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driver classics heritage fleet

The Driver family is proud to present our Classics collection of restored & preserved buses, trucks and cars from the 1930’s through to the 1980’s.

Since 1931, the three generations of the Driver family have seen many vehicles come and go. With a deep seated passion for our companies history and our industry in general, we have preserved these vehicles for future generations to enjoy and appreciate.

Over the years some vehicles were trend setters and game changers, others just did their job, while some did not even achieve that. But there were always vehicles that performed way above expectation and influenced progressive change in the industry.

With our collection, we have tried to find significant vehicles that stood out as leaders in design and reliability for their era. Our passion is for buses that we operated, or that were operated by companies that we acquired, or buses that operated in Australia and had a profound influence on our industry and our company. Because of our general interest in all things automotive, we have also collected cars and trucks that stood out in design or that we simply like.

Restoration of our Driver Classics collection has been done in our own Melbourne workshops and body shop by our dedicated and highly skilled staff. Our vehicles are regularly displayed at enthusiast shows and community events in and around Melbourne and country shows throughout our state of Victoria and on some occasions, even interstate. You may also see them in movies and TV shows from time to time.

Our 1946 Bedford OB-Grice is currently on long term display at the Glen Campe Motor Museum in Hamilton, Victoria and our GM and MCI coaches have a changing rotation through the Sir Reginald Ansett Transport Museum, also in Hamilton, Victoria.

Each vehicle in our collection has detailed information available when you click on ‘read more’. All stories in ‘read more’ have been written and researched by Gary Driver with grateful assistance from the Bus and Coach Society of Victoria. Unless noted otherwise, all photos are from Gary Driver and Ralf Boetker.

We hope you enjoy these fine examples that helped build Australia’s bus, coach and automotive industry.

Driver Classics
Heritage Fleet

Last update:


1929 Pontiac 29-6
with Holden Tourer body

Pontiac was a brand established in 1926 by General Motors in the USA as a companion make to GM’s more expensive Oakland brand. Pontiac was named after a famous Indian chief as was the town of Pontiac, Michigan where they were built.

Eric and Reg Driver’s first two vehicles were Pontiac 29-6s with Grant Brothers 7 passenger bodies and they operated on the Camberwell – Glen Iris service in Melbourne’s south east, commencing on March 31 1931.

The small Pontiacs were known as ‘cabs’ and they were built on a standard car chassis with a specially constructed small cab body. The bodies were built by Eric and Reg Driver at their father’s bodyworks, Grant Brothers in Station Street, Malvern - a suburb of Melbourne. Both Eric and Reg were experienced body builders and had worked for their father building bodies, before deciding to become cab operators.

The twenties and early thirties in Australia saw private transport operators commonly use small cabs on fledgling route services. Multiple operators were able to work on a particular route and fierce competition ensued. There were 11 cabs including Eric and Reg Driver working on the 3 mile Camberwell-Glen Iris service.

The original cabs seated seven and were configured with one seat up front next to the driver, three seats each side facing inwards and a full height door at the rear. Passengers would pass money forward to the driver to get a ticket.

The cabs offered frequent service but timetables were loose or non-existent as the aim was to compete to maximise passenger numbers. The Driver Brothers tried to introduce a timetable but competing operators would run a few minutes ahead of their scheduled time making it impractical. Long hours were worked on each shift to attempt to make the business viable.

The Camberwell-Glen Iris ‘cab’ service was declared a gazetted ‘bus’ route with the Driver Brothers gaining a license to operate the new bus route in 1934. A timetable was reintroduced and all but one of the competing operators abandoned the route. Shortly after, Driver Brothers acquired the remaining operator and became the sole operators of the route.

Between 1931 and 1934, Eric and Reg had acquired one of the other operators Cleveland cab and purchased an additional GMC cab. So when the Camberwell-Glen Iris service was declared a bus route, all four of the Driver Brothers cabs were replaced by two 12 passenger Bedford WHB buses with Grummet bodies.

Driver Classics acquired this Pontiac 29-6 in October 2003 from Ragtop Tours on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria where it was operating ‘niche market’ local tours. It features a Holden built Tourer body seating 5 people and is representative, not an exact version of Eric and Reg’s original Pontiacs.

This Pontiac 29-6 is powered by a Pontiac 200ci, 6 cylinder, petrol engine with a 3 speed constant mesh transmission. The accelerator is positioned between the clutch on the left and brake pedal on the right, which was typical of pedal layout in this era.


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1936 Federal
with Grummet body

In 1910, the Bailey Motor Truck Company of Detroit, Michigan USA changed its name to the Federal Motor Truck Company. In the thirties and early forties, US sourced chassis’ such as GMC, Diamond T, Reo, International, White, Ford and Federal were extremely popular with Melbourne private bus operators, but the Driver Brothers preference was for Federal, in part due to the Federal dealer/agent who impressed them greatly.

Driver Brothers first 12 passenger Federal, arrived in December 1935 and it replaced a 1934 Bedford WHB. A second 12 passenger Federal followed shortly after in January 1936 also replacing a 1934 Bedford WHB. In December 1936, this now preserved 19 passenger Federal arrived in the Driver Brothers fleet and was followed by further 19 passenger Federals in 1937 and 1938, and ‘a war time special exemption delivery’ in 1941.

Driver Brothers purchased 3 different Federal models between 1935 and 1941, but other than size, all had similar specifications. The first were 12 passenger models in Federal’s Silver Anniversary series from 1935. They were identified by 4 horizontal chrome bars, mounted on the side of the engine cowl with a Federal nameplate above the bars and a drop centre front bumper.

The second model from December 1936 was Driver Brothers first 19 passenger bus and this is the example that we have preserved in our Driver Classics collection. On this model, the side of the engine cowl featured 3 chrome bars placed over vertical louvers with the Federal name on the centre bar and it also had the drop centre front bumper.

The final series from 1938 became known as the ‘bullnose’ with a modern wrap-around grille, 3 chrome bars on the side of the engine cowl with a circular emblem containing the Federal name and this time, a straight front bumper.

“With Federal at the four corners of the Earth” – That was the headline used on Federal’s 1935 Silver Anniversary brochure highlighting the significance of the export market. Federal trucks and chassis’ were now shipped to 131 foreign ports including Hong Kong, Africa, Syria, Japan, Australia, Spain, India and China. The Federal chassis’ were partially disassembled and completely boxed for export shipment. “The Silver Anniversary Federals are as sturdy as they are beautiful!” stated Federal’s advertising.

With the outbreak of WW2, all new commercial vehicles began to be seconded by the Australian Army. With new vehicles unavailable, the pre-war Federals had to last the duration of the war, which was obviously unknown at the time. With good servicing practises and skilled repairs, the Federals performed outstandingly well for the duration of the war years.

