The slow delivery offered by some manufacturers encouraged the Department to seek alternative suppliers of buses. Germany’s standard municipal VOV bus was thought to be an attractive solution to Canberra’s problem and when tenders were called in late 1974 for forty-seven buses, MAN of Munich successfully tendered for ten complete Read more…

AEC Swifts 1967-75

AEC offered a rear-engine alternative to the Reliance at the 1964 Commercial Motor Show in London in the form of a 36-foot Swift with the AH505 engine. A 33’ 6” version was released in 1966. Interest in lowering floor and step heights by placing the engine at the back of the bus gained momentum in Britain during the mid-1960s and there was a rush among manufacturers to offer a suitable chassis.

AEC Reliances and Leyland Leopards

Although it was not the first operator of Reliances in Australia, the Department bought 120 over twelve years — the largest fleet in the country. Canberra’s first Reliance arrived in April 1956 and was the forerunner of 52 similar buses, with bodies by Commonwealth Engineering, over the next five years.