1934 AEC Regent I bus – STL441

© Michael Wickham

Date: 1934
Registration: AXM 693
Acquired by Museum: 1974
Current State: Fully restored, operational

STL441 was ordered by the London General Omnibus Company, but not delivered until after the formation of London Transport. It was originally petrol-engined, but was modified in May 1939, at LT’s Chiswick Works, to a flexibly-mounted 7.7 litre diesel engine. A body rebuild was carried out by Mann Egerton in January 1948, and the bus was finally withdrawn in 1952 from Streatham garage.

Upon withdrawal, the vehicle was sold to a museum in Holland, being acquired in February 1953 by the Het National Automobielmuseum at Leidschendam, the Hague. It stood for several years in the open, while the museum building was under construction. However, the acquisition in the 1960s of a more modern, and recently-withdrawn, RTL-type bus, rendered STL441 surplus to their requirements. (That RTL has also since joined the Museum’s Collection – see RTL139.

The harsh winter of 1947? No, April 2008 and the Museum’s Spring Gathering! © Michael Wickham

The London Bus Preservation Group was approached and the bus was returned to the UK, joining the Museum’s Collection in August 1974. It was used for quite a number of years before the state of the wooden-framed bodywork made it necessary for a partial reframing of the body which was completed in 2007. The bus is finished in post-WW2 livery, as it would have appeared after its 1948 re-build.

 

 

Chassis: AEC Regent 1
Body: Lomdon Transport 56-seat, rear entrance, open platform
Engine: AEC A173 7.7 litre diesel with mechanical pre-select gearbox
Vehicle Classification: STL. It is not clear what the letters stand for – some suggest Short Type Longer or Lengthened but this has never been confirmed.
Date into service: 1934
Date of withdrawal: 1952