At the conclusion of the war, General Motors-Holden offered a modern, radically styled forward control bus, including both body and chassis – the Bedford OB. Although the Federals had a proven track record, many operators, including Driver Brothers, switched away from Federals and similar vehicles, to this modern post war design, rather than the traditional conventional layout of the Federal.

This 1936 Federal, Driver Brothers fleet #2, is believed to be a Federal Model 25. Federal #2 carried out eleven years of reliable service and was sold in December 1947 with the arrival of the new Bedford OB.

Our Federal was re-discovered in 1977 by bus enthusiast Charles Craig who found it in a barn on a farm in Bachus Marsh, Victoria. Although dusty and full of junk, it was in surprisingly good condition. Charles subsequently purchased the Federal and invited Eric Driver to authenticate its originality. Eric Driver confirmed it was indeed ex Driver Bros Federal, fleet #2.

After garaging and maintaining the Federal for a number of years, in May 1989, Driver Bus Lines purchased the Federal back from Charles Craig.

The Federal Model 25 chassis was built in Detroit, Michigan USA and the body was built by Grummet body builders. H. A. Grummet was established in 1926 by Hugo August Grummet in West Brunswick, a suburb of Melbourne.

This Federal is powered by a Hercules 228ci, 6 cylinder, JXA petrol engine with a Clark 4 speed constant mesh transmission.


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1946 Bedford OB with Grice body

General Motors UK initially built Chevrolet light trucks and buses for the UK market but in 1931, GM UK launched the Bedford range of local light trucks and buses heavily based on the existing Chevrolet chassis. Bedford’s origins date back to Vauxhall Ironworks, a company set up at Vauxhall, London in 1857 by Scottish engineer Alexander Wilson.

Vauxhall moved to Luton, Bedfordshire in 1905 and was bought by American giant General Motors in 1925. There is no known documentation as to why General Motors Vauxhall chose Bedford as the name of its new UK commercial vehicle brand, but it was most likely because of the location of Vauxhall’s Luton plant in the county of Bedfordshire, in the east of England.

The Bedford OB was designed as a successor to the 1930s Bedford WTB. The first Bedford OB was built in 1939 but stayed in production for only 2 months, with just 73 being built, when all of Bedford’s production was turned over to the war effort.

During the war years, in addition to truck production, Bedford produced 3398 OWBs along with 5640 Churchill tanks. The Bedford OWB was an austerity version of the Bedford OB combined with bodies that were even more austere. Bodies were designed by Duple and built by Duple along with other coach builders, to Duple’s design.

Post war production of Bedfords restarted in October 1945. Bedford built 12,693 post war OBs in the UK with ‘O’ series production finally ceasing in 1953.

Unlike Australia where Bedford OBs were the most popular choice for private city route service operators, UK production catered for regional commuter service and charter operators. Bedford itself collaborated with Duple to develop the ‘Vista’ coach body for the Bedford OB chassis.

Although General Motors-Holden Australia sold complete Bedford OBs as forward control (flat front) buses from 1947, other Australian bus body builders such as Syd Wood and Grice, initially built bodies on Bedford OB chassis’ with conventional layout, as was done with this example in 1946. This practice was curtailed with the arrival of the General Motors designed body on the Bedford OB chassis.

Our 1946 Bedford OB with Grice body originally operated in Toowoomba, QLD until the mid 1970s. It was subsequently acquired by John Masterton, a bus enthusiast and owner of Bellarine Bus Lines with John then completing a superb restoration. Driver Classics purchased the Bedford OB from the Masterton family in July 2000.

This Bedford OB is powered by a Bedford 214ci, 6 cylinder, petrol engine with a 4 speed constant mesh transmission. Bedford’s OB designation signifies ‘O’ as the model series and ‘B’ for bus. Driver Classics is currently displaying our 1946 Bedford OB/Grice at the Glen Campe Motor Museum in Hamilton, Victoria.


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1947 Bedford OB with CAC body

Driver Brothers purchased Bedford OBs after the war and continued purchasing Bedford OBs, SBs, VAMs and a single YRT until the 1970s with the last OB still operating in 1967.

General Motors Australia offered Bedford OBs as complete buses including both chassis and body. The bodies were designed by General Motors Australia at their plant in Fishermans Bend, a suburb of Melbourne, but the body building task was outsourced to CAC (Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation) also at Fishermans Bend and located next door to the GM plant. CAC was primarily a builder of aircraft and the buses were built right alongside aircraft production lines.

GM Australia modified the British built chassis from conventional layout (engine out front) to forward control (flat front, body over engine). GM’s Bedford OB body styling was dramatic…with enclosed wheels and the use of aluminium bright work. Some styling features appear to have been borrowed or were at least influenced by GM’s unique Parade of Progress display buses used in Motorama shows throughout the USA at the time.

This Bedford OB was purchased from the Victorian Bus Preservation Association in May 1996 and received a full restoration right back to the frame. It now represents No.3 from the Driver Brothers fleet in 1947, and it was publicly unveiled in November 2007 at the Sandown Historic Commercial Vehicle Show in Melbourne.

The Bedford OB is powered by a Bedford 214ci, 6 cylinder petrol engine with a 4 speed constant mesh transmission.


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1948 GM PD 4151 Silversides (#349)
(Awaiting Restoration)

Prior to WW2, GM in the USA was developing a new coach which was to become known as the Silversides, because of its fluted aluminium siding. The original pre-war coach was 33 feet long and had a petrol engine whereas post-war Silversides were 35 feet long and used a diesel engine.

There were 1,643 GM PD 3751 Silversides built in 1947 and 1948. The PD 4151 followed later in 1948, with 357 being built and the major change being seat capacity increasing from 37 to 41.

Of all the Silversides built, only 10 were built with restrooms, eight being PD 3751’s and two being PD 4151’s.

This PD 4151 was a ‘limited’ model with special seating layouts, white steering wheel and a restroom. It operated for Pacific Greyhound primarily on the San Francisco to Reno, Nevada route and had Greyhound fleet number 819.

Greyhound sold the coach to Mr Harley in South Carolina who owned it for 20 years. From there it went to Mr Harley’s brother, also in South Carolina and onto Brian Kenny in Georgia. Then Australian bus enthusiast Paul Wright from the Gold Coast, Queensland purchased the Silversides in 2006 and had it shipped from the USA to Australia in 2007. Driver Classics purchased the Silversides from Paul in 2014.

The PD 4151 is powered by a GM in-line 6, 2 stroke diesel engine, 426ci model 6-71, transversely rear mounted with a 4 speed column shift constant mesh transmission. The model designation PD 4151 stands for – Parlour (coach), Diesel, 41 seats, series 51.


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1948 White 798-12

White Trucks Australia imported this 798-12 route bus from the White Motor Corporation plant in Cleveland, Ohio USA in 1948, with the hope of creating interest and in turn orders, primarily from government authorities, for this very advanced route bus.

