Buses (trucks) KENWORTH Vancouver B.C. U.S.A

Kenworth logoThe Kenworth company

Kenworth Bi level bus aKenworth Bi level bus

Kenworth Bi level busKenworth Bi level bus

took its name from H.W. Kent and E.K. Worthington who had been directors of its predecessor company, the Gersix Manufacturing Co. Their early days were helped by the failure of the only other truck makers in Seattle, H.R.L. and Vulcan, from whom Kenworth bought parts. Early Kenworths came in three sizes, 1 Y2-, 2%- and 4-tons, all powered by 4-cylinder Buda engines. The first year’s production was 78 trucks of which only two were the 4-tonners. By 1925 there were five models, from one to five tons, and in 1926 annual production reached 99 trucks. At this time and for many years afterwards Kenworth production was sufficiently small for a wide variety of customer’s requests to be incorporated, so it is misleading to speak of a standard range; almost any type of vehicle would be built if asked for. In 1927 a new 78 hp 6-cylinder engine was used, and Kenworth began to cater more noticeably for the West Coast market, with 7-speed transmissions, stronger axles and sometimes supplementary springs at the front. In 1929 Kenworth set up a branch factory at Vancouver, B.C.

1929 kenworth bus1929 Kenworth bus © William McCullough Collection

He identifies the bus on the left as a 1931 Heiser scratch build, and the one on the left as a 1935 Kenworth with a Heiser body  a

He identifies the bus on the left as a 1931 Heiser scratch build, and the one on the left as a 1935 Kenworth with a Heiser body

In 1932 Kenworth became the first American truck maker to offer a diesel engine as a factory option; this was a 4-cylinder 100 hp Cummins HA4. Other developments of the early 1930s included torsion-bar suspension and vacuum boosters for the hydraulic brakes. New types of vehicle included 6-wheelers, either with trailing 3rd axle or tandem drive, and fire engines. Buses had been made from the late 1920s, and were a small but interesting part of Kenworth’s business until the late 1950s. They were mostly intercity coaches, some with ‘one and a half deck’ bodies, and either conventional or forward control. Some in the late 1930s had underfloor pancake engines, while an interesting hybrid built in 1951 for Northern Pacific Railroad was the ‘Bruck’, a combination bus and truck for 17 passengers at the front and a taller cargo van, 18 ft long over the tandem axle at the rear. It was powered by a 136 hp Hall-Scott engine.

1933 kw trucks1933 Kenworth trucks © William McCullough Collection

In 1935 Kenworth began to build their own cabs and sheet metal, a result of which was an attractive chrome grille which is still recognizable in the appearance of today’s Kenworths. Although special requests could still be made, such as chain-drive trucks in order to get an axle capacity for a larger load, there was a standard range of Kenworths in the late 1930s from 2- to 10-ton trucks in the price range $1245 to $11646. Basic power plants were Hercules, Buda and Herschell-Spillman gasoline, and Cummins diesels, all 6-cylinder engines. The first four­-wheel-drive truck was made in 1937, and cab-overs appeared in the same year. Other special models were low­-bed trucks, milk delivery trucks and sleeper boxes in the rear of the cabs. In 1941 Cummins built the world’s first aluminum diesel for installation in a Kenworth at the request of the company.

1935 kenworth getimage1935 kenworth Bus

During World War II Kenworth made some 1900 MIA wrecker trucks similar to those of Ward LaFrance, and also pilot models of an 8-ton 6×6 truck. Using the experience gained in war-time metallurgy, Kenworth engineers developed in 1944 an extruded aluminum truck frame, and extended the use of aluminum to cabs, hoods and transmission housings. In 1945 Kenworth was bought by Pacific Car & Foundry who relocated it in the former Fisher body plant in Seattle where it has operated ever since. Later a Kenworth plant was established in Kansas City which specialized in extra-heavy duty models.

