A 1952 Leyland PD2 new to Midland Red promoted heritage buses to thousands of classic car fans at an extensive classic car show at the NEC.
The vehicle, which spent its entire career with the operator at Digbeth Garage, was bought by clothier Foster Menswear for staff transport in 1967 before being acquired for preservation.
More recently, the bus has undergone major restoration, which took place from 1995 to 2010. The PD2 features a front grille treatment specified by Midland Red, which wanted to give its vehicles a more modern look than if they had the traditional exposed radiator. This created so much interest that the treatment was offered to vehicles sold to other operators, and it became known as the ‘Midland Red front.’
The bus featured, SHA421, starred on the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs stand at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, by far the biggest event of its type in Britain. The Federation represents hundreds of vehicle clubs, businesses and individuals, including classic bus operators.
The PD2 is owned by the 1685 Group, members including retired drivers John James, who worked for Midland Red and its successor Arriva, and author of several books on Midlands buses Malcolm Keeley.