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Two Mystery
Dennis Pax Coaches
by Ted Gamblin

In the early 1950’s, I photographed both these vehicles, the first of which at a quick glance could be mistaken for a typical Bedford/Duple OB of that era. However, a closer look reveals that it is in fact a normal control Dennis Pax. The body is quite similar to the Duple body commonly seen on the Bedford OB chassis, and I always assumed it was, until Eric Nixon told me it was a Wadham Stringer product. I associated Wadham Stringer with the Portsmouth area, which in turn leads me to Sparshatts who were Dennis agents in that area. Moving on to my time at Dennis’s, I vaguely recall seeing drawings of components marked “Sparshatt Conversion”, presumably relating to their fitting of Perkins P6 engines into Pax chassis, which I believe predated Dennis’s offering of that engine as an option in the Pax chassis.

Some years ago, looking through Dennis records at Woking, I noticed some chassis records for the “D2” model Pax which showed one of that model supplied to Lucas (or was it Lucan?) of Slough, which may well have been the chassis of this coach. I have often wondered did the operator want a coach of this size but with a diesel engine. In which case did Sparshatts replace the Dennis 4 cylinder side valve petrol engine with a Perkins P6?

The second coach is based on a forward control Pax chassis with a body by Readings of Portsmouth and carried an Isle of Wight registration. Could this also have been converted by Sparshatts?

Dennis Pax

Dennis Pax chassis with a body by Readings
(Both photos by Ted Gamblin)

From the Aldershot & District Bus Interest Group's Newsletter, Issue No. 80
Spring 2014

Aldershot & District Bus Interest Group Website

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