ETT 995 (fleet number DR705) is a unique vehicle from the heyday of Devon General. It features the chassis frame from a 1937 AEC Regent, the running units from a 1938 AEC Regal, and a 1953 body by Saunders-Roe. The bus has been restored to an extremely high standard using the skills of Sam Merrifield, Phillip Platt and others on behalf of the former owner Steve Cope.
Trust chairman Peter Murnaghan said, “We are very grateful to Steve for the opportunity to acquire DR705, and to the seventy people who generously donated to our fundraising appeal”.
The Light Sixes emerged from Devon General’s need for extra double-deckers during the boom times of the 1950s. The company’s workshops married mechanical running units from twenty of its pre-war AEC Regal single-deckers with reconditioned AEC Regent chassis, and fitted them with new, lightweight double-deck bodies.
The result was a bus with an unladen weight of around six tons — hence the title ‘Light Six’. Nineteen had Weymann bodies, but DR705 was bodied by Saunders-Roe and weighed just 5 tons 19 cwt. — making it Devon General’s lightest double-decker. The Light Sixes ran on the busy Service 12 Newton Abbot – Torquay – Brixham route until replaced by Leyland Atlanteans.
Peter Murnaghan added, “We hope to display DR705 at the Mid Devon Show at Tiverton on Saturday 24th July 2021, along with other buses from our collection”.
Issued 2nd July 2021