Proving to be an eminently practical bus in UK service, this double-decker only sold 1000 units over a twelve year period. Lots of beaut colour photograps and an informative text build a full picture of the vehicle in service.
In the early 1970s a new competitor for the UK-based bus and coach manufacturing industry emerged in the guise of Volvo, which opened a factory at Irvine, on the Ayrshire coast, to supply chasses for the UK and export market. The company's primary foray into the double-deck market - before its ultimate acquisition of the Olympian and the transfer of this model's production to Irvine - was the B55 Ailsa. The model was unusual in that, unlike the prevailing major models of the period (the VR, Fleetline and Atlantean), the Ailsa had its engine at the front - similar to the ill-fated Guy Wulfrunian of the early 1960s - whilst still retaining a front entrance for one-person operation. Production of the Ailsa ran from 1973 until 1985 and, in all, some 1000 were constructed for the UK and export markets. Major UK operators included the Scottish Bus Group, Tayside Regional Transport, West Midlands PTE, South Yorkshire PTE and Cardiff, whilst London Regional Transport also took three experimental models. Whilst these were the only examples acquired for operation in London by LRT, significant numbers of second-hand vehicles started to operate in London post-privatisation. The final regular service with the type, apart from limited school traffic, was in Cardiff in 2007. This fantastic new book examines the history of the Ailsa from its origins through to its final withdrawal. Packed with over 175 mono and colour illustrations, the book will be sought after by enthusiasts nationwide.