Over 7,700 Leyland Nationals were built over a period of 14 years during which there were several significant model changes and special export and other customer-requested variations that challenged the mass production arrangements at the Lillyhall factory

The first production Leyland National, Selnec PTE EX30 (TXJ 507K), survives today in the care of the Museum of Transport Greater Manchester.

The first of 7,723 Leyland Nationals to be built at Lillyhall were ten pre-production vehicles, all of them dual-door 11.3m models.

Six were retained by the manufacturer, with the first of these emerging in November 1971 registered DAO 251K. Another of the six, the tenth pre-production bus, was FRM 499K, the first UK demonstrator. Two were export demonstrators, a right-hand-drive bus shipped to South Africa and DRM 590K, a left-hand-drive 36-seater exhibited at the RAI show in Amsterdam in 1972 as part of Leyland’s campaign to win business from continental European cities.

The other four — the third, fourth, fifth and ninth — were supplied to three National Bus Company (NBC) subsidiaries. Most appropriately, the first of these to be handed over — PP5 — went to Cumberland Motor Services in March 1972 as its 350 (ERM 35K), for use on town services in nearby Workington.

Want to read more?

This is a premium article and requires an active subscription.

Existing subscriber? Sign in now

No subscription?

Pick one of our introductory offers