Cohort Sighting: AEC Regent III RT London Double-Decker Bus

London bus side

How many London buses like this were imported into the U.S. and used as Fish & Chips restaurants or rolling billboards? Doing so was a big fad in the seventies and eighties, when London Transport was phasing out their mainstay buses, the AEC Regent III RT series. Some 4,674 were built; a few of them just before the war, but mostly after. It was the most common London bus until the arrival of the famous and more familiar Routemaster, in 1954.

London bus rq

The last RT was withdrawn from service in 1979. The indestructible Routemaster that replaced it was in regular service until 2005, and is still used on some Heritage Service runs. When I was in London in 1999, my two boys and I just hopped on a random bus (a Routemaster) and grabbed the front seats up top. We had a fabulous ride. It’s quite amazing how these buses wend their way through the narrowest streets, curves and intersections. We had no idea where we were going, but eventually we found ourselves back where we started.

And in 1988, we ate fish and chips in a bus just like this old RT at the Alaska State Fair in Palmer. They surely did get around. And there is (or was) one here in Eugene that belongs (ed) to a radio station. Its hoary old AEC diesel engine and manual transmission had been replaced by a Chevy 454 and THM: A pragmatic solution, I guess, but a somewhat disappointing one.

BigOldChrysler posted this at the Cohort)