As part of its Australia wide inaugural demonstration tour, it was put into service with the New South Wales Department of Government Transport for three months in 1950 to show off its impressive performance and reliability. It was substantially more advanced than other buses of the day with integral construction, aluminium body and effortless performance from its 12 cylinder, horizontally opposed, under floor petrol engine.

Unfortunately the White 798-12 was launched just before the Commonwealth Government acted to freeze trade with the USA by restricting currency exchange to force Australia to deal with the UK and other Commonwealth countries. The 798-12 also had an unhealthy appetite for petrol and with government and private orders not forthcoming, no further White 798-12s were brought into Australia.

In May 1952, the White was advertised for sale for 6,950 pounds and in March 1953, the White was sold to Quodling Brothers, Queanbeyan, ACT where it operated the Canberra – Queanbeyan service. The Quodling Brothers repowered the White in 1958 with an AEC diesel engine which improved its fuel economy considerably.

In 1977, Quodling Brothers sold their business to Doug and Dawn Lever and the White continued in service with Lever Coach Lines.

The Levers also operated the White on the Canberra-Queanbeyan service and later, on school services until 1991, when they sold their business. They did not however, sell the White.

The Levers bought Bega Valley Bus Lines in Bega, NSW and the White was taken to Bega…for its retirement.

Between 1937 and 1948, White Motor Corporation built 1,532 model 788s and 798s. There were around 50 right hand drive White 798-12s built with all but this one operating in Central America. To our knowledge, this is the only example left in the world of a right hand drive White 798-12.

Driver Classics are proud to preserve and maintain the White, now based in Melbourne, on behalf of the owners, Doug and Dawn Lever and their family.

The 798-12 was originally powered with a White 12 cylinder, 681ci, 210hp, horizontally opposed petrol engine with a 3 speed White transmission. Today it still has the repowered AEC 11.3 litre 690 six cylinder diesel engine mounted under floor with with a 5 speed Fuller constant mesh transmission.


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1954 Ansair Flxible Clipper (#AF34)

Flxible was founded in 1913 as the Flexible Side Car Company by inventor and entrepreneur Hugo H Young in Loudenville, Ohio USA, based on the development of a flexible coupling to improve stability of motorcycle sidecars. The ‘e’ in flexible was later dropped so the name of the company could be trademarked. The company moved into commercial vehicle production and later found a lucrative niche with its art deco, aerodynamic Clipper coach first released in 1937. Flxible declared bankruptcy in 1995 and at the time was the largest transit bus manufacturer in the USA.

In the late 1940’s, Pioneer Tours, owned by Ansett Transport Industries (ATI), was operating International KB6’s, Ford’s and Federal’s with Ansair ‘Road Cruiser’ bodies. Ansair was the bus body building division of Ansett Transport Industries.

Pioneer Tours was looking for a more sophisticated and capable coach to operate its long distance routes. ATI owner, Reg Ansett, favoured a US General Motors coach, the GM PD 3751 ‘Silversides’, which Greyhound in the USA was using at the time, but because of its 35 foot length, it was not able to be brought into Australia. Legal maximum lengths varied in each Australian state, but in Ansett’s home state of Victoria it was just 27 feet 6 inches.

Ansair executives made two visits to the US in 1947 visiting US coach builder Flxible. On the home front, Ansair was busy building a new coach aimed at meeting the needs of Pioneer’s long distance routes. It was a Reo ‘pusher ‘ (rear engine) chassis, 31 feet in length with a prototype Ansair body that was heavily influenced by Flxible styling, as opposed to Clipper styling, garnered after that first US visit to Flxible by Ansair executives. The 1947 Ansair Reo Pusher also faced over length issues like the favoured GM ‘Silversides’.

On the second US visit in 1947, Ansair executives signed an agreement with Flxible to import one new Flxible Clipper, along with unassembled components and the rights to build Clippers locally in Australia. This put an end to any further development of the Ansair Reo Pusher prototype and it became a one off that was short lived in the Ansett organisation.

In August 1947, Pioneer received a special import license covering the importation of: “one (1) complete ‘Pilot’ model Flxible Clipper 29B1-47 from the USA into Australia along with one (1) complete range of unassembled components, the dollar values respectively $9,000 and $5,000 making a total of $14,000”. Pioneer obtained the import license just prior to the introduction on January 1 1948 of the Australian government’s currency restrictions, limiting trade with the USA. The ‘pilot’ model 1947 Flxible Clipper, body number P3, fleet number D2 and originally registered MM-210, still exists today and has had a full restoration.

When Pioneer’s 1947 Flxible Clipper 29B1-47 finally arrived in Australia, it became the most advanced coach ever to operate in this country. Its unique aerodynamic shape and roof mounted air scoop was a standout in modern coach design. The Clipper’s fuel efficient light weight construction, featured a rear mounted in-line Buick 8 cylinder, ‘straight 8’ petrol engine. Seating capacity was 29 luxurious reclining parlour seats with foot rests while luggage was carried in a large compartment just ahead of the rear mounted engine. The Flxible Clipper introduced a style and flair that created interest in road passenger transport of which none of Pioneer’s competitors could hope to match.

During 1949 and 1950, Ansair built 32 Commer Avenger ‘Scenic Clippers’ for Pioneer’s short haul work. The front end design had a strong similarity to the imported pilot Flxible Clipper 29B1-47 and it complied with the State of Victoria’s 27 feet 6 inch length limit.

After the pilot model Flxible Clipper 29B1-47 had proved itself in Australia’s harsh conditions along with Ansair becoming ready for full Clipper production, Ansair commenced manufacturing Flxible Clippers in Melbourne. From December 1950 until June 1960, 131 Clippers were built under license to the Flxible Corporation, USA. All but 3 Ansair built Clippers featured the new larger ‘Visicoach” windows that had recently been introduced by Flxible in the US instead of the smaller original ‘Airporter’ styled windows.

With US trade restrictions firmly in place, sourcing of non US components to use in local Clipper production proved difficult and resulted in a variety of unlikely components being used in Ansair built Flxible Clippers.

Fifty one Ansair Flxible Clippers used repurposed Leyland AU450 Matilda tank engines followed by twenty UK built American Cummins JBS600 engines and finally sixty air cooled Deutz F6L614 and F6L714 engines. None of these engines were particularly suited to Pioneer’s requirements with the Leyland engines being reasonably reliable but horrendously slow, the Cummins engines not reliable enough and the Deutz engines constantly requiring head gaskets. Later in their life, all of the Cummins powered Clippers were repowered with GM 4-71 engines that proved highly reliable and performed well on long distance work. It’s still a mystery as to how Ansett acquired those GM engines with the US import restrictions still in place!

