Preserved B-Type B2737
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Notes About This Vehicle

Following on from several different designs, operated by several operators, there are strong arguments to say the B-Type was London’s first ‘standard’ motor bus.
Though they were far from all being the same, the model was certainly the first to be mass produced and entered service in late 1910. The chassis, which varied in height, carried wooden bodies from more than one builder, closely reminiscent of their horse bus forebears. Steel wheels of different designs were used, with solid tyres, though there were no front brakes.
A product of dominant operator the London General Omnibus Company, the bus was a success. Its overhanging upper deck variations saw a few different seating layouts too, though the norm was 16 lower and 18 upper.
The early radiators had a flat top sporting ‘LGOC’, later being replaced by those more curved and displaying ‘GENERAL’. The wheelbase varied and a few single deckers were also built.
Over 1000 LGOC buses were requisitioned for the War effort in 1914, though not all B-Types. The buses were painted in a camouflage khaki colour and the windows boarded over. For troop carrying purposes the B-Types could carry 24 soldiers as opposed to 34 seated passengers in London. Some were converted to lorries.
Fleet number B2737 began bus service in January 1914. After its war duties it returned, still in khaki livery, and served as a ‘traffic emergency bus’ in relieving pressure on congested bus routes. It was sold in 1922 for use elsewhere.
B2737 was re-constructed from original B-Type parts found from various parts of the world, with missing or damaged components manufactured as part of a restoration by the London Transport Museum, completed in 2014. ‘Lifeguards’ have not been fitted though they would have had them when in passenger service. This drawing attempts to show it as closely as possible to this resulting condition.

Notes About This Drawing

This drawing is based on an undated ‘general arrangement’ drawing, though the offside was not portrayed. This type of black & white sketch drawing, as implied by the name, is not intended to define detail but as a specification guide to builders. More than one of these drawings exists and the vehicles themselves varied considerably.
All the fine detail in this particular interpretation has been sourced from over 200 contemporary colour photographs and measurements of the vehicle itself at London Transport Museum’s Acton store. None of the detail here can be regarded as definitive.
It should be understood that all four elevations are seen here as one would see all parts of the vehicle at a truly perpendicular angle. In real life this is of course impossible.
 
drawing copyright Douglas Rose May 2015
 
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