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Notes About This Vehicle

Following the success of the single-deck Leyland National, a project was conceived in 1973 and designated ‘B15’ for a double decker. The name ‘Leyland Titan’ was revived from the much earlier front-engined double decker of the 1920s to 1960s.
Five prototypes were built between 1975 and 1977 fitted with Leyland’s 500 series engines. The London market being a priority, numbers 4 and 5 were evaluated there, with the overall design notably influenced by London Transport.
In due course, single- and dual-door options were offered to operators as was a flexible approach to the location of the staircase. The production vehicles received the Gardner 6LXB engine following concerns over reliability and fuel economy of the British Leyland 500.
The initial order of these 68-seater vehicles from London Transport was for 50, subsequently increased to 250, with bodies to be built at Park Royal Vehicles, later to be transferred to AEC in Southall. This arrangement led to industrial action embroiling both suppliers and an unacceptability slow pace of delivery. The first vehicle was not delivered until August 1978.
London eventually purchased 1125 Titans but also opted for 1440 of Metro-Cammell Weymann’s rival ‘Metrobus’.
Fleet number T66 entered service in standard livery in December 1978. In 1983 London Transport celebrated its 50th anniversary and painted various vehicles in liveries reminiscent of those of the London General Omnibus Company (‘General’), the largest operator of the time and whose large fleet it inherited – T66 was one of those painted in this pastiche colour scheme.
The Titan class was largely superseded by 2001 with the Metrobus surviving a little longer. Both were deemed inappropriate with the by then demand for low-floor vehicles and the last Titan ran in London in June 2003.
As with any vehicle type operated over a period of time, internal and external features evolved and varied. In 1983 the bus carried the Aldenham adverts depicted here, including, as best I can, the appalling letter spacing (or almost complete lack of it) of the New Johnston typeface introduced a few years earlier. I don’t know if an advert appeared on the rear.

Notes About This Drawing

The drawing is based on Chiswick Works general arrangement drawing ‘T001.Z.’ dated 28th April 1980. 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.
All the fine detail has been interpreted from dozens of colour photographs of T66 in preservation in October 2013 though this may not be precisely representative of how it looked when painted in this commemorative livery. From the information available, one or two details have been altered here. None of the detail can be regarded as definitive.
It should be understood that all four elevations are seen here as one would see each part of the vehicle at a truly perpendicular angle. In real life this is of course impossible.
© drawing copyright Douglas Rose – January 2016
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