In September 1950 the maximum length in the State of Victoria was increased to 33 feet, just in time for Ansair’s local production of the Clipper to commence! From 1950 onwards, local Flxible Clipper production was in full swing but Reg Ansett was still not content. He wanted to import General Motors latest model, the GM PD 4104 but the Australian government currency restrictions were still in force and put paid to any idea of importing GM PD 4104s. In 1957, Pioneer had Ansair build another prototype coach - a 41 seat Ansair Jupiter with an air cooled Deutz engine and an aluminium mono design. Despite its advanced light weight construction, the Jupiter used heavy componentry resulting in it becoming overweight and therefore ending up as a one off for Pioneer. Next were 15 Ansair bodied Leyland Worldmasters and they also were short lived suffering from weight, noise and reliability problems. After a short time on interstate express, the Leyland Worldmasters were reconfigured and relegated to sightseeing work.

The revolutionary Ansair Flxible Clipper coach allowed Pioneer to establish its first non-stop express service between Melbourne and Sydney on January 24 1955, after the findings of the Hughes and Vale case in late 1954, cleared the way for unimpeded travel over state borders. Although the Ansair Flxible Clipper raised the bar and was superior to any other coaches operating in Australia at the time, Reg Ansett’s quest for his vision of the ultimate long distance coach would not stop.

Finally, the US trade restrictions were lifted in 1961 and Ansett was able to order a large number of General Motors' latest coach, the GM PD 4106. The GM PD 4106 achieved Ansett’s ultimate goal and became the forerunner to next generation GMs and larger MCI coaches into the future. Some Ansair Flxible Clippers were still serving Pioneer in the early 1970s, a testament to its success.

Our 1954 Clipper, AF34, was new to Cooks in Tasmania. In 1961, it became D17 in the Pioneer fleet when Pioneer took over the intercity routes operated by Cooks. It later became D104 for Tasmanian Coach Lines, then a workers’ lunch room at an orchard and was finally ‘discovered’ by Bill Hardinge for potential restoration. Bill was not so much a bus enthusiast but a Clipper enthusiast!

Bill shipped the Flxible to Melbourne, without its original Leyland engine and transmission, where it was acquired by Driver Bus Lines in 1983 for a full restoration.

The restoration was completed by January 1985, to enable a re-enactment of the first non-stop service to Sydney at the 30th anniversary celebration, along with other Clippers and a current Pioneer MC-9 coach.

Our Ansair Flxible Clipper AF34, is powered by a GM Diesel 2 stroke engine, model 4-71, 284ci, in line 4 cylinder with a 5 speed Fuller constant mesh transmission. The model designation AF34 stands for: AF - Ansair Flxible, 34 - build number.


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1959 Bedford SB3 with CAC body

General Motors UK updated the Bedford ‘O’ Series truck chassis models to the ‘S’ series in 1952. They were often called the Big Bedfords and featured a larger engine and a smoother drive line. The ‘S’ series bus chassis was designated ‘SB’, with the SB3 utilising a petrol engine while the SB5 offered a diesel.

On very early Bedford SBs, CAC (Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation) body production used carryover smaller OB side windows before offering the larger design side windows, but still with flat front wind screens similar to the OB.

In the late 1950’s, the wrap-around windscreen design was all the rage. GM then updated their flat screen look with this latest design trend that truly captured the styling of the late fifties.

The ‘wrap around’ Bedford, as it was commonly known, was the last model designed by GM in Australia. The next model, known as the ‘Comair’, was fully designed by CAC.

This SB3 was new to Willis in Vermont, eventually passing to Craig Coop of Nuline Bus Service before being acquired by Driver Bus Lines in 1994. It has been meticulously restored to represent No. 5 HHS-805, a Bedford SB3 wrap-around originally operated by Driver Brothers.

The Bedford SB3 is powered by a Bedford 300ci, 6 cylinder petrol engine with a 5 speed Turner constant mesh transmission. The model designation SB3 stands for – S – model series, B - bus, 3 - petrol engine.


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1961 GM PD 4106 (#623)

The GM PD 4106 was arguably the most influential coach ever to operate in Australia. Building on the success of the Flxible Clipper, the PD 4106 raised the bar to an unprecedented level and set a new benchmark for the entire industry in Australia to follow.

The PD 4106 introduced many significant firsts to Australia - powerful rear mounted GM diesel engine, air conditioning, air suspension, tinted windows, large underfloor luggage capacity, restroom, a new increased length to 35 feet and incredible durability and reliability. The PD 4106, along with its successor model the PD 4107, also inspired a young Alan Denning to build a simpler Australian version at a reasonable price that revolutionised the entire Australian coach industry…the GM Denning Mono.

GM built 3,226 PD 4106’s at GM Truck and Coach in Pontiac, Michigan, USA with 42 destined for Australia, 36 new and 6 ex Greyhound USA.

Built in August 1961 for Ansett Pioneer, then imported into Australia and converted to RHD by Ansair in Melbourne, our PD 4106 was first registered in Melbourne in January 1962. After years of reliable service over millions of miles, with 3 different paint schemes and various work duties spanning long distance express, tours, charter and school work, Ansett Pioneer sold this PD 4106 to McCafferty’s Coaches , Toowoomba, QLD. From there it went to Dunkley’s in Brisbane, QLD and finally to Les Bishop in Lexton, Victoria. Les spent over 10 years painstakingly restoring the GM in his shed in preparation for it to become a motorhome, until he had a change of heart.

Although the coach had no interior, Driver Classics purchased the GM from Les in 2015, along with another GM, the ex Turnbull, Mt Gambier PD 4106 #3163 as a parts coach, and continued the restoration, but now to become a seated coach.

To bring the PD 4106 back to a seated coach required the sourcing of many interior fittings. Using our parts coach, PD 4106 #3163, and with assistance from the Ansett Museum’s PD 4106 #1225 in Hamilton, Victoria, PD 4106 #623 is once again a fully seated coach with original fittings.

The GM PD 4106 is powered by a GM V8 2 stroke diesel engine, 568ci model 8V71, transversely rear mounted, with a 4 speed Spicer angle drive constant mesh transmission. The model designation PD 4106 stands for – Parlour (coach), Diesel, 41 seats, series 06.


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1967 GMC Ansair Scenicruiser (#RE 185)
(Awaiting restoration)

The concept of the Australian Ansair Scenicruiser tour coach was instigated by Reg Ansett, founder of Ansett Pioneer, to essentially be an affordable, lower capital cost version of an imported American GM PD 4106, but one that was specifically designed for day tours and short multi day overnight tours.

The GM PD 4106s were extremely successful for Ansett Pioneer in their higher yielding interstate express services that criss-crossed Australia in the early 1960s. The GM PD 4106s offered unparalleled reliability and introduced many firsts for Australia including air conditioning, powerful rear mounted GM engines, aircraft style seating, tinted windows, under floor luggage compartments and a new longer length of 35 feet. Their only downside was the cost, being three times that of other makes available at the time, therefore making them cost prohibitive for the day tour market.