1935 kenworth-bus-11935 Kenworth-bus

Production of civilian trucks never entirely ceased during the war, though it was down to only 87 units in 1943. In the late 1940s it climbed to some 600 per year, and passed the 1000 mark in 1952. Conventionals and cab-overs were made, together with fire engines and a dwindling number of buses. The radiator on the conventionals had become vertical in 1940 in place of the sloping grille used since 1935, and this vertical design has been steadily developed up to the present without any radical change. In 1947 Kenworth developed desert trucks for oilfield work in the Middle East, culminating in the Model 953 of 1958 which had a Cummins NTC350 engine, tire sizes of up to 29.50, and cost over $100,000. These trucks are so large that a low sports car can be driven under them, and they have been used for transporting full-sized locomotives across the desert. In 1950 a Boeing turbine was installed in a Kenworth and although it did not go into production it was the first gas turbine in scheduled freight service. Another special project was the

1935 Kenworth-bus-21935 Kenworth-bus

Kenworth UnknownKenworth Unknown

T-10 Heavy Equipment Transporter for the US Army, a double-ended unit with tractors in front and rear of a 250mm gun, with a total weight of 85 tons.

1937 Kenworth bus1937 Kenworth bus

In 1953 Kenworth introduced an original cab-beside­-engine design for line-haul work in the mountains where the drivers wanted maximum visibility. Some were 6x4s with the sleeper box behind the engine and entrance to the cab. This was really a single-seater, though a small canvas seat behind the driver could carry a passenger. The cbe style was too unconventional to last for long. Another Kenworth original developed in conjunction with Pacific Intermountain Express, in 1956 was a 4-axle ‘Dromedary’ with twin steering axles and a short cargo van between the cab and the 5th wheel coupling for the semi-trailer. Peterbilt also built ‘Dromedaries’ for P.I.E.

1937 Kenworth Touring Bus 011937 Kenworth Touring Bus

From the late 1940s onwards, tractor-trailer units be­gan to gain increasing importance in Kenworth produc­tion compared with straight trucks, and today make up the bulk of trucks built. The familiar flat-faced full-width cab-overs (K Series) have been made since 1950 with little change, this cab being shared today with Peterbilt. For the past 20 years or so all Kenworths have used diesel en­gines, the basic units being Cummins, with Caterpillar or Detroit Diesels as regular options. In 1971 came the PD series, later renamed the Hustler; this was a straight cab-­forward design mainly intended for the urban delivery trade, and used the same cab as Peterbilt’s 200 series. In 1973 a new model was the Brute, a 6X4 conventional in­tended for the construction industry. Current models in­clude the Brute and Hustler, W-series conventional line-­haul tractors and K-series cab-over line-haul tractors. GVWs range from 50,000 to 89,000 lbs. for the construc­tion models, and GTW s with semi-trailers for the Wand K series from 76,800 to 130,000 lbs. Production has grown dramatically in the past 15 years, from under 2000 in the early 1960s to 10,000 to 11,000 in the mid-1970s. In addi­tion to the Kansas City plant, Kenworth has factories at Mexicali, Baja California and Bayswater, Victoria in Aus­tralia where some special models for the local market are made including ones with tandem front steering axles. Kenworth has gained an unusual record in being the fast­est recorded truck in the world, with speeds of 132-154 mph for a tractor, and 92.083 mph for a tractor and semi-­trailer. Both records were set in 1975.

1937 Kenworth Touring Bus1937 Kenworth Touring Bus

photos_kenworth_logotypes__1_b1937 Kenworth Touring Bus 031937 Kenworth Touring Bus

1937 Kenworth Touring Bus 041937 Kenworth Touring Bus

images_kenworth_logotypes__1_1024x7681937 Kenworth Touring Bus 051937 Kenworth Touring Bus

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA1937 Kenworth Touring Bus

1938 Kenworth Buses.1938 Kenworth Buses © William McCullough Collection

Kenworth bus photoKenworth bus photo

1946 Kenworth Beaver Aerocoach Southern Bus1946 Kenworth Beaver Aerocoach Southern Bus

1950 Kenworth International Red Diamond Bus Rural Sur1950 Kenworth – International Red Diamond Bus Rural Sur © Gonzalo Catalán T.


