A 1961 ex-London Routemaster

I have always admired the Routemaster, probably the most successful bus design ever, and succumbed when the chance came along to buy one.  I have bought it from Mike Fuller, who acquired it last December in a very  tatty state (see photo below) and who has done a vast amount of restoration in a very short time - this is the fourth bus I have bought from Mike, and I have not had a dud yet!

The bus is now clean and presentable outside, and reasonably tidy inside, requiring some painting, some rexine and a good clean. The seats are newly covered.

It has an original AEC 9.6 litre engine (many restored Routemasters have had Cummins, Scania, or Iveco engines fitted).

See the history at Silver Lady in service

Also see latest photos of restoration at RM577 Restoration


"Before"

In Ensign's yard

Collected by Ensign in December 2009 from where it had been stored for 9 years,

Photo copyright Jonathan Bale (Routemaster2217)

"After"

July 2010

Why Silver?

This explanation is aimed specifically at Terry Coles, who cannot comprehend why a Routemaster should be any other colour than red!

Amidst the flood of red and green Routemasters in the 1950s and 60s, someone in London Transport had the bright idea of experimenting with an unpainted bus. If successful, this would save money and weight.

RM664 was the vehicle chosen for this experiment and the aluminium was left unpainted. LT staff and the London public soon christened it the "Silver Lady".

For about 3 years it was wheeled around various London garages to test the effect on the public and the staff. However the experiment proved a failure: the bus looked smart at first, but untreated aluminium soon looks shabby, and if a panel needed to be replaced it at once looked out of place.

So after the trial, RM664 was painted red, and merged with other city Routemasters once more.

This bus, RM577, carries the original RM664 body and running gear (bodies were often changed at overhaul), so Mike Fuller decided to paint it in silver (leaving it unpainted was not an attractive option).

If some time I succeed in aquiring the registration WLT 664 which RM664 originally carried,  I will perhaps be able to change the identity to RM664, but meanwhile it will continue as RM577 (WLT 577).