A pre-war Blackpool motor coach, which is still going strong after 82 years, is set to fetch up to £40,000 at auction.
The AEC Regal Motor Coach was supplied new in March 1934 to W.Salisbury and Sons, motor coach proprietors based at 7 Pleasant Street, Blackpool.
The coach later became part of the Ribble Service Fleet as a driver training vehicle and classroom and at some point was “re-bodied” with its present body, which came from a Ribble Leyland Tiger TS6 motor coach dating from 1933.
It is not known how much the coach cost new in 1934, but its original purchase price is thought to be considerably less than the £35,000 to £45,000 it is now set to fetch at a Bonhams auction at the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu ,Hampshire, on September 3.
It is also not clear whether the coach’s Blackpool number plate – FV 4548 – is its original number plate or whether that was acquired later.
In the 1930s, towns, cities and counties were allocated specific letters for their number plates and Blackpool’s letters were ‘FV.’
In or around the 1960s the Blackpool coach was owned by a collector named Colin Shears, who was based at Winkleigh, Devon.
Mr Shears then sold the coach to a group of enthusiasts in Swansea, south Wales, who restored the coach and repainted it in the colours of the Welsh motor coach operator, Gower Vanguard.
The coach was then bought by another enthusiast named Clive Screeton, before it was bought by a Warrington company named Wild Rose.
Then, in 2006-2007, the coach was re-framed and re-bodied by the Lawton Motor Body Building Company Ltd and finished in its current blue and gold colours.
According to auctioneers Bonhams “the coach boasts a Pullman style interior with high back moquette seats, tables with lamps and a small galley-service area...the vehicle also comes with a V5 registration document and Certificate of Initial Fitness.”
Back in 1934, a pint of bitter cost seven old pennies (about 3p in modern money), a gallon of petrol cost one shilling and fourpence halfpenny (about 7p in modern money) and the average British house cost £515.