The tour market, and sightseeing day tours in particular, did not have the high yield of interstate express services, so an affordable version of the GM PD 4106 for tour work was a logical step. Ansair, an Ansett owned Melbourne based body builder, set about designing and building a body for the 49 Scenicruisers built between November 1965 and December 1967 with initially, all to be on Reo chassis’. But after the first 5 Reos were built, Pioneer unexpectedly switched the remaining 44 to a GMC chassis.

Unlike the GM Detroit Diesel 6V53 powered Reo chassis with a manual transmission, the GMC DSPA-5019 chassis was powered by a GMC Toro-flow V6 engine. The Toro-flow engine was a dieselised version of GMC’s gasoline 401 engine that was made by GMC and not by GM’s Detroit Diesel division. All of the GMC Toro-flow engines were later replaced with GM Detroit Diesel 6V53 engines.

Ansair’s RE-145 body was a stylish large window, fully equipped tour coach body that featured an imported GM transit bus front end with a curved glass windscreen. The aluminium RE-145 body borrowed design features from the PD 4106 and boasted full air conditioning, tinted windows and reclining aircraft style seats that compared favourably to the amenities of the GM PD 4106. With the Scenicruiser’s ‘fishbowl’ curved glass front-end, it looked part of the GM family.

In 1975, Driver Bus Lines purchased a 1966 GMC Ansair Scenicruiser, #RE159 from Ansett Pioneer. That Scenicruiser was the first air conditioned, GM powered coach that Driver Bus Lines ever operated. With the purchase of Shave Bus Service in 1986, Driver Bus Lines inherited another Ansair Scenicruiser, this time a 1965 Reo Ansair Scenicruiser #RE145.

Our Driver Classics 1967 GMC Ansair Scenicruiser was purchased from Matt Smith, Sydney in July 2018. Matt used the Scenicruiser as a motorhome and it is our intention to return it back to a seated coach.

This GMC Ansair Scenicruiser is 35 feet long and powered by a GM Detroit Diesel V6 2 stroke engine, 318ci model 6V53, rear mounted in-line, with an Allison MT 640 transmission and pedal operated retarder.


Driver Classics Ansair Scenicruiser Brochure. Published June 2018

  • GMC Ansair Scenicruiser brochure by Driver Classics
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    Note, you can download the brochure by right clicking and saving. You can also view full page spreads if opened in Adobe Reader.


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1968 GMC PD 4107 (#1137)

The raised deck GMC PD 4107 was the evolution of the PD 4106. It retained all the features of the PD 4106 but added vastly increased luggage capacity and better viewing for passengers because of its higher deck and a half styling. Its muscular stance coined some nick names…in Australia, the Jumbo and in the US, the Buffalo. Styling was inspired by the American Greyhound GM PD 4501 Scenicruiser. GM built 1,267 PD 4107s between 1966 and 1969 at GM Truck and Coach, Pontiac, Michigan, USA, with 27 purchased by Ansett Pioneer.

Our PD 4107, build number 1137 and built in May 1968, was number 719 in the Pioneer fleet and was converted to RHD by Ansair in Melbourne. Early PD 4107s were branded GM, but around 1967 the brand was changed by General Motors to GMC.

Our GMC PD 4107 passed from Ansett Pioneer to Fawlty Tours, then Wayward Bus before acquisition by Driver Classics in 2007. It also featured in the movie Ghost Rider with Nicolas Cage.

The GMC PD 4107 is powered by a GM V8 2 stroke diesel engine, 568ci model 8V71, transversely rear mounted, with a 4 speed Spicer angle drive constant mesh transmission. The model designation PD 4107 stands for – Parlour (coach), Diesel, 41 seats, series 07.


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1972 MCI MC-7 (#9520)

Harry Zoltok founded Fort Garry Motor Body and Paint Works in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in 1932. In 1941 the name was changed to MCI (Motor Coach Industries) and in 1948, Western Canadian Greyhound, a subsidiary of Greyhound Corporation USA bought shares in MCI leading to full ownership by Greyhound in 1958. Today and for many decades, MCI has been the largest selling coach builder in North America and MCI’s current owner, New Flyer, is the largest selling transit bus builder in North America.

MCI’s ‘MC’ series of coaches, dates back to 1959 when MCI introduced the MC-1 Challenger, a two axle 35 foot coach with a rear mounted GM 4-71 diesel engine. The 1963 MC-5 model was the first MCI to be exported in quantity to Greyhound in the USA. The MC-7 Challenger was the first 3 axle 40 foot coach made by MCI, predating the MC-6. MCI built 2550 MC-7s between 1968 and 1973.

Ansett Pioneer placed an order for an initial batch of 10 MC-7s, when it was denied bringing 40 foot versions of the GM PD 4107 into Australia because of non-compliant dimensions. Australian vehicle length laws were however, able to be increased for the MC-7 and it became the first 40 foot coach to operate in Australia. The MC-7 was later followed by 29 MC-8s and 15 MC-9s.

In a bid to increase loads and carrying capacity on services operating across Australia from the east coast to Perth on the west coast, Ansett Pioneer endeavoured to introduce larger second hand ex Greyhound USA, 40 foot GM PD 4501 Scenicruisers, at the same time as the MC-7s. Because of poor conditions on the main cross continent road to Perth, it was deemed inappropriate to use new 40 foot MC-7s, hence the application to utilize large, proven ex Greyhound USA flagship coaches. But it was to no avail, as the dimensions of the Greyhound Scenicruiser, had the same non-compliance issues as the regular 40 foot GMs.

Our MC-7 was purchased from Eastside Coaches, Sydney in 1994 for restoration.

The MC-7 is powered by a GM Detroit Diesel V8 2 stroke engine, 568ci model 8V71, rear mounted in-line, with a 4 speed Spicer constant mesh transmission.


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1976 MCI MC-8 (#11964)
(Under restoration)

The MCI (Motor Coach Industries) MC-8 ‘Crusader’ was an updated version of the very successful MC-7, the first 40 foot coach to operate in Australia.

There were 4,475 MC-8s built between 1973 and 1978 by Motor Coach Industries in Pembina, North Dakota USA and Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada.

When Ansett Pioneer ordered the MC-7s from MCI, they placed an initial order of ten with more to follow. The MC-8 had replaced the MC-7 by the time the additional vehicles were required, so Ansett Pioneer then ordered a total of 29 MC-8s that were delivered between June 1974 and February 1977.

The MC-8 was a modernised version of the MC-7. The ruggedness of the MC-7 had given way to an MC-8 with a smooth, more refined design that simply did its job as intended with the utmost reliability.

