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The 1949 AEC Regal III Omnibus is part of ACTION’s “Heritage” fleet – a collection of buses that decades ago dominated Canberra’s public transport landscape. The bus, C59351, is a 1949 AEC Regal III, and has been fully restored to original condition by ACTION engineers. The livery for buses at the time, from 1931 until 1965 were Maroon and Buff (cream)

This restored AEC Regal III has been named ‘Matilda’

The bus was delivered to the Department of Interior, who then ran the Canberra City Omnibus service, in 1949. The size of the fleet at that time was 55 buses. The buses provided services for the residents of Acton, Ainslie, Barton, Braddon, Causeway, Duntroon, Fairbairn, Forrest, Fyshwick, Griffith, Manuka, Narrabundah, O’Connor, Reid, Turner

The bus had a driver and a conductor, as the entry door was well behind the driver’s cabin. The bus was sold in 1959, being replaced by an AEC Reliance. Mr Ron Price of Batemans Bay, NSW purchased the bus and operated a service from the bay to Moruya, and later as a service between Batehaven and Batemans Bay Primary School. The bus was registered MO 978. In 1977 the bus was purchased by Mr Colin Gray, from Schofield in NSW, who intended to restore the bus to its original condition. No such work had been undertaken when ACTION purchased the bus in June 1979.

Technical Specifications
  • Chassis: AEC Regal III
  • Chassis Number: 0682 213
  • Engine: AEC six cylinder, 7.7 litre, vertical diesel developing 95bhp at 1800rpm
  • Transmission: 4 speed crash
  • Wheel base 17′ 16″ (5.334 m)
  • Overall Length: 22′ 6″ (6.858 m)
  • Width: 8′ 0″ (2.44 m)
  • Seating Capacity: 39

For more photos, vist ACT Bus Gallery

Categories: Fleet History