1953 Kenworth bus1953 Kenworth bus

1955 Kenworth T126 Pacific School Coach1955 Kenworth T126 Pacific School Coach

1955 Kenworth T-216 Pacific School CoachWahkiakum SD1955 Kenworth T-216 Pacific School Coach Wahkiakum SD

1958 Kenworth bus1958 Kenworth bus Buddy Holly Tour of Stars

1953 Kenworth Buddy Holly Bus

1958 Kenworth bus Buddy Holly Tour of Stars

Kenworth » CargoCoach Bruck a

Kenworth » CargoCoach Bruck © Greg Pascut

Kenworth » CargoCoach BruckKenworth » CargoCoach Bruck © trucksplanet

That’s all the Kenworth Buses I could find.

GILFORD Motor Company Ltd. Bus England

GILFORD Motor Company Ltd. Bus England

September 16, 2013 By  Leave a Comment (Edit)

Gilford Motor Company Ltd.


1928 Gilford AS6 20 seat coach1928 Gilford AS6 20 seat coach

The origins of the Gilford Motor Company can be traced back to the post First World War period, when E. B. Horne set up in business to sell former military chassis, principally of Garford manufacture. Many of these chassis were from continental battlefields were they had been left, and Horne imported them to England. Once at his works, a dingy stable yard in Holloway, London, they were completely stripped down and overhauled, the engines were re-conditioned and the completed chassis re-sold.

By 1925 the business had been incorporated as E. B. Horne & Company Limited, and, along with his partner V. O. Skinner, Horne decided to manufacture chassis to their own design. Initially it had been planned to produce a low-loading passenger chassis, but the first production vehicles appeared in May 1925 and were conventional lorry chassis, marketed under the trade name of ‘Gilford’. It is presumed that this name was chosen, so as to resemble ‘Garford’, which was a well-tried, reliable chassis.

1928 Gilford Motor Co1928 Gilford Motor Co

The first three chassis were fitted with American Buda engines, manufactured at the company’s English works at Wembley in Middlesex, although, as with all Gilford models, the engines were described as ‘Gilford’. Throughout their short existence, Gilford never manufactured anything, but assembled ready-made parts supplied by other firms.

Sales were initially slow, which was perhaps as well for the Holloway site did not have the capacity for rapid production of chassis. Around October 1925, Horne introduced the drop-frame bus chassis, which immediately became more successful than most of its competitors. The chassis frame was only 1ft 11ins in height compared to the standard 2ft 9ins on goods chassis, and, with a 15ft wheelbase, the finished vehicle could accommodate up to 26 passengers in comfort. The Buda engine was again the powerhouse, whilst the steering was of the cam and lever type, the best that could be obtained at the time. A new design of radiator was introduced with the name ‘Gilford’ prominent.

1929 bakers Gilford 1660T Wray body1929 bakers Gilford 1660T Wray body

In 1926 Horne & Company brought out a six-cylinder engined version of their passenger chassis. Advertised as the Lowline Safety Coach (and designated LLC) it completely superseded the four-cylinder model. Buda again manufactured the engines. The wheelbase was available as either 15ft or 16ft 6ins, which resulted in the reclassification of the available models as LL15 and LL166, a designation that persisted on most Gilford models to the end.

On the 6th November 1926, the Gilford Motor Company Limited was registered, with Horne and Skinner in control.

Around this time the country was beginning to come out of a period of depression and the demand for commercial vehicles, and in particular motor coaches, was rising. The Gilford Motor Company was working at full capacity and their name was becoming more widespread and well known in coaching circles, with a reputation for quality and speed. To deal with the sales of new and second-hand vehicles, provincial depots were set up, including one in Belfast, which resulted in an early order for six 30-seaters from Downpatrick Motor Services, and another one in Dublin. With the increasing interest in the company’s vehicles, it became apparent that larger premises were required and on 19th December 1927 the whole of the production was moved to the newly acquired Bellfield Works, in High Wycombe. Shortly after, on the 28th December 1927, Gilford registered a new subsidiary company called Wycombe Motor Bodies Ltd., which fronted their entry into coachbuilding. It, too, had its headquarters at the Bellfield Works.

