Text courtesy of the Powerhouse Museum
The chassis and mechanical components of this bus were made in England at the British Leyland Motor Corporation’s factory. The firm was established in 1896 as the Lancashire Steam Motor Company in the town of Leyland in North West England. It became Leyland Motors in 1907 and they built another factory at nearby Chorley. The firm produced the Trojan Utility Car in Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, an example of which is in the Museum’s collection (object number B1470).
After World War II Leyland Motors acquired a number of other vehicle and transport companies. In 1968 they merged with British Motor Holdings to form the British Leyland Motor Corporation.
Leylands were important manufacturers of buses and their most significant was the rear-engined Atlantean produced between 1956 and 1986. They were used both in the United Kingdom and around the world and were popular with British municipal operators including Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool, Nottingham and Sunderland.
The first of the 224 Atlanteans were stationed at Mona Vale and Brookvale depots and later deliveries saw them sent to Randwick, Pagewood, Willoughby and Waverley depots. The largest number was at Randwick and Waverley for the busy Eastern Suburbs services. Later, they were transferred to Ryde and Leichhardt for use in the inner city and Victoria Road routes. The Atlanteans were all sold or withdrawn between 1977 and 1986, with the last government-operated service on route 189 to Taylors Point. Half the Atlanteans were purchased by private operators and most used as school buses in rural areas of New South Wales.
This bus entered service with the Public Transport Commission (PTC) on 21 April 1970. It was the first of the Atlanteans used by the NSW Government and has the registration and fleet number 1001. (The fleet numbers finished at 1224). It operated from the Mona Vale and Brookvale depots servicing the Warringah area and was later transferred to the Willoughby Depot. The bus was withdrawn from service in August 1980 after completing 191,900 km. After restoration at the Chullora Bus Workshops the bus was donated to the Museum in 1981.