There were obvious design differences with the MC-8…the roof window of the MC-7 was gone and replaced with a low raised deck design, the destination sign above the windscreen was also gone, the header/marker lights were flush with the body and the overall shape was smoother with less fluting used on the exterior panels.

Early Ansett Pioneer MC8s had a very similar paint scheme to their MC7s but featured a new, dramatic black window look.

The MC-8’s new black window sash combined with the next generation paint scheme, the ‘Pepsi’ red, white and blue, was impressive to say the least. It inspired a new trend of ‘black windows’ in Australia. As with previous Ansett Pioneer liveries, the new ‘Pepsi’ paint scheme was based on a Greyhound USA design.

Ansett Pioneer used the MC-8 primarily as a flagship long distance intercity express coach until the arrival of the MC-9s in 1984 and the Denning Landseers in 1985. Some MC-8s were also used in Ansett Pioneer’s tour program.

Our MC-8 was purchased new by Ansett Pioneer in April 1976. Ansett Pioneer sold the MC-8 to Grenda’s, Dandenong VIC and sometime later it was acquired by Rob Duke in Gembrook, VIC to be converted to a motor home. When Driver Classics located the MC-8, Rob had been working on the exterior and mechanicals and was about to gut the interior for the motorhome conversion.

Driver Classics tried to purchase the MC-8 from Rob, but he was only interested in selling if we could find another MCI that would be suitable for him to make into a motorhome. We located a good condition MC-9 with a gutted interior in Brisbane, QLD that was perfect for Rob’s use. In October 2017, Driver Classics purchased the MC-9, had it trucked to Melbourne and traded it for Rob’s still seated MC-8! We believe it was the last seated MC-8 coach that remained in Australia.

The MC-8 is powered by a GM Detroit Diesel V8 2 stroke engine, 568ci model 8V71, rear mounted in-line, with a 4 speed Spicer constant mesh transmission.


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1983 GM Denning DenAir Mono (#955)

Denning was Australia’s most successful coach manufacturer from the early 1970s until the early 1990s, with operators nationwide purchasing GM Dennings. They had style, outstanding road performance, durability, reliability and although expensive compared to other vehicles of the day, they were still within reach of many coach operators. It was the coach that a large number of Australian operators aspired to, including Driver Bus Lines.

Founder Alan B Denning started out as a panel beater in 1950 and in 1956 began building bus bodies under the name of A B Denning and Co. Initially Denning built side loader bus bodies and in 1960, the first A B Denning coach body was built. Denning then focussed on chassis conversions with many front engine chassis’ becoming rear engine chassis’ to meet a demand for rear engine coaches that was not satisfied by suppliers at the time.

In 1962, Denning released its first body-on-chassis coach which became known as the Highway Traveller. The Denning Highway Traveller had some subtle styling inspiration from the US 1950s GM PD 4104 Highway Traveller and also had design input from customers Rex Law of Redline and Russell Penfold of Greyhound, both buyers and supporters of early Denning products.

Denning then further refined and modernised the Highway Traveller into a new design that it would continue to build until the introduction of its next landmark model.

Then in 1966, Denning’s bold Square Line body-on-chassis design was introduced and in September of that same year, Denning built its first integral coach - the GM Denning Mono, also featuring the Square Line body design. This first GM Denning Square Line mono coach was built for Grendas in Dandenong, Victoria and it boasted a prominent new styling feature…a raised roof deck-and-a half design which had the benefit of more under floor luggage bin capacity and better passenger vision. With its fluted aluminium panels and GM Detroit Diesel 6V53 power, it was absolutely stunning.

Alan Denning sold A B Denning and Co to UK firm Leyland in 1969 and Alan then took on the role as Denning’s Managing Director until 1971, only to return again as Managing Director in 1973. In 1971, Denning introduced another model series, now often referred to as the Classic series, following on from the early Highway Travellers and the Square Line. It also introduced its second generation GM Denning Mono integral coach which grew rapidly in popularity eclipsing sales of body on chassis models. The GM Denning Mono was conceived to be a simplified and affordable version of the imported American GMs that Ansett Pioneer purchased during the 1960s. The only visible exterior branding on early edition Denning Monos was GM, which certainly signified its intent and pedigree. After Alan Denning permanently departed A B Denning and Co in 1976, the GM branding was dropped, however the industry always did, and still does, refer to the Mono as the GM Denning.

The Classic series GM Denning Mono was to become arguably, Denning’s greatest ever design and certainly its longest series in production. This latest GM Denning Mono appeared relatively conservative compared to the Square Line with a smooth, more rounded styling theme and a prominent deck-and-a half design that took inspiration from the imported GM PD 4107. It firmly placed Denning on the map and at the top of most company’s fleet purchase list.

Billed as ‘The Magnificent Australian’ with its large chrome bumpers and high shine stainless steel side panels, the 1971 GM Denning Mono made a strong statement about Denning’s design and the capability of Australia to build world class coaches. It was a true head turner, and commanded attention from the outset.

After Alan Denning’s departure in 1976, he partnered with Athol McKinnon to create the Denmac coach, a new version of the integral Monocoach. The partnership was short lived but the coach was not. The Denmac became the Domino Tourmaster and later the Austral Tourmaster and was in production for just on 20 years.

The first update of the classic series GM Denning Mono occurred around 1976 when a new forward sloping destination header was introduced, a wider front grille, a 2 piece rear window with a single centre divide replacing the 3 piece rear window, new front and rear aluminium bumpers replacing the large chrome bumpers, elimination of the roof window resulting in a non-see through deck-and-a-half design and full exterior ‘Denning’ only badging.

GM Denning Monos were extremely robust with leaf spring suspension, and in the new 3 axle 40 foot configuration, first introduced to Australia by Ansett Pioneer’s imported MCI MC7, the tag or lazy axle was air suspended. By 1978, Denning was offering an air over leaf suspension system which soon gave way to Denning’s first fully air suspended coach – the 1979 GM Denning DenAir Mono. In those days, Denning had the ultimate research and development regime – relentless travel in the remote Australian Outback under the most gruelling conditions imaginable, carried out by Denning’s own engineers. It was this severe testing and its’ on road prowess that earned Denning its reputation for ruggedness and durability.

Also in 1979, Denning released its Denflex ‘chassis-only’ model for other builders to construct bodies on.

Throughout the 70s and 80s, the standard Denning power plant was a GM Detroit Diesel engine, being either a V6 model 6V71 or a V8 model 8V71, usually mated to a Fuller T905D 5 speed transmission. Around 1980, Denning began offering a large V6 GM Detroit Diesel engine in forty foot long coaches, model 6V92TTA as an option to the tried and true V8, model 8V71 engine.

