816 - FRN 816W

FLEET NO. : 816
REGISTRATION NO. : FRN 816W (MSV 927, NCT 833, BFW 428W, BFW 433W)
CHASSIS : Leyland Tiger TRCTL11/3R / No. 8003589
BODY : Van Hool / No. 9685 C51F
GEARBOX : Semi Automatic (Hydrocyclic)
OTHER OWNERS : Leyland Vehicles (Prototype & Demonstrator); W. Gash & Sons Ltd., Newark; Lincolnshire Road Car; A.C. Williams, Ancaster; Tryline Travel, Cwmbran; TM Travel (for preservation)
CURRENT STATUS : Not serviceable - currently under restoration

The Leyland B43 chassis was developed as a replacement to the popular Leopard, the prototype chassis being built in 1979/80. 

FRN 816W was one of the original prototype Leyland B43 (Tiger) coaches, the chassis being built by Leyland in April 1980, but being bodied almost a year later in February 1981 by Van Hool. The Van Hool Alizee body fitted, then a fairly new design, was Leyland's initial offering of coachwork from a continental bodybuilder for the Tiger.  This was one of the vehicles subsequently used to launch the chassis in a spectacular event in Gibraltar and Tangier, Morocco, in 1981, which is said to have cost over £1 million. FRN 816W is the last known surviving prototype Leyland Tiger used at the event.

Following use by Leyland Vehicles as a demonstrator (and regular on the rally scene at the time), the coach was sold in 1985 for further service to well respected Lincolnshire independent W. Gash & Sons Ltd. of Newark, who operated the coach as MSV 927 until their takeover by Lincolnshire Road Car in 1989. Road Car then used it for their 'Airedale Tours' subsidiary, for a brief spell, before the vehicle became part of the 'Coachlink' fleet. Roadcar finally withdrew the vehicle in 2001, then registered as BFW433W and sold the coach to A.C. Williams, of nearby Ancaster, where it received 'cherished' registration NCT 833. After four years of service in 2005, the coach passed to Welsh Operator, Tryline Travel, as BFW 428W, whose livery it currently carries. This seemed to be a short lived move, as an article in Bus and Coach Buyer magazine - 25 years on from the launch of the Leyland Tiger, and a follow up article, which looked at what happened to the launch Tigers, prompted TM Travel to purchase FRN for preservation, noting its historic significance, and managing to acquire the original registration.

Rallied only once so far in preservation, by TM Travel at the Meadowhall Rally of 2007, it is hoped that the coach will soon return to the road one more, where it will hopefully make its debut rally appearance since the vehicle was sold by TM Travel (following the TrentBarton takeover of the company) to 123 Group member David Kelly in February 2010.



Coming soon



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