The July edition of Truck & Bus Transportation from 1950 onwards carried a detailed “specification” section for trucks and buses. For buses, this was split into two groups – chassis and complete production buses. One of the interesting columns in these specification charts for me was the cost of the various chassis or buses.
Alas, increasingly over the years, POA (price on application) would appear in the column. However, in 1971, the prices of most chassis were still being “revealed”. Here are some of the main ones:
- Bedford SB3 – $4,207
- Bedford SB5 – $4,782
- Bedford VAL14 – $7,364
- Bedford VAM3 – $4,736
- Bedford VAM70 – $5,733
- Ford R1015 petrol (192wb) – $4,935
- Ford R1111 diesel (226wb) – $6,691
- International C1800 – $5,670
- Leyland VK55 – $8,580
- Leyland VK57 – $9,335
- Leyland Clydesdale CD23 – $9,550
- Leyland Reliance 505 – $11,435
- Leyland Leopard PSU3 – $11,445
The only “European” chassis on the chart was the Volvo B58 but it had POA in the price column. I believe that it would have been around $20,000.
The only production bus figures were for Bedfords. A Bedford SB3 with body was around $11,000, which gives an indication of the proportion of the total cost chassis/body for a Bedford (approx 40/60). One could surmise that the cost of a Leyland Leopard with body would have been around $19,000, with the proportion of chassis/body cost of approx 60/40.
The pictures included with this article are various buses delivered in 1971 from the Bruce Tilley Collection.