the dignified Portsmouth livery. It was a great shame that Leyland chose to end its body building activities in 1954.
In my mind, the most beautiful post war British coach. The Harrington Grenadier is nigh on perfection. It bridged that gap between the curves of the 50s & the straight lines of the 60s perfectly. Harringtons ceased production in 1966.
Southdown's penultimate batch od PD2s arrived in 1956 in the shape of these lovely Beadle bodied PD2/12s. They were the last double deck bodies to be built by Beadle & were quite beautiful machines. One still exists for us to enjoy.
Nearly taking the top spot is the superb 1951 Bruce bodied AEC Regent of Eastbourne Corporation. Ten of these entered the fleet & all gave 19/20 years service. So what could beat something as lovely as this into second place?
The answer is, this beautiful Massey body that looked superb in any format., High bridge or low bridge, front or rear entrance, 27 or 30 feet. It always looked right & is, in my eyes the finest looking bus built. I bet you were all expecting a Queen Mary.
This is ehat should have been in third place had I not managed to delete it. The NCME 30 ft body for front engine double deckers was lovely & when combined with a Guy Arab, makes one superb bus.
Other opinions are available. I'm now going for a Sanatogen & to find my tin hat.

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Page last changed Tuesday 2 February 2016