PAST & PRESENT
The Midlands city liked to support local manufacturers when placing most orders for its municipal bus fleet over the 60 years of its separate existence, with Daimler and Maudslay both being favoured
Although administratively in the West Midlands, Coventry is a place apart from Birmingham and the Black Country, happier describing itself as a city simply in the Midlands. It is just 14miles south of the true central point in England, the village of Fenny Drayton between Birmingham and Leicester.
Its corporation buses, which served the city from 1914 until they were absorbed into the enlarged West Midlands PTE in 1974, had a distinct character of their own, a livery of maroon and cream unlike the blue or green of the four municipal undertakings incorporated into the PTE at its formation in 1969.
Most were built by local manufacturers, helping maintain a thriving economy and providing civic endorsement of their products. In a rare break with this practice, Coventry Corporation Transport caused an almighty row when it ordered its first rear-engined double-deckers in 1963, 22 Leyland Atlanteans from Lancashire rather than locally built Daimler Fleetlines. Never mind that they were cheaper and had gearboxes manufactured in Coventry. All subsequent orders were for the Fleetline.