Prepared on Notepad by Ian Smith,
This page created 10th November 2005, updated 27th November.


Dodge minibus


The Dodge 19-seaters bought by London Buses in 1982 must have been a pair of the ugliest buses ever bought for London. Stunted, podgy - just ugly. The chassis were Dodge 50s with 12ft wheelbase. The bodies, 19ft 4in x 7ft 2in x 8ft 11in, were by Rootes of Maidstone. The bodies were 20-seaters as built, but were downseated to 19 before entry into service. Folding doors were painted yellow, while the rest was London red. (What the back was like I don't know, not having yet located a rear view: it had three windows, and a central emergency exit)

Into service

A1 on R6 in Orpington The two little buses were needed for the PB1 Potters Bar local service. This had been started in March 1977 using FS class 16 seaters, but by the end of 1982 required slightly larger vehicles. They arrived in January 1983, and went into service in March. They shuddered around Potters Bar for three years until the service was lost to North Mymms Coaches in June 1986.

The duo then headed south in 1987, to Catford, as trainers in preparation for more widespread midi/minibus operation at Orpington. They spent a couple of years as trainers, with occasional forays into service at Orpington or Victoria Basement whenever there was a shortage of more shapely minibuses (OVs or RHs). They even went on loan to Greater Manchester Buses in November 1988.

A1 on the R6 to Halstead, on the Orpington Link Road. Photo by Paul Bishop.

A1 on R3 at Petts Wood Stn A2 on R1 in Sidcup
A1 on the R3 to Green Street Green, at Sidcup, and A2 on the R3 at Petts Wood Station. Photos by Paul Bishop, who enjoyed driving A1 and A2 while they were at Orpington.

In June 1989 A2 went to Willesden Technical College as an engineering training vehicle, for a year on loan and then owned. A1 hung on as a trainer at Westbourne Park, and was sold in 1995 after a respectable thirteen years of work..

Ian's Bus Stop midi intro. A main text. A histories. A photos.