In 2016 I purchased the bus from a film props company, saving the bus from being destroyed in movie effects. Seeing my enthusiasm to get the bus back on the road again with a new lease of life, the props company let me purchase one of their few remaining buses, however others with classic buses warned me about the mammoth task that lay ahead.
After finding a safe place to store the bus temporarily, and towing the bus home, I got to work stripping out the insides and then stripping the aluminium side panels to see what I was working with. I was met with a whole lot of wood rot over the entire frame of the bus, and quite a lot of rust too. The only saviour of the bus were the strong steel pillars holding the bus together.
Every window frame will need to be repaired, every bit of ash wood will need to be replaced where possible, and every structural piece of metalwork will also need re-fabricating. The cost of this project was finally hitting home but I was undeterred, the hardest part was done - I had purchased it and got it home.
For a year of working on the bus, and also working to keep funds for storage and building materials, I managed to keep this project going on my own. That is until my illness peaked and I had to take a step back from restoration. My savings were all I had to support myself as well as storage for the bus, and so for over a year the bus sat in the barn, with nothing else being done to it, and my dreams of getting it back on the road again looking like they would not happen.
And then worse news, last year I had to move the bus to outside storage. As I still had not managed to complete fixing up the side of the bus, it was going to be out in the elements. I have been searching throughout the bus community for financially viable undercover storage that I would have enough space for me to work on the additional mechanics and restoration too.
In my current outdoor storage it is open to the elements, but here you can how much work there is still to do, but if you look closely you can see the new metalwork I had made before I fell ill. There is still so much to do to get this bus roadworthy again.
Mechanically this bus is in working order. Of course for a 70 year old vehicle I know that it will have the odd leak here and there. When the engine is running it is very good, the air system for the brakes needs a bit of a seeing to but they do hold air pressure when running. Now more than ever when standing out in the elements, it is needing help saving again.
The legacy of these RT's is what people think of when you mention a London bus, with 6,956 being built in total, they hold the record for the most vehicles in a standardised fleet ever. They have been also been used in many films and TV appearances. In 1963 British musical comedy film, Summer Holiday, Cliff Richard drives a converted RT bus to the south of France. In the 1973 James Bond film Live and Let Die, Bond commandeers an RT during an escape. One also makes its appearance in the 2001 film The Mummy Returns. and in 2004 three RT buses were rebuilt into a triple-decker vehicle for the film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. This one in particular has had appearances in the films Atonement, Captain America; The First Avenger, and The Chronicles of Narnia; Prince Caspian.
Overall this bus needs to get back on the road, there are just over 200 left of these buses out of the near 7000, which is a mere 3%. For that I need your help. I would be using the funds to purchase ash wood for framework, new batteries, fresh aluminium for re-panelling, new steel for supports, and if there is also anybody out there locally who can help me with somewhere to store the bus undercover too, that will also be the biggest of helps.
I am just working on my own with this, have a tiny budget now that I spent a lot of my savings on storage after being ill too. Your help will get this iconic bus back on the road where it belongs.