1929 Gilford 166SD Clarke B26F ... new March 19291929 Gilford 166SD Clarke B26F … new March 1929

The bodybuilding concern was intended to produce a standard body for each type of chassis and, subsequently, a high proportion of Gilford chassis were fitted with Wycombe bodywork. In order to gain some bodybuilding experience, a number of elderly Dennis chassis belonging to the local Penn Bus Company were re-bodied. All Wycombe bodies (with the exception of just two) were of the wooden-framed type; the first of any new type being completely hand built with jigs being made of the component parts, which were then manufactured by an outside contractor and assembled in the Wycombe works. Bodies were assembled separately from the chassis and were held until a suitable chassis was available before mounting. The whole vehicle was then sent for painting. The vast majority of bodies were finished with cellulose, Wycombe being among the pioneers of this method, instead of the usual paint.

In May 1928, Gilford introduced new designs, designated the 15SD and 166SD for the normal control chassis (the SD stood for ‘Standard Drive’, and the numerals represented the wheelbase of either 15ft or 16ft 6ins), or the 15OT and 166OT for the forward control models (OT stood for ‘Over Type’ and were Gilford’s first forward control chassis). The 15ft models retained the Buda engine, but the 16ft 6ins models were equipped with a new 36 hp side-valve engine, produced by the Lycoming Manufacturing Company in America, and was, arguably, the most successful engine used by Gilford.

1929 Gilford 1660T + Wray C32D body UW 1205 Pullman Saloons1929 Gilford 1660T + Wray C32D body UW 1205 Pullman Saloons

The Wycombe designed bodies for the new range were rather square in design, with a canvas hood option on the normal control models as an alternative to the fixed roof with sliding section and quite a number of the earlier models were fitted in this way.

Towards the end of 1928, Gilford introduced a six-wheel chassis, a design that was becoming popular at the time. The 6WOT (6-Wheel Over Type) did not sell in any great quantity, but was once again fitted with an American manufactured engine. The six-cylinder side-valve unit was built in the USA by the Wisconsin Motor Company, but it was fitted to the 6WOT without modification, resulting in excess heat from the exhaust manifold being transmitted to the drivers cab.

1929 Gilford Ad1929 Gilford Ad

In the spring of 1929 the 15SD model was discontinued in favour of a smaller chassis (the CP6), with 13ft 3ins wheelbase. Later, in November of that year, Gilford took a stand at the 1929 Commercial Motor Exhibition with a view to introducing their new range of chassis. The new vehicles, which were broadly a development of the 166OT and 166SD models, had a larger wheelbase of 16ft 8ins and were, consequently, designated 168OT and 168SD. At the same time Gilford introduced their first double-deck vehicle, with a wheelbase of 16ft 3ins the model was designated the 163DOT (Double-deck Over Type). The 163DOT was bodied by Beadle with a lowbridge 50-seat body with sunken side gangways on either side of the upper saloon. It was painted in the livery of Borough Bus Services, whose fleet it later joined. Always prone to problems it remained the only 163DOT built. All three models used the Lycoming side-valve engine, but with a slightly larger 37.2hp capacity than previously used. The 168OT and 168SD proved very successful, owing largely to their greater seating capacity.

The Gilford Motor Company Limited was, by now, a public company, and the profit for the year amounted to around £40 000, out of which a dividend of 33% was paid on each of the 280 000 shares of 5 shillings held in the company. As it turned out, this was to be the zenith of the Company’s fortunes.

1929 Gilford Coach1929 Gilford Coach

The following year, 1930, the AS6 was introduced as a replacement for the CP6, with seating capacity of around 20 passengers. The vehicle was lively and reliable and quantities were sold, particularly to rural bus operators who required a small capacity coach chassis. For the first time, Gilford introduced a chassis specifically designed for goods work, designated the DF6 it, too, sold in quantity.

Throughout 1931 the 168 models continued to be produced, and another new type, the 168MOT was introduced. The ‘M’ stood for Meadows; the first British engine used on a Gilford chassis. Sadly, the engine proved unreliable and was often replaced after a few months in service. This led to the model’s unpopularity and it was discontinued by the year-end.

