AEC REGENT III - 792
Shortly after the end of World War II, a total of 845 double decker chassis were ordered from Leyland, AEC and Albion in the United Kingdom. These were to replace buses that had been running since the 1930s and enable the stop-gap buses purchased during the war to be withdrawn. It also enabled the tramway replacement program to restart.
792 was the first bus delivered with the revolutionary pre-selector transmission, an early semi-automatic gearbox. Bodied by Commonwealth Engineering of Granville, it was the prototype for a further 358 AEC Regent IIIs delivered between 1947 and 1953.
It entered service in May 1947 and was initially allocated to Randwick Depot for driver training, then for passenger use. It then went to Manly depot, followed by Pagewood, Enfield, Willoughby, North Sydney, Ryde, Leichhardt and Burwood. It was withdrawn in February 1973 from Burwood after colliding with a shop awning. Initially numbered 792, it was later renumbered 1792.
June 1973 saw the bus purchased by a group of enthusiasts who recognised the significance of the bus. Dural Busways repaired the vehicle and leased it as a spare / school bus from 1976 to 1983. On expiration of the lease it underwent a thorough restoration to 1947 condition, including restoring the front canvas door - removed in the 1960s due to safety concerns. It commenced running in this condition at Motorfest 1991.
The bus remains in fully operational condition.
Engine: 9.6 litre six cylinder AEC diesel engine, bore 4.72", stroke 5.59", 125 B.H.P. at 1800 RPM.
Transmission: Four speed Wilson pre-selector gearbox driving a worm drive differential.
Brakes: Air operated foot brake and mechanical park brake.