ML3 with Northern Counties B32D body.
New in April 1929, this Maudslay /
Northern Counties bodied bus was one of seven vehicles that the
council purchased that year to supplement the tram system. Running
on four main routes across the city, they were later joined by more
buses to completely replace the trams in August 1931.
This particular vehicle was withdrawn from service in 1939 and sold
to a local farmer for use as family accommodation in Woodwater Lane.
It later ended up in a barn at the top of Telegraph Hill where it
remained until 1965 when it was purchased by a coach operator in
Northampton which had, in the past, run many vehicles of Maudslay
manufacture. Meanwhile, all the other early Exeter Maudslay buses
had been used as ambulances during the war and were subsequently
scrapped, leaving this bus a lasting reminder of a once familiar
type. In November 2011 ownership of the bus changed hands and it was
immediately placed in the care of the Trust (WHOTT) since when a lot
of research into the original livery and interior design enabled a
full restoration to take place. It made a visit to Westpoint in
September 2014 and on 2nd May 2015 returned to the streets of Exeter
for the first time in seventy-six years. The occasion was the
outgoing Lord Mayor’s final charity coffee morning at the city’s
FJ6154 is believed to be the oldest surviving Maudslay bus in
running condition and carries the oldest surviving bodywork by
Northern Counties Engineering of Wigan. Powered by a Maudslay 60hp
4-cylinder overhead valve petrol engine, the drive is transmitted
through a cone clutch and four-speed gearbox to an underslung worm
differential. The 32-seat interior is arranged in two compartments,
the rear one allowing for smokers.