The GM Denning Mono was marketed from 1971 until 1984 when it was replaced by the new, world class Denning Landseer. The final interpretation of the GM Denning Mono was perhaps the most notable with the deck-and-a-half roof line being brought further forward than its predecessors, giving quite a distinctive appearance. Other updates included a new dashboard that was to carry over to the Landseer, electric wipers replacing air operated, 4 tail lights instead of 3, a larger windscreen and a new front bumper and grille.

Our superb example of a GM Denning DenAir Mono was purchased new by Driver Bus Lines in 1983 and remained in service until 2008, making it one of the longest serving vehicles Driver Bus Lines has operated. It performed its varying duties with the utmost reliability.

This GM Denning DenAir Mono, build number 955, is powered by a GM Detroit Diesel V8 2 stroke engine, 568ci model 8V71, rear mounted in- line, with a 5 speed Fuller constant mesh transmission. Note: For a full story on the life of Alan Denning, please visit the Bus and Coach Society of Victoria’s web site at bcsv.org.au and click on ‘Buses over the years’.


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1989 Eagle Model 20 (#90052)

The first Eagle was built in 1956 for Continental Trailways USA as a competitor to Greyhound’s GM PD 4501 Scenicruiser. After failing to find a US builder who would build the Eagle on Continental Trailways terms and design, they shifted their search to the UK and Europe and eventually found a willing builder, Kassbohrer Setra in Ulm, Germany.

Those early Eagles, dubbed Golden Eagles, owing to their golden aluminium panels, featured a rear viewing lounge, a galley and tables. Next was the Silver Eagle, also from Kassbohrer Setra, which was more conventional in its specification and better suited to line haul work.

In 1960, Eagle production also included coaches manufactured by La Brugeoise in Belgium, where the Silver Eagle Model 01 was produced along with Model 01 production from Kassbohrer Setra. In 1962, Continental Trailways established its own factory in Belgium, in cooperation with La Brugeoise. The new venture was called Bus and Car NV, and it continued building the Eagle Model 01, but with a revised grille arrangement.

The Eagle Model 05 commenced production in 1968 at Bus and Car, Belgium and was built there until 1976. In 1974, Eagle International was set up in Brownsville, Texas USA and it also built the Model 05. In the mid-seventies, the Belgian plant was sold to MOL, NV. In 1980, the Eagle Model 10 was introduced followed by the Eagle Model 15 in 1985 and in 1987, the Eagle Model 20.

Greyhound was the prime user of Eagles in Australia with the first Eagle Model 05 arriving in 1973. All told, 42 Model 05s and 13 Model 10s were operated by Greyhound, a Model 05 for Batterham's, a model 15 for Trailer Tours and a Model 10 and a Model 20 for Lever Coachlines. Lever later acquired Batterham's Model 05.

Our Eagle is the Model 20, originally new to Lever Coach Lines, Queanbeyan, NSW, later passing to Narooma Bus Lines, NSW and onto collector Rob Verhagen, Gold Coast, QLD, before being acquired by Driver Classics in 2014. It was the last Eagle delivered in Australia and although it is a Model 20, it was designated as a Model 10LT to avoid re-assessment for Australian Design Rule requirements, as it was essentially the same as the Model 10.

This Eagle Model 20 is powered by a GM Detroit Diesel V6 2 stroke diesel, 552ci model 6V92TTA, rear mounted in-line, with an Allison HT750 automatic transmission.


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1977 Kenworth W925 S2R

Kenworth traces its roots back to 1905 when William Piggot formed the Seattle Car Manufacturing Company, later to become Pacific Car and Foundry Company. Gerlinger Motor Company built the Gersix truck in 1915 and reincorporated as the Kenworth Motor Truck Company in 1923, its name derived from two major shareholders, H W Kent and E K Worthington.

In 1944, Paul Piggot of Pacific Car and Foundry acquired Kenworth.

In 1962, Australians Ed Cameron and George Blomfield imported seven Kenworth S-Models into Australia and set up the infrastructure for continued importation. The first large order was placed by Ansett Transport Industries for 10 Kenworth prime movers.

In 1966, Kenworth Motor Trucks was incorporated in Australia and began assembling CKD (Completely Knocked Down) trucks and by 1971, the first all Australian Kenworth, a K125CR cab over, was built at Kenworth’s new plant in Bayswater, an outer Melbourne suburb.

Driver Classics 1977 Kenworth W925 S2R was acquired in October 2009 from Yarragon Truck Centre, Yarragon, Victoria. It was originally built for Cronulla Carrying Company, NSW and featured a Detroit Diesel V6, model 6V71 engine.

This W925 has had many modifications over the years including lengthening the bonnet to accommodate a larger Detroit Diesel V8 engine and the chassis extended to enable a refrigerated van configuration.

Our Kenworth W925 S2R is powered by a Detroit Diesel V8 2 stroke engine, 568ci model 8V71, in-line conventional, with an Eaton Fuller 10 speed Roadranger transmission.


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1986 Kenworth W925 AR

By the 1980’s, Kenworth had risen to become the top selling heavy duty truck on the Australian market.

Kenworth succeeded where others before had failed…surviving in the gruelling Australian outback. Kenworth established an astonishing reputation for quality Australian design, engineering and reliability that other manufacturers could only dream about. With this hard earned reputation, the legend continued to build, and to this day, Kenworth is still the number one heavy duty truck, and has achieved iconic status in Australia.

Driver Classics 1986 Kenworth W925 was originally built with a two stroke V8 Detroit Diesel model 8V92 Silver 400 engine, but was later repowered with a 12.7 litre Detroit Diesel Series 60. The torsion bar rear suspension was also replaced with Kenworth air suspension.

Our Kenworth gained dubious notoriety in its early days when it was involved in a cigarette heist of rather suspicious circumstances.

This Kenworth was new to Blue Circle Southern Cement Ltd and delivered through Gilbert and Roach, Homebush NSW. Driver Classics acquired the KW in April 2010 from Danny Epema, near Bendigo in Central Victoria.

This Kenworth W925 AR (#408182) is powered by a Detroit Diesel 4 stroke engine, 12.7 litre Series 60, 430hp with a 13 speed Eaton Fuller Roadranger transmission.


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1950 Dodge DF1-08 ‘Pilot House’
light duty truck

Produced in North America between 1948 and 1953, the Dodge Pilot House light duty trucks were also assembled and later manufactured by Chrysler in South Australia. The term ‘Pilot House’ was coined by Dodge to describe the taller cab and larger glass area which offered a better view of the road.

This Dodge was sold new in 1950 to Mr H A South, a farmer from Mundubbera, Queensland. Mr South used the Dodge on his farm until eventually it was left in a paddock to rot away.

In 1999, Mr South was having work done on a Bedford OB truck by Bill Cobden from Bill Budd’s Auto in Kirra, on Queensland’s Gold Coast. Mr South was struggling to pay for the work, so he struck a deal with Bill and gave him the Dodge as part payment.

