On The Bus Charter Vehicles
Each of my buses has their own name and characteristics and each is as special as the next. All are suitable for wine and beer tours, private charters that can be incorporated in with other things such as picnics or High tea, wedding ceremonies, corporate events and school charters. I offer a personal and dedicated service, if you have something in mind and want that extra point of difference why not give me a call.
- Mary Ann
- Leonard & Cecil
AEC Bus “Sabrina” 49 seats
"Sabrina" is a 1974 AEC Reliance bus with a body built by New Zealand Motor Bodies Ltd. This AEC has a large horizontal 6-cylinder engine of 11.3 litres and seating for 49 passengers. It's 'old school'. The bus was brand new to Coburns Motors Ltd of Runanga on the West Coast (just out of Greymouth) in May 1974. Shortly after, that business was merged with Wyldes Motors Ltd and the bus remained in service (although of limited nature in recent years) with Wyldes until December 2007.
The bus body is a mostly standard urban body of the times, although to a smaller overall dimension, but with one notable difference. She has a stylish bulged front below the windscreen and very few buses were built with this feature. Some bus enthusiasts call this bus front 'the Sabrina Front' (after the well performed and endowed NZ female wrestler of the 1970s). Thus we named the bus "Sabrina" and it fits perfectly.
One Careful Owner.......... Wyldes Motors owned Sabrina for 33 years and this has certainly helped her to be a survivor. When their business mostly closed in 2007, she was sold to a local man who intended converting the bus into a motor home. She sat beside his house in Dunollie for some three years, but he decided that the bus was too big for his purpose and he put her up for sale. I had been looking for an elderly English bus for some time and upon seeing the bus and its very good condition, decided to purchase it.
Sabrina remains in her original as-built condition, which very much adds to her charm. Riding in Sabrina is a memory back to New Zealand rural bus travel of 40+ years ago. Just perfect for a bit of nostalgia, recall of good memories and lots of fun.
Volvo Coach 262 “Mary Ann” 41 seats
"Mary Ann:" is a 1977 Volvo B58 coach with a body built by New Zealand Motor Bodies Ltd to their 'Tourliner European' design, and she has 41 seats. One of 18 coaches that started service with Newmans Coachlines in 1976-78. Mary Ann was the last of the group to be registered on 21 December 1978 and operated out of Nelson City in earlier years.
These coaches were very popular on the provincial intercity services and were 'top of the line' in their time. With the following arrival of newer and larger coaches in the mid-1980s, some of the 41-seaters moved on to touring the country with the younger people groups such as Contiki. Mary Ann was one of these.
Newmans named many (but not all) of their coaches with a variety of names, carried above the front door. Some were given strong masculine names such as "Conquerer", "Achilles" and "Defiance". Some were later renamed and along with new coaches were given names of various Maori place names and NZ native flora. But my 262 has always been "Mary Ann".
Mary Ann was purchased by Mid-Canterbury Industries Ltd in 1993 along with a number of her sisters and saw service in the Canterbury region. Some received body modifications but Mary Ann did not and she has remained in the attractive 'as built' order. Mary Ann was purchased by Richard Potts of Wainuiomata in December 1998. Richard operated his coach on charters which often included working from the visiting cruise liners coming into Wellington. Richard maintained the coach in very good order for some 13 years. Richard agreed to sell Mary Ann to us in October 2011 as she was being little used, he having purchased a newer and larger Volvo coach.
We have repainted Mary Ann into the second livery that she wore in service with Newmans in the early 1990s after amalgamation with TNL Ltd. Under our ownership, Mary Ann has travelled to Dunedin, Oamaru and Christchurch on separate trips and also to the West Coast. Internally, she remains in as-built order complete with the trademark Newmans sheepskin covers (although a bit worn now!). This is one of her charms in that she is all original (bit of a time warp really) and remains a very comfy coach to travel in. Mary Ann has a large walk-in boot, so there is plenty of room for luggage and other equipment.
Nissan Coach "Sylvia" 19 seats
"Sylvia" is a 1991 Japanese built Nissan Civilian with a deluxe cabin including reclining seats, all with seat belts and air-conditioning. The coach was imported into New Zealand in September 2002 and was first registered in Nelson. Previously owned by a local Nelson based wine tour business, Sylvia was a logical addition to our fleet enabling us to transport smaller groups of people in comfort and with an economical vehicle. This coach is a low-mileage example in excellent order for its age.
Sylvia carries the registration MOUTRE as she much enjoys touring in our beautiful Moutere Hills and Motueka locales containing a number of fine winery vineyards and various art studios. The coach is equally at home touring locally or further afield, and she has recently visited Christchurch and Marlborough.
Local Nelson business Christmas parties also feature in Sylvia's resume. If you have a group of up to 18 people and are looking for a safe and cost-effective transport solution for your Christmas (or any other!) Party, then please get in touch with us at On The Bus.
Leyland Bus "Leonard" 47 seats
"Leonard" is a 1983 Leyland Leopard bus with an alloy body built by Hawke Coachwork in Takanini, South Auckland. Hawke built many bus bodies in the 1970s and 1980s periods, particularly for a number of New Zealand municipally owned passenger transport businesses. Our Leonard bus started its life in our southernmost city, Invercargill as fleet no. 17, where it provided service with Invercargill City Transport until September 1990 when it was purchased together with one brother by Newlands Coach Service of Wellington.
At the time, Newlands Coach was building its local passenger business in northern Wellington and bought a number of similar buses. Invercargill 17 became Newlands number 44, complete with personalised plate. The bus stayed with Newlands Coach until December 2005 when it was purchased by Nimons of Havelock North. At the time Nimons were running a fleet of over 20 Leyland buses (mostly ex-Wellington City) on local school services where their large capacity was to advantage. In May 2013 Nimons decided to retire their two remaining old Leyland Leopards, and we determined to purchase 44, where it would be a great addition to our fleet.
This Leyland has an uprated large horizontal 6-cylinder engine of 11.1 litres (a Leyland 680) and seating for 47 passengers. Four of the seats over the wheel arches are fixed facing inwards, so this adds to the congenial atmosphere when out on social trips. Leonard has plenty of room in his capacious interior and also has a modest rear boot to transport some equipment or small luggage.
Leonard is an ideal bus for day trips around our beautiful area, and is particularly suited for school trips and outings. He is rugged and reliable and is no slug either, comfortably cruising at around 80-85 kmh.
Leyland Bus "Cecil" 45 seats
Like Leonard, our "Cecil" bus is a 1981 Leyland Leopard with an aluminium alloy body built by New Zealand Motor Bodies/Hess for the Dunedin City Council Transport Department. This bus was the last of a series of 28 similar buses and was number 207 in the Dunedin fleet, entering service in November 1981.
Cecil stayed in Dunedin until October 1996 when it was also purchased by Newlands Coach Service in Wellington. Dunedin 207 became Newlands number 66, also with personalised plate. The bus stayed with Newlands Coach until March 2006 when it was purchased by Nimons of Havelock North. At the time Nimons were running a fleet of over 20 Leyland buses (mostly ex-Wellington City) on local school services where their large capacity was to advantage. In May 2013 Nimons decided to retire their two remaining old Leyland Leopards, and we determined to purchase 66 along with 44, where it would be a useful addition to our fleet.
This Leyland has a reconditioned large horizontal 6-cylinder engine of 11.1 litres (a Leyland 680) and seating for 45 passengers in its large interior. Cecil is suitable for school transport and other shorter ferry trips. He is also rugged and reliable but is a little slower out on the open road, cruising at up to 75 kmh.