Bedford SB – ODL 400

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owned by  –  The Isle of Wight Bus & Coach Museum (click title to read more…)

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Moss Motor Tours, Bedford SB, ODL400 is seen inside the isle of Wight Bus & Coach Museu

There were many operators on the island who ran coaches besides Southern Vectis. This vehicle is from the fleet of Moss Motor Tours, who were one of the larger independent operators on the island. ODL400 was one of a pair, with ODL399, of petrol-engined Bedford SBs purchased new in 1957 for Island coach tours. Fitted with the popular Duple “Vega” body with seats for 41 passengers, they represented the choice of most small operators at the time for an affordable luxury coach. Lightweight Bedfords were generally the choice for the Island independents, nevertherless, Southern Vectis also ran a number of Bedfords on Island work.

Painted in the Moss livery of dark and light blue, these coaches were in almost daily use on the popular Round the Island tours, plus day excursions across the Island to places such as Godshill, Osborne House, Whippingham Church, Carisbrooke Castle, etc. Although slightly cramped, the coaches were comfortable enough for this type of work and can be pleasant to drive as well.

ODL 400 ran until 1973, when new Bedford YRT and YMT coaches were purchased to replace the older Bedfords in the fleet. She was sold to a local school, who used her on school outings and trips to sports matches. Saved for preservation in 1983 by Derek Priddle, she later passed on to Paul Longdon in 1987, who started the restoration. Sadly, ODL 400 was sold on to owners at Alton in Hampshire, who wanted to convert her into a mobile home. Thankfully, she survived and all the body remained intact.

She returned to the island in February 2000 and full restoration is now  complete. Sister vehicle ODL 399 is also on the island and restoration is pending.

Vehicle Details/Specification:

  • Bedford SBG , Chassis No. 50274
  • Body: Duple Vega, No. 1074/274

Key dates:

  • New – 1 June 1957
  • Withdrawn – September 1973
  • Sold to Sandham Middle School – December 1975
  • Sold to D.Priddle, Farnham for preservation – March 1983
  • Sold to P. Longdon, Godshill for preservation – June 1987
  • Sold to new owners, Alton for conversion to mobile home – October 1992
  • Sold to ODL400 group for restoration/preservation – February 2000