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Howard Porter Volvo Coach.

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Howard Porter Volvo Coach.

Postby Denv12 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:06 am

The photo below is from the original Across Australia Coachlines timetable. Back then I think they were owned by the people who started "Flight Centre". There were 3 Volvo coaches.The Howard Porter,The Domino Industries Metroliner and I think a 3 axle PMC Adelaide Apollo.They were painted brown and white. The company of Across Australia Coachlines was owned by Ross Love prior to Max Winkless purchasing the company.Would like some history there.

Back in 1985 and 1986 (Max Winkless era) the Domino Volvo was used on "Quest Tours" charters based in Adelaide at the time whilst the Howard Porter Volvo was Perth based and used at times on the Across Australia Coachlines express.I drove the Domino Volvo at "Quest Tours" and the Howard Porter Volvo on express when one of the Parlorcars Dennings was about to overheat. Both Volvos were single axle Volvos and repainted in the then new livery in mid 1985 of red,white and blue. The Domino was sold to St Agnes Tours around late 1985 when all the charter buses/charter licences were sold off ,then it was sold to Flynns Buslines later. The Howard Porter Volvo was seen in Adelaide at times.It was a nice coach to drive.Both Volvos had their ZF splitter gearboxes locked in low range so top speed was reduced.

Does anyone have any production history for the Howard Porter bus builders? I'd love to know what they built over the years. Does anyone have photos of buses and coaches built by Howard Porter? And are there photos of the 3 Volvo coaches in any of their liveries?
Thanks.

Here's my post on Across Australia Coachlines/Parlorcars/Quest Tours:
viewtopic.php?f=48&t=73797
Parlorcars:
viewtopic.php?f=46&t=82292
And Bus Australia:
viewtopic.php?f=48&t=71702
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Last edited by Denv12 on Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:07 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Howard Porter Volvo Coach.

Postby Leyland B21 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:12 pm

I can tell you Howard Porter built a lot for Transperths predecessor MTT. Post Freighter and pre Volgren on the streets of Perth.

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Re: Howard Porter Volvo Coach.

Postby Herbert » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:16 am

Denv12 wrote:Does anyone have any production history for the Howard Porter bus builders?

Howard Porter motor body builders was established in William St Fremantle in 1936. They later moved to O`Connor (east of Fremantle for non-locals) & are currently located in Bibra Lake. Nowadays their main business appears to be producing heavy haulage equipment.

Their first full-sized city buses were assembled around 1957-1958 on different chassis for three separate operators:
3 Leyland Worldmasters for Riverton Bus Service,
3 AEC Regal IVs for Fremantle Municipal Transport Board
20 Daimler Freelines for the WA Govt Tramways
1 Guy Arab underfloor for the WAGT

Their first bus bodies for Perth's MTT were 10 AEC Regal VIs purchased in 1959, two Leyland Worldmasters in early 1960, then the rebodying of a handful of wood-framed AEC Regal IIIs acquired from Beam Transport. From then on Howard Porter would continue to tender annually for bodies for the MTT up to 1974. Generally the tenders were awarded to more than one body builder, eg Howard Porter, Campbell & Mannix, Boltons, Martin Nixon. At one stage Howard Porter petitioned the MTT that they change the tendering process such that greater economies of scale could be achieved & bodies produced at cheaper rates - much as contracts nowadays are awarded - however they were not successful in changing the WA Govt's method of financing the annual fleet renewal program.

The contract to body the first 66 Mercedes Benz O305s was awarded to Freighters, however they went bankrupt half way through the contract. Howard Porter bodied the remainder of that order & were periodically successful in being awarded contracts concurrently with J W Bolton to body future batches of O305s plus subsequent batches of Renault PR100.2s. Their last major contract was the bodying of the 19 Mercedes Benz O305Gs that featured O405-style bodies, plus the first batch of O405s. They assembled a number of later O405s from Volgren kits.

They rebodied or modified a number of buses for the WA Govt Railways during the 1960s, and assembled the first batch of O303s for Westrail.

From the 1960s, school & mine buses were also produced, often incorporating fibreglass mouldings under licence from eastern states body builders. They were also successful in winning tenders to body Albions for Kalgoorlie, and during the 1980s, Brazilian Mercs for the launch of Bunbury City Transit.

Here is a list of buses known to have been bodied by them (note that I am greatly indebted to the work of others for compiling this information):

http://perthbus.info/prequery.php?qqid= ... &ccid=14.0
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Re: Howard Porter Volvo Coach.

Postby Herbert » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:28 am

Denv12 wrote:And are there photos of the 3 Volvo coaches in any of their liveries?

The only Volvo B58 / Howard Porter I have listed for AAC was TC216, originally regd AAC005 - I assume that's the same coach as in the photo you posted.

The only additional photo I can offer is this one by C W Davison of ex-TC213 ex-AAC003 when operated by Tourwest:


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Re: Howard Porter Volvo Coach.

Postby Fleet Lists » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:03 am

The photo is of TC 214 and is a PMC bodied one.
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Re: Howard Porter Volvo Coach.

Postby Denv12 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:14 pm

Volvo B58-6100 16796 HPorter RC40FT 81/5038 09/81
TC216 ⁄ AAC005 Across Australia Coachlines

I did find the above mentioned coach on the list on Herbert list.Its around that time.AAC was purchased by Max Winkless from Ross Love in 1985.I assume the coaches came from that fleet including the Howard Porter.

The single axle coach and this school bus are almost identical:
http://perthbus.info/report.php?vid=TC3824

Need some history of the original Across Australia Coachlines prior to the Max Winkless era.
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Re: Howard Porter Volvo Coach.

Postby Denv12 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:08 pm

The only additional photo I can offer is this one by C W Davison of ex-TC213 ex-AAC003 when operated by Tourwest.(I edited too much from Herbert's post).

Thank you,Herbert for your reply.
Its possible that there were several coaches not just the 3 coaches I mentioned.Any of those coaches might have been sold off by AAC earlier than when Max Winkless purchased the company or after.
The only ones I saw in Adelaide in 1985 and drove them myself were the Domino bodied Volvo and the Howard Porter Volvo. Is it possible any of the coaches were ex Parlorcars at some point? Who owned Parlorcars before Max Winkless?

There must be people in Perth or at least WA who can shed some light on the history of AAC.Isnt there a bus preservation group in WA?
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Re: Howard Porter Volvo Coach.

Postby Linto63 » Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:05 am

The Leopards bodied for Hamersley Iron have a Custom Coaches look about them. Built under licence perhaps?
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Re: Howard Porter Volvo Coach.

Postby Fleet Lists » Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:15 pm

Westway operated 5 ex Hammersley Leopards - 3 Smithfield, 1 Hilquip and 1 Howard Porter m/o 8093 which eventually went to the Parker family.
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Re: Howard Porter Volvo Coach.

Postby Fleet Lists » Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:34 pm

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Re: Howard Porter Volvo Coach.

Postby Denv12 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:22 pm

Where did AAC Howard Porter coach end up after it was sold? What year was it sold? I remember it sitting in an auction yard around Main North Road Mawson Lakes near where McDonalds is now. The coach would have had a few owners.
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