CTT 513C (513) is a 1965 AEC Regent V with Park Royal 69 seat bodywork.
On 28th November 1963 the company’s Board approved for purchase 6 x AEC Regent V 2D3RA type chassis with 30 feet long 69 seat Park Royal bodies at a cost each of £6,200. The buses arrived in April 1965 as CTT 509 to 514C (509 to 514).
The design that Park Royal produced for Devon General evolved from the 39 built for East Kent in 1962/3, but with deeper skirt panels and a less severe appearance, following styling changes made for the 19 Sheffield Corporation Regent Vs delivered in 1963, and the 5 delivered to South Wales Transport in 1964. Devon General also specified a luggage rack in the lower saloon and embellished the rears of its Regents with an aluminium strip.
For 1966 Devon General reverted to a mixed order of 6 Atlanteans and 5 Regent Vs for their double deck intake, bodied by Willowbrook and MCW respectively.
By 1969 the Regent V was out of production. Not only were high capacity single deckers suited for one person operation increasingly in favour, but the introduction in 1968 of New Bus Grant offering a 25% (later 50%) government contribution to the purchase price of rear-engined buses, and the rationalisation of the AEC product range that accompanied the creation of the British Leyland Motor Corporation the same year, effectively brought the era of front-engined buses to a close.
513 went into service from Sidmouth depot in May 1965, running on Service 9 to Exeter. With 128 horsepower at hand from its AV590 engine and a synchromesh gearbox, an AEC Regent V was easy to drive and the Park Royal body offered a bright interior for passengers. It went on to work from Exeter, Exmouth, Newton Abbot and Torquay depots, but the type was most strongly associated with Service 2, Exeter – Dawlish – Teignmouth – Newton Abbot (later numbered 187).
509 to 514 were painted into NBC poppy red livery during 1976. Withdrawals began with 509 in 1977 and 513 finished its operational career at Exeter depot on 31st October 1980.
In 1981 513 was purchased for preservation by members of the Oxford Bus Museum, who restored it to original Devon General colours, and it then passed to the West of England Transport Collection at Winkleigh.
Subsequent owners spent much time, money and effort to keep it roadworthy, including a full repaint in 2010, and it remains in very good condition today. The present owner purchased it in 2017 from the estate of the late Philip Platt and placed it on loan to the Trust so that it could be looked after alongside the other AEC vehicles in the Trust’s collection.