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From Our Collection: Birmingham City Transport Guy Arab JOJ 976

Birmingham City Transport Guy Arab JOJ 976

Reg No: JOJ 976 - new 1953
Chassis: Guy Arab IV
Engine: Gardner 6LW 8.4 litre 6 cylinder
Gearbox: Pre-selective
Body: Metro-Cammell 55 seats (27 ft, to operator's design)

This was the final development of Birmingham City Transport's classic design of front engined bus. There were around 600 buses built between 1951 and 1954 with this style of body which was one foot longer and featured deeper windows. Internally the straight staircase, polished wood and stainless steel brightwork remained but there was less moquette in favour of cheaper leather cloth. They were the first standard Birmingham buses not to have the upper and lower decks built separately. They were based on Daimler and Guy chassis with easy change preselective gearboxes and bodies by Metro-Cammell or Crossley.

Most Guys at home and abroad had crash gearboxes but, after the Second World War, an easy change gearbox was an option although a rarity outside the West Midlands. Initially this took the form of a pre-selective design, attracting the attention of Birmingham City Transport which standardised on such gearboxes. Birmingham purchased 301 Guys of which only six had crash gearboxes.

2976 is a typical Birmingham Guy with pre-selective gearbox, and entered service in February 1953 from Acocks Green garage. It moved to Miller Street in October 1967, to Harborne in May 1969, and to Washwood Heath in August 1971. It had been absorbed into the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive in October 1969 and received the new fleetnames but still carried its old colours when retired in January 1972. It was purchased for preservation in June 1972 and sold to the Museum in January 1983. Both the original preservation owner and the Museum have carried out a considerable amount of work, including removal of an offside illuminated advertisement panel fitted in the early 60s. The effort was rewarded by successful passing of the appropriate test, allowing 2976 to join the Museum's fleet of full pcv licensed buses in the 2000 season.

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