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Then, after sampling a number of different underfloor types, Aldershot & District finally took the plunge in 1954 with the AEC Reliance, twenty five being delivered with rather gawky, high floor and waistline, Strachans Everest C41C bodywork.These were registered MOR 581 to 605, numbered 250 to 274, and were used on the Farnham – London express route, and on excursions and private hire until displaced by the 1963 Park Royal bodied Reliances.The inadequate destination blind display seen here was most unusual on A&D in those days, and indicates a degree of crew laziness in the early NBC era that would not have been tolerated in BET times.These machines were quite pleasant to drive, though given to a somewhat wallowy standard of ride, but the performance with the small AH410 engine was less than sparkling.I was a passenger on an A & D Loline 111 service 20 travelling from Aldershot to Woodbridge road Guildford to attend technical college. ) and I suspect that the fifteen Strachans Reliances selected for rebodying might well have been chosen on the basis of body condition, the better ones being retained as they were.Certainly those that kept their Strachans C41C bodies continued in service for several years after 1965.In 1965, fifteen of these coaches were selected for rebodying with the then A&D standard Weymann saloon design, but the Weymann factory was closing down, and the order was undertaken by Metro-Cammell.The engineering standards on Aldershot & District were extremely high, and no doubt all of the initial 25 Reliances could have been so rebodied if required.
The seating is of the B40F layout, and we see it in the Alton Rally on 18 July 2010.
Prior to 1966 bodies were built by Weymann at Addlestone and by Metro-Cammell in Birmingham but after the Weymann works closed at the end of 1965 all subsequent bodies were built by Metro-Cammell-Weymann.
I can remember seeing the AEC Reliance chassis parked in the Guildford garage all painted in bright silver paint, I assume they were waiting to be sent for rebodying.
By the onset of WW2 only around 50 had been produced.
Aldershot & District took delivery of nine petrol engined Falcons with four speed gearboxes and Strachans B20F bodywork in 1939, but they saw little use before being stored for the duration of the conflict.
No.390, 390 AOU was a 2MU3RV vehicle of 1961, and representative of the final style of the Weymann A&D saloon.