Replica ‘Stanley steamer bus’ for sale

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Electric replica steam bus needs an operator. LEE CAVE

Nick Larkin reports on what looks like an authentic steam bus, but is actually something much newer 

The only example in the UK of an electrically-powered replica ‘Stanley steamer bus’ is for sale to a caring operator after the owner was denied permission to operate it in Cambridge. [wlm_nonmember][…]

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Private Hire operator Lee Cave was denied permission by his local council to use the Chinese-built Jinan Gopo Machinery Manufacturing Co bus for tour work, as it was felt to be too big for the narrow city streets.

“With all the interest in clean emission vehicles in cities at the moment you’d have thought there would have been a great deal of support, but sadly not,” said Lee. “It would be great for a heritage service.”

Lee Cave, who runs Camborne-based private hire company 079 Call a Cab, had originally intended to operate a diesel ‘road train,’ a replica railway engine and carriages, but this was also not supported.

“The same company that would have supplied the road train also had the replica bus,” said Lee. “I decided to go for it, but as I can’t now use it, I’ll put it up for sale. I would like it to go to a good home and hopefully be operated.”

In its current form the vehicle has a top speed of around 18mph, but could be modified subject to type approval. Charging intervals depend on the mileage and terrain covered, but are based on eight hours driving. The bus can also seat up to 22 passengers.

“If not bought for the road, the Gopo would be great for a service around, say, the grounds of a stately home, golf course of similar,” Lee stated. “Vehicles like this are in use in Dubai and also the Far East. This one would be great for a theme park, wedding venue, seaside or golf course.

‘The buses, which are extremely well appointed cost about £40,000 new (plus shipping and tax), but due to storage restrictions, I will reluctantly sell this bus, currently advertised for £17,500 for a quick sale.”

Lee has since been granted permission to operate a couple of replica Ford Model T vehicles in Cambridge for tours on a pre-booked basis and is starting next spring.

Contact him at: [email protected] or 07999101101 if interested in the bus.