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I have my eye on RM 108. I've had a good look at the vehicle, and quite honestly it's one of the nicest RMs I've ever had the chance to own. It has a Leyland engine that's as sweet as a nut, painwork to befit a quality car (even the chassis is silvered over). Period adverts around the bus make it a real eye-catcher. It is also MOT exempt being a 1959 vehicle. However as I feel all heavy MOT exempt vehicles should be, it was put through the MOT last summer and passed the class 5 with no advisories and prior to that was on a class 6. The bus drops virtually no oil on the ground where it stands. Body panels and widow pans are lovely. All glass other the the driver's screen are unscratched. The interior is original LT trim (not Arriva etc) and unmodernised.
It's a 1986 withdrawal and appears to have been loved ever since. It is however, at the upper end of the RM price scale, but then it looks like it would be. I am asking you guys that know this bus what your opinions are.
Does any one have a set of 149/279 RM blinds? RM 108 was finally withdrawn from Edmonton/Enfield garage.
This was the late Harry Prew-Smith's bus and was his pride and joy. I carried out the mechanical restoration about 8 years ago. It was a very nice vehicle. IIRC the interior has never been touched since it was in very good ex-service condition. The exterior was a no expense spared job, only a close look for bubbling paint aroud the mouldings will tell whether he got what he paid for. From memory it did have problems with the track for the accelerator switch. IIRC the adverts were signwritten. If it has not deteriorated then it is going to be at least a £50-60K vehicle. It has been used on wedding hire so will have had possibly numerous drivers in a hurry.
Thanks Roy, one can always rely on you for an answer, and your price valuation is in line with what I've been asked. It does have 'Exclusive Cars, Nottingham' as the legal lettering, so I assume Harry loaned them use of the bus for weddings?
Harry owned Exclusive Cars Ltd and IIRC other businesses. There were several RMs.
I think I'd go further than that John ".. one can always rely on you for a very helpful and informative answer ..." (not a criticism of what you said!) Sounds like a great bus and it's an extra reassurance that Roy has worked on it (subject to his polite comments on possible subsequent use!)
My bus number (if any): RML2302
Yes very true, Brian. If replies criticise you and make you look a fool it puts one off using the forum. This forum is essential to beginners wishing to own their first RM, or like me, who wish to get an idea if a particular RM is a wise buy.
Perhaps I should point out that I carried out what work was required 8 years ago, that does not mean that the vehicle is in the same condition today. I last saw the bus at Showbus several years ago. A couple of years ago we did have some posts from someone who had driven it a few times, you could try contacting him via the forum. What I do remember now is that Harry had a spare engine rebuilt for the bus. IIRC that engine and the 2010 engine both failed. If they are not the vendor then Blackmore Commercials in Nottingham may be able to tell you more about the bus. We have certainly exchanged technical over the phone in the past.
It needs mentioning that wedding hire away from a London base entails considerable dead mileage getting to the venues since the concentration of potential customers is lower and more specifically the hours of flat out engine rpm will be greater.
As a wedding bus operator outside London I can endorse Roy's remarks about the dead mileage. It is also worth pointing out that people hiring the buses don't like paying for the dead mileage and often feel that they shouldn't have to pay for the time and distance involved in getting to the venues. Since vehicles for hire and reward have tachographs the seller should be able to provide records of annual distances traveled as well as the problems identified and dealt with at the regular safety inspections
My bus number (if any): RMs 238, 471 and 2213, GS17
Unfortunately the vehicle was not offered by Exclusive cars so the detailed service and use history is not with it. So I am hoping that Exclusive cars will still help with any points. The bus drops little or no oil anywhere, even at cold the exhaust is cleaner than other RMs I have seen.
I am assuming that RM108 originally was a Leyland engine bus.
Leather trimming down gangway side of seats - when did LT begin using this - at first overhaul?
Good luck if you do get to buy it John. Contact the owners of rm822 they got a faretable of route 149 in the conductors locker they might ket you have. Also the leather sides where done to rms originally but later on they were phased out on overhulls.
The leather edge is a long established adornment to LT buses going way back.
It was to reduce wear not just to the seat but to the conductors uniform when constantly brushing past.
Alos to help keep clean as the most dirt prone areas could be wiped.
Down side was non handed seats could not be swapped as they became handed.
So gradually phased out in the early 1980s. Brian, being an Aldenham man will probably know when the Trim shop ceased using the leather entirely.