Two weeks later it was purchased by Paul Wright, also from the Gold Coast. Driver Classics purchased the Dodge from Paul in October 2014.

It was initially thought to keep it ‘as is’ for a feature display on the back of the 1977 Kenworth W925 truck, as it is quite fascinating in its original state.

However, things change and it may end up being restored. We’ll see!

The Dodge is powered by a Dodge 218ci 6 cylinder petrol engine with a 3 speed column shift transmission.


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1959 Cadillac Coupe de Ville

Simply awesome - Excessive and outrageous styling with the world’s largest tail fins on a production automobile! Cadillac’s design philosophy at the time was heavily influenced by jet aircraft and the global space race. This can be seen in the tail light design representing the exhausts of a jet.

The ’59 Cadillac represents the pinnacle of post war prosperity in the USA. At a time when the rest of the world was rebuilding, Cadillac was setting the trend for future consumerism.

The Coupe de Ville measures 18 foot 9 inches and weighs in at 4750 pounds, a large vehicle even for its day.

Cadillac’s total production in 1959 was 129,923 cars and 21,924 were Coupe de Ville’s. Notable options on the ’59 Cadillacs were cruise control, ‘Autronic Eye’ automatic headlights and air suspension.

Cadillac’s 1959 advertising says: “In its great beauty and majesty…in its fineness of performance…in the elegance of its Fleetwood interiors…and in the skill of its craftsmanship…it is far and away the finest fruit of Cadillac’s unending quest for quality.”

The ’59 Cadillac is powered by a 390ci V8 petrol engine with a 4 speed Hydra-matic automatic transmission.


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1961 Cadillac Coupe de Ville

With its contemporary razor edge styling, the ’61 Cadillac represents the epitome of carefree sixties motoring. Tail fins were lower for 1961 and were complemented by ‘skegs’ - long pointed fins on the lower section of the rear side panels.

The windscreen had lost the panoramic wraparound 50’s look, but still featured a switchback design at the bottom of the front pillar, while the rear window was curved in a bubble type style.

Overall the ’61 Cadillac range looked lighter and felt more agile than their predecessors. The combination of smaller fins and sharp edge styling resulted in one of Cadillac’s most pleasing and appealing designs. Cadillac built 20,156 Coupe de Ville’s in 1961 out of a total production of 112,753.

Cadillac’s 1961 advertising says: “A new Cadillac car is one of the few material possessions for which there is no completely acceptable substitute”.

The ‘61 Cadillac is powered by a 390ci V8 engine with a 4 speed Hydra-matic automatic transmission.


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1962 Ford Thunderbird Sports Roadster convertible

Inspired by the space age with sleek fuselage-like styling, the ’62 Thunderbird earned the nick name ‘bullet bird’ and was a mild facelift of the ’61 T’Bird.

The ’62 Thunderbird Sports Roadster of which just 1,427 were produced, was able to conceal its top automatically at the touch of a button.

When fitted with a factory fibreglass tonneau (headrests included) hiding the rear seats, the ’62 T’Bird had the appearance of a two seater but with the simple removal of the tonneau cover, four seats were revealed.

The rear jet inspired taillights capped off a stunningly beautiful design. Ford advertising for the ’62 Thunderbirds stated: “Sparkling with original ideas, from Swing-Away steering wheel to ‘floating’ rear view mirror…all crafted to Thunderbird standards of extraordinary quality”.

The Thunderbird shared many common traits with the ’61 Lincoln Continental including headlights and the full length fender ridge.

The ‘power dome’ bonnet of this 1962 Ford Thunderbird Sports Roadster concealed a 390ci V8 and a ‘Cruise-O-Matic’ automatic transmission.


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1968 Ford Fairlane 500 (ZB Series)

The 1968 ZB Fairlane was a slightly face lifted version of the 1967 ZA model. The ZA to ZD series of Fairlanes were the first home grown Fairlanes that were designed and developed for the Australian market. All previous Fairlanes were designed in the US and assembled in Australia, usually with parts supplied from Ford of Canada.

This range of Fairlanes used the Falcon XT platform, but with a 5 inch longer wheelbase of 116 inches and an overall length of 196 inches. The front part of the car was essentially an Australian Falcon with a locally designed grille and twin headlights, while the rear panels and boot were imported and of US design. The comparable US Fairlane of the ’67 and ’68 era had a stacked headlight arrangement which did not appear in Australia until the ZC model.

The popularity of the Fairlane grew rapidly and it soon became a leader in its class. Cars at a similar level of luxury were often double the price. Total production for the Fairlane ZB model was 10,708.

Ford advertising at the time stated: “This is the luxury motorcar that more people move up to than any other car”.

The Fairlane Custom was the base model while the Fairlane 500 was the top of the range and came equipped with “Twin- Comfort lounge” front seats, a “Mustang” V8 engine and a “SelectShift Cruise-O-Matic” automatic transmission.

The ’68 Ford Fairlane 500 is powered by a Mustang V8, 302ci petrol engine with a 3 speed automatic transmission.


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The Driver family is proud to present our Classics collection of restored & preserved buses, trucks and cars from the 1930’s through to the 1980’s.

Since 1931, the three generations of the Driver family have seen many vehicles come and go. With a deep seated passion for our companies history and our industry in general, we have preserved these vehicles for future generations to enjoy and appreciate.

Over the years some vehicles were trend setters and game changers, others just did their job, while some did not even achieve that. But there were always vehicles that performed way above expectation and influenced progressive change in the industry.

With our collection, we have tried to find significant vehicles that stood out as leaders in design and reliability for their era. Our passion is for buses that we operated, or that were operated by companies that we acquired, or buses that operated in Australia and had a profound influence on our industry and our company. Because of our general interest in all things automotive, we have also collected cars and trucks that stood out in design or that we simply like.

Restoration of our Driver Classics collection has been done in our own Melbourne workshops and body shop by our dedicated and highly skilled staff. Our vehicles are regularly displayed at enthusiast shows and community events in and around Melbourne and country shows throughout our state of Victoria and on some occasions, even interstate. You may also see them in movies and TV shows from time to time.

Our 1946 Bedford OB-Grice is currently on long term display at the Glen Campe Motor Museum in Hamilton, Victoria and our GM and MCI coaches have a changing rotation through the Sir Reginald Ansett Transport Museum, also in Hamilton, Victoria.

Each vehicle in our collection has detailed information available when you click on ‘read more’. All stories in ‘read more’ have been written and researched by Gary Driver with grateful assistance from the Bus and Coach Society of Victoria. Unless noted otherwise, all photos are from Gary Driver and Ralf Boetker.

We hope you enjoy these fine examples that helped build Australia’s bus, coach and automotive industry.