Just read a great history from you. As a newcomer to this group I keep finding info that still fascinates me and starts my senses recalling the past.
At least, an October 1961 Leopard brochure, covering the L and PSU3 models, refers to the spheroidal 600 engine, which was available with two settings, 125 hp at 1700 rev/min for bus applications, and 130 hp at 2200 rev/min for coach applications. As the PSU3 was announced around July/August 1961, this must have been a very early edition of the Leopard brochure covering it.
Just a couple of recalls:-
Can you remember in 1964 when the m.v.Yamashiro Maru collided with the m.v.Magdeburg which sunk in the Thames estuary?
(This event is really worth a good search for members google it and enjoy it)
The Magdeburg was an East German ship and had on deck 42 Leyland-MCW Olympic buses bound for Cuba. Lord Stokes had done a deal to supply Cuba with a lot of buses and caused a big stir. Now there are even theories that the CIA was involved.
Whilst I was in England a few of my Aussie friends had asked me to look at some of these salvaged buses with the idea of buying one and driving it to Australia. Would be a great bus with rugged body very basic, no windows only steel bars and wooden slat seats and would take a bit of knocking around on a trip to downunder.
I was at that time a Service Engineer with Leyland Motors based in Chorley and was driving back from a visit to Black and White Motorway Coaches in Cheltenham. They had just taken delivery of a 3 new Leopards and complained they were slow, had no power and their earlier Leopards could rung rings around them
A simple test drive and timing to reach 60 MPH confirmed their complaint.
Their old Chief Engineer Arthur Gorton was real character, took one look at me and later rang the head of the Service Dept and told him to send a REAL engineer next time not a young inexperienced Aussie.
Back to the story I found that the only difference between the early and late Leopards was that the later engines were fitted with CAV DPA fuel pumps as against Simms inline pumps.
The service engineers had access to the research dept and engine testing dept and I found the engine dyno tests for both type of engines. Both were rated the same Horsepower at the max revs 2200 but the torque curves were very different. One was quite flat and the other peaked and then dropped off at the higher revs.
The later DPA pump engines had been limited to keep the same Horse Power figures at the max revs but lost its torque at the higher revs.
Then I took them to the Chief Service Engineer and he told me to talk to the Chief Engineer of Engines, which I did.
I felt a bit embarrassed when he took the research test results and pointed to the signature on the bottom and smiled and said they were his.
What I had found was bit of a blunder and on all subsequent engines and ones already in service the fuel settings on the DPA pump had to be modified.
This was a bit tricky to a do in the field as we had to measure the distance of rotation of a plate inside the pump hoping that no dirt entered the pump.
Back to Black and White Motorway Services and I changed the settings on all the pumps and resealed the pumps afterwards.
The owner in the meantime was still raving on about an Aussie youngster but I had let fly a few times back at him and as I was soon to be returning to Aus. I gave him a bit of a blast as I finished the last bus.
He stormed off and one of his mechanics said Nobody would ever speak like that to the Guv'n
. However at about 4 pm the Guv rang me at my hotel and asked if I was going back to Chorley and if I had had a shower yet.
I had had a shower as I had diesel all over me and smelt. I said yes and goodbye, but 10 mins later he knocked on my door and said he would like to buy me a drink.
As an Aussie should never say No to a free drink I went outside with him and he opened the door to his Rolls for me. I think it was his girlfriend driving and what a night it was. We started with a few drinks a local pub and then a meal.
By this time the Guv
was talking me up and calling me his young Welsh named Aussie Friend who fixed his buses.
We then drove into Wales and did a long pup crawl even after closing time. At each closed Pub we went to the back door and it was opened and more drinking. The Guv
was a great host and even tried to get me to sing me being of Welsh ancestry.
What a night to remember and the trip to Southend next day to view the Cuban Bus was a bit slow.
I met up with the same Leyland Chief Engineer some years later and he remembered me.
Interesting that it was over some problems with black smoke belching out of Leyland Panther’s 680 Power Plus engines fitted with the same CAV DPA fuel pumps. The Police were issuing yellow stickers on these new Panthers and putting them off the road.
I had done some dyno tests on an engine at MTT Kensington St Workshops and showed a group of Leyland Exec’s when they were on a trip thru Australia. I think his words were something like "Not CAV Pumps again."
However that's another story for later and also you have mentioned the close coulpled gearbox on the Panthers and the radiators at the rear which also had serious problems.
I can add a quite few more mechanical knowledge points to many of the topics raised in this post if you would like.
Interesting also that I read in this post about how specs were put together for export and I can relate to this as I worked at AEC in 1963 and spent about 3 months in the export dept. under Allan Moon and later with the export dept. at Leyland’s in London. Quite an experience !!!