Wednesday, 26 December 2012
Memories from a Mercedes
Refreshing to re-discover was H989 FTT, a Carlyle bodied Mercedes 811D, modified as a camper, but new to Red Admiral; later operating with Burtons of Brixham of which the parent company, Transit Holdings, also operated. H989 has been tucked away out of sight for many years in Millbrook, long lost by the bus enthusiast. Thankfully, A-Line Coaches manager Jim Goddard was still aware of its existence, and with a sharp mind, the bus sprung straight to thought when N276 PDV blew her engine a couple of months ago. After lying uninhabited for some time, H989 was dragged to the depot where her engine was extracted, and mounted into N276 PDV. Thanks to this, she is quite easily the nicest 709D I've ever ridden on. The more powerful turbo charged engine from H989 pulls N276 along like no other Mercedes minibus I've ever rode upon. As you may be aware, the hills around Cawsand, Cremyll and Millbrook and pretty steep, requiring 2nd gear with a 709D in places, with the engine revving high into the rev band. Amazingly, N276 now pulls up in 4th on the same hill, and can even be teased into 5th, and still pull! Thanks to this ability, N276 is now achieving even better fuel economy than before, as well as being able to keep to time much more capably on the demanding route. Really is quite a pleasure! The fate of the rest of H989 will lead her to a scrapyard in the very near future unfortunately, although, was probably quite well past a prospect of preservation looking at her general condition. Still, it's nice to know that she has been so noble in her last act, losing her heart to keep a sister going.