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RLH saved in New Zealand

Lynnette and Bevan have written from New Zealand to tell of their recent acquisition - former London Transport RLH50. A few of these vehicles were exported to New Zealand in the late sixties and seventies, and two of them (RLH45 and 50) were acquired by the Museum of Transport & Technology at Western Springs, Auckland in 1971-2. They were used, I understand, to transport visitors to and from the museum. RLH 50 was subsequently used to provide spares to keep the sister vehicle on the road.

In 1994, the two vehicles were purchased by Robbie Murdoch in Auckland. I do not know the fate of RLH45, but no.50 was discovered by Lynnette and Bevan in derelict condition, as seen below.

RLH50, as found

The bus was actually given to Lynnette and Bevan for free, but as can be seen it was no bargain for a tremendous amount of work is going to be required to restore the vehicle.

On the "short list" of requirements are:

  • Workshop manual - AEC or London Transport
  • Differential
  • Radiator header tank and cap
  • Side and rear light fittings
  • Transfers
  • Radiator badge
  • Seat cloth

and much more . . .

If you can help with any of these items, or can offer any other help, please contact the Lynnette and Bevan by email.

I have already provided them with a few useful contacts, and provided some history. One disappointment for them was to discover that the RLH was always green in London service - like many exported London vehicles RLH50 had been painted red after leaving London Transport to emulate the "typical" London bus.

Work on restoration has already started. Presently, the body has been jacked up so that the chassis can be removed for sandblasting and general repair.

A recent visit to the museum resulted in the discovery of some of the original engine and gearbox parts, albeit rather rusty. After protracted negotiations, the engine has been acquired.

Lynnette and Bevan's long term aims are to restore the vehicle to full roadworthy condition, and operate it as a PSV locally in Auckland.

We wish them the best of luck - they are so determined that the project cannot but succeed.

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