1929 Gilford Hera Wycomb Body1929 Gilford Hera Wycomb Body

At the 1931 Olympia show, Gilford unveiled, for the first time, the double-deck version of the front-wheel drive bus that they had spent literally thousands of pounds developing. It resulted in an extremely low height vehicle, which stood just 12ft 11ins high, with the normal centre-gangway. The chassis frame was dispensed with altogether and the strength of the bus was contained in the structure of the body. The body was constructed by Wycombe Motor Bodies and this, and a front-wheel drive single-deck vehicle exhibited at the same show, were the only two metal-framed bodies built. Despite the advanced design and the amount spent developing them, there were no prospective purchasers, and this in part was responsible for the downturn in the Company’s financial position towards the end of the year, with a loss of over £28 000 being registered.

By 1932, other manufacturers were eroding the Gilford passenger chassis market, and with limited finance, Gilford turned its attention to developing vehicles for the goods market. Another double-deck chassis was shown at the Scottish Motor Exhibition in November 1932. Named the Zeus, it was officially classified 163D (16ft 3ins wheelbase Double-decker), and was equipped with a Vulcan 45.02hp petrol engine – the ‘Juno’. The prototype front-wheel drive double-decker was converted into a trolleybus for experimental purposes, with electrical gear being substituted for the engine, but otherwise basically unaltered. Although no customers were forthcoming for the trolleybus, at least it did operate in service for a short while, on loan to Wolverhampton Corporation in November and December of that year.

1929-1938 Gilford CP6 C26F seats1929-1938 Gilford CP6 C26F seats

Despite an enormous amount of publicity and being well received by the technical press, the Zeus once again failed to capture the passenger chassis market, although another newly introduced chassis – the ‘Hera’, designated 176S (17ft 6ins Single-decker) sold fairly well. This, however, did little to revive the Company’s fortunes, and in 1933 it was announced that the High Wycombe works was to be sold and the Company was to move into a much smaller factory in London, known as Brentside Works.

Sales did no better in 1934, when two orders from Western SMT for 40 vehicles represented 40% of the total annual output, and by 1935 output was little over 1 vehicle per week. On the 29th November 1935 the company went into receivership, with liabilities of over £21 000 against assets of just under £6 000, which when the issued share capital of £100 000 was taken into account made the total deficit over £116 000. On the 31st December 1935 the Company was wound up and the Gilford Motor Company passed into history.

1930 Gilford Motor Company MY 57 Colour1930 Gilford Motor Company MY 57 Colour

The main reasons for the Company’s failure were outlined at a meeting on the same day and included the high costs of developing the front-engined bus chassis; the high proportion of bad debts incurred by the Company (Gilford chassis were often sold on deferred-payment terms and in the cut-throat coach business of the thirties smaller operators who purchased these vehicles were unable to pay, which resulted in many of the chassis being re-possessed); and lastly, the formation of the London Passenger Transport Board, which took away many of Gilford’s best customers, and indeed, the fleet of over 200 Gilford’s inherited by the LPTB made them the largest ever operators of Gilford vehicles.

1930 Gilford1930 Gilford

1930 MoTr-Gilford

1930 MoTr-Gilford

1931 Evan Evans Tours coach (GW 713)Gilford 168OT Weyman

1931 Evan Evans Tours coach (GW 713) Gilford 168OT Weymann

1931 Front Wheel Gilford SD

1931 Front Wheel Gilford SD

1931 Gilford AS6 Buda engine

1931 Gilford AS6 Buda engine

1931 Gilford DD Front Wheel Drive Gilford

1931 Gilford DD Front Wheel Drive Gilford

1931 lbc16 Gilford

1931 lbc16 Gilford

1931 Vaillant Direct Coaches Gilford 168OT GW-713

1931 Vaillant Direct Coaches Gilford 168OT GW-713

1932 Gilford 1680T EV-7580 Wycombe C32F

1932 Gilford 1680T EV-7580 Wycomb C32F

1932 WBS-Brid-UL5805-Gilford

1932 WBS-Brid-UL5805-Gilford

1933 Gilford DD

1933 Gilford DD

1933 Yeates KEMP-Gilford-GP-5147

1933 Yeates KEMP-Gilford-GP-5147

1934 Gilford EV8108, Hillman's Coaches 168OT

1934 Gilford EV8108, Hillman’s Coaches 168OT

1937 Gilford CF176

 1937 Gilford CF176

Gilford Bus at 12.50 in the next film

That was all I could find.