Lot 311 - 1949 Victor Albion Victor FT3AB 26 Seat Bus by Harrington

Lot 311 - 1949 Victor Albion Victor FT3AB 26 Seat Bus by Harrington

Lot 311 - 1949 Victor Albion Victor FT3AB 26 Seat Bus by Harrington

Lot Number 311
Registration KCD697
Chassis Number 70790B
Engine Number TBC
Estimate £8,000 - £12,000
Result Sold - £8,680

In 1897 Thomas Harrington (1859-1928) started building light horse drawn passenger wagonettes, flys and landaus at his premises in Church Street, Brighton. Within three years the original works was expanded and new showrooms were acquired in King Street. The increasing popularity of the motor car meant that this became the mainstay of the business, although commercial vehicle bodywork remained as a sideline.  In the 1920's production of luxury coach and bus bodies became the major occupation of the firm. In 1930, a purpose-built factory known as Sackville Works was constructed at Old Shoreham Road, Hove. Not as bold as some new factories of the time the cement rendered facade could be described as falling somewhere between art nouveau and art deco. Displayed in large but elegant letters on one side was 'Motor Coach Builders' and on the other side, 'Automobile Engineers'. The first numbered body from Sackville works in 1947 was a Commer Commando which was actually an export model. Harrington bodied very few Bedford OB chassis, the market being pretty well sewn up by the Duple Vista. The Harrington body unfortunately lacks the certain something that made the Vista body so popular, and was almost certainly more expensive. Demand for PSV chassis after the war had prompted smaller manufacturers such as Albion and Commer to look to the expanding market even though it would continue to be dominated by Bedford. One little 'push' towards the shape of the future was that for example, both the Albion Victor and Commer Avenger were not 'half cab' chassis and were only intended for bodying with the full front style. While Duple had a special relationship with Bedford, Harrington were Rootes Group sales agents and therefore able to get deliveries of the new Commer Avenger when it was released in 1948. The Commer Avenger which typically carried 32 people and the Albion Victor were slightly smaller but carried the same body except on the Albion version the radiator was still on view, since it was a traditional cast aluminium item.

This KCD 697 is an Albion Victor FT3AB was completed in November 1949. It was initially used as a demonstrator by its body manufacturer, Harrington's of Hove, Sussex. It then passed to St. Dunstan's home for the blind, just outside Brighton, and worked there for many years.  The vendor believes that this bus was used at the World famous Star and Garter Hospital for injured servicemen in Richmond-upon-Thames. In the early 1980s this bus was purchased by a Mr R Turner of Berkshire from Hovis were it was used by their sports club based in London, this Albion was the subject to an external restoration, painting the bus in the Hovis colours, in which she is presented here today. Also while in Mr Turner's ownership the six cylinder petrol engine was replaced with the better EN286 diesel engine. The Art Deco style interior is completely original and in very good order. The vendor purchased this Albion in 2002 and added it to his collection of commercial vehicles and has had very little use since. This 26 seat bus is supplied with a V5 registration document and a new Class V MoT test certificate. Please note if the coach was to be used for fare paying passengers it would require a full PSV standard test certificate.

Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.

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