They were known affectionately by the staff as ‘Long Toms’ or ‘Long Johns’ and were initially driven very cautiously because of their length.
Following the Western National takeover of Devon General in 1971, the nearside front seat was removed and a luggage pen installed. Poppy red livery followed, replacing the traditional and attractive DG red and ivory paint scheme.
9RDV was finally withdrawn from service in January 1980 before being successfully purchased from WN for preservation and subsequently restored to its original livery in the West Midlands. It returned to its native Devon in July 2011 and was used for local events culminating in the East Devon Reliance tour in 2011, covering the old service 9 and other local routes from its early service period.
Denis Chick and Royston Morgan purchased 9RDV, and it now lives with its big brother, Devon General AEC Regent EOD 524D, in the East Midlands.