Dennis Ace – 405 (DL9015)

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Members’ Vehicle  –  owned by D.Priddle (click title to read more…)

Dennis Ace no 405 (DL9015) is seen on Newport Quay © John Berry
Dennis Ace no 405 (DL9015) is seen on Newport Quay © John Berry

The narrow roads of the Isle of Wight required small vehicles and the 1934 order, from Southern Vectis, included six 20-seat Dennis Aces. These were fitted with side valve, four cylinder, petrol engines and Harrington (of Hove) bodywork with roof-mounted luggage racks, folding roofs and dual-purpose seats. These were intended to work a new seasonal, limited stop, coastal service between Ryde and Blackgang introduced on 12 July 1934. The 1935 season saw the service extended along the Military Road to Alum Bay.

Because of their long bonnet, giving a snout-like appearance, the Aces were nicknamed ‘Pigs’ – a name that was applied to later generations of small buses. By December 1955, all but two (405/7), both by then fitted with 28hp Bedford overhead valve petrol engines from Bedford OBs, had been withdrawn. The remaining pair worked the summer Ventnor Town Service (37/38) and the Newport cross-town local service (15/15a).

405 was the last to be withdrawn, in Spring 1958, and was then sold to Medina Holiday Camps where it served for five years before entering preservation. It appeared in the Bus Museum 1997–2001 when it was sold to Derek Priddle for a professional restoration to pre-war condition and apple green, rich cream and dark green livery. After its first ever MOT, it made its debut at the IW Bus Museum Running Day in October 2010.

Vehicle Details/Specification:

  • Dennis Ace , Chassis No. 200216
  • Body: Harrington, No. unknown

Key dates:

  • New – July 1934
  • refitted with Bedford six-cylinder petrol engine – after 1945
  • Sold to Medina Camps (IoW) Ltd – July 1959
  • Sold to A.C. Foster, Cowes, for preservation – June 1963
  • Sold to A Coombes & R.J. Crawley, Exeter, for preservation – by 1967
  • Sold to R. Stay, Newport (IoW), for preservation – September 1980
  • Sold to C. Thomas, Godshill, for preservation – July 1983
  • Displayed at the Isle of Wight Bus & Coach Museum, unrestored -1997 – 2001
  • Sold to D. Priddle, Farnham, for preservation – 2001
  • Fully restored, MOT tested & roadworthy – October 2010
  • Displayed at Isle of Wight Bus & Coach Museum – March 2015

Current Status:

  • Fully restored and operational (note, display only whilst at The Isle of wight Bus & Coach Museum)