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The double width door looks unusual on a front-engined single decker, and the grille looks like a throwback to the BMMO S6 or D5.
It’s almost like a slightly longer and more substantial alternative to the Bristol SC.
Atkinson continued with the Alpha though, which was initially offered as a mediumweight model, fitted with a choice of Gardner 4, 5 or 6HLW engines, and either an Atkinson 5-speed overdrive constant-mesh or David Brown 5-speed direct top synchromesh gearbox.
At the 1953 Scottish Show they displayed an Alpha fitted with Self-Changing Gears semi-automatic gearbox – quoted as being the first to be fitted to a PSV chassis (Leyland – owner of SCG – had a minority shareholding in Atkinson at the time).
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In August 1968, a certain shop steward in the iron foundry shop took it upon himself, presumably arising from some grievance, to cast the name ‘Gardner’ upside down on the crankcase of the large and expensive 8L3B engine.Production diminished throughout the 1950’s, the model’s swansong occurring in 1963 when Sunderland Corporation surprised everyone by taking three updated 33ft. T rally at Seaburn, which is to the north of Sunderland, so no doubt the bus would have been used on services in the area at some time during its working life.long buses with semi-automatic gearboxes and modern-style Marshall bodies, but these were the last of the line. Sorry folks, in my haste I forgot to add the fleet and registration numbers for the Sunderland Atkinson. More photos of the vehicle were posted in my Metro Center May 2013 gallery. Self Changing Gears did not succumb to Leyland control until 1957, when the Lancashire maker bought the Hawker Siddeley third of the shares in the company.I entirely agree that the 4LW engine would have been a far from refined power unit, even with a flexible mounting.(Nonetheless, the prewar Dennis Lancet with four cylinder petrol or diesel power was noted for smooth running.) The 4LW had a capacity of 5.6 litres, almost exactly the same as the experimental 6LK engine made in the 1930s but not produced in volume.
The layout is probably the most odd of all the Atkinson bus production as, to an extent, all the other body layouts followed traditional or, at least, accepted formats yet a long wheelbase with a double width door behind the front axle needs some explanation!