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Bedford OWB - Oxford Diecast

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Bedford OWB, Southern National in 1:76...

Bedford OWB, Southern National in 1:76...

...great value again from Oxford Diecast

John Cupis24/02/2013 10:01:33
6 forum posts

Thank you to Robin Buckland for bringing this item to our notice. I have had the sheer pleasure of driving the almost identical post-war Duple bodied Bedford OB. It is such a delightful drive.

While the constant mesh "crash" gearbox requires the driver to "Double-declutch", each change is very easy to achieve. The handling of the gearbox is precise and positive, without that horrible rubbery feel of the modern car synchromesh gearbox. This gearbox emits a tuneful symphony of harmonic sound, the steering is light and altogether these vehicles were so superior to anything contemporary through being simple and straight forward.

In the second world war all bus production ceased in favour of production of military vehicles and munitions.

When it became obvious that existing vehicles had to be replaced, certain "utility" specifications were laid down. Vehicles were made to a standard whereby all refinement like formed roof domes was omitted. The Bedford OWB ws the only single deck vehicle to meet these stringent standards and so several hundred were built in the war years.

They appeared on rural bus services especially. I remember House of Watlington, (Oxon.) who ran timetabled services to Reading and Henley, The livery was a metallic gold with black roof. Another service was Heybrook Bay Motor Services that ran out of Plymouth to Heybrook and also to Bovisand where their garage was situated. The livery was a brick red with gilt decals.

The crews were all characters. I remember we met a tractor and trailer loaded with steaming dung(!) in a narrow lane near Elburton. The young tractor driver panicked and jammed the trailer in the hedge. Our driver sighed deeply, got up from his seat, walked to the tractor, pulled the smelly load from the hedge and reversed it expertly into an open gateway.

We then continued on our way to Plymouth to catch our train back to Reading.

Without hesitation, I add this model to my "must have" list.

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