Friday, 19 August 2011

Remarkable survivor

A big thanks to Jamie Limb for this story sent to me from New Zealand where he is currently on holiday. This, believe it or not, is Ex-Western National ODV 78M, which served in Plymouth for much of its life at Western National. ODV was quite a special bus for several reasons. Firstly she was the only M registered VR to be bought by Western National, and therefore is in a batch of its own. Secondly, she is a Series 3 prototype, which looked very similar to the Series 2 when new, but was modified through the years to bring her to full Series 3 standard. And thirdly, she was one of only 9 Leyland engined VRs new to WN, with the rest being delivered with the classic GArdner 6LXBs. ODV has been in New Zealand for over 25 years, in which time she has been used as a promotional vehicle and in use as a mobile church. But as can be seen here, she looks pretty abandoned in at the moment, seen down the side of a cheese factory between Dunedin and Omarau. A real shame this has been left in this state. She'd certainly be an interesting and worthwhile preservation prospect, but in this state, it appears there would be quite a bit of work to get her back up to scratch. And there is of course the fact, that she is half way round the world! Still though, a really interesting find, so well done Jamie for being so eagle eyed in finding her! 


Mike said...

This bus spent a lot of time based at Callington. I remember the Callington drivers complaining that it kept being sent up because it wasn't liked much by Plymouth drivers as it had no power steering. Often caught it into Plymouth early in the morning when I first started work. Engine sounded brilliant.

Anonymous said...

This bus is now under my care and being restored. It is in quite a state, with a lot of wood rot and many missing parts. It is now in storage south of Dunedin New Zealand