Cummins has announced that its Darlington factory will celebrate its 50th anniversary in July 2015.
To mark the occasion, a search is on for the oldest surviving buses with Darlington-built engines. The best vehicles, along with key bus models from across the 50 years, will be invited to join the staff at a celebration day at the factory on July 11.
Ashley Watton, Cummins Bus Engine Sales Leader, said: “In recognition of our long term relationship with the bus industry we would like to feature a number of memorable vehicles at our event. A significant number of bus engines have been built in the Darlington plant over the years, so we should have a lot to choose from.”
Work began in 1963 on the £8.5m plant with engine production commencing in 1965. It started with the Small Vee range of V6 and V8 100-210bhp engines for trucks, buses, construction equipment and boats for key customers such as Dodge, Ford, Daimler and many others. They were manufactured up until 1986, when production switched to the B Series engine family following a £13.5m upgrade.
The B was followed by the C Series engine in 1989, with the fully electronic ISBe, the forerunner of today’s Euro 6 products, coming on stream in 2000. Since opening, close to 1.5 million engines have been built in the factory.
“We had some level of successes in the bus business with the Vee engines, but the advent of the B Series and its suitability for lightweight, flexible passenger transport put Cummins on the map. Today there are an amazing 30,000 buses in the UK using the B Series family of engines,” added Watton.
Anyone interested in taking part should contact [email protected].