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AEC Regal

The front engined AEC Regal was first produced in 1929 and was the basis for many buses and coaches both in and outside of London. In London, especially, it was the basis of many Greenline coaches built in the 1930s. The Mark IV AEC Regal introduced in 1950 broke the mould by having its engine under the floor. The most celebrated Regals are the London Transport RF class AEC Regal IVs built between 1951 and 1953, with Metro-Cammell bodywork that was years ahead of its time.   There are probably more of these vehicles in preservation today than of any other type of bus.

All the photographs on this site are from the author's personal collection unless credited otherwise.  If you would like to contribute photographs or news of AEC Regals in service please email the author at

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CG 9607

CG 9607, a 1934 AEC Regal 4 (mark I Regal with four-cylinder diesel engine), second of a batch of eight with Harrington 32 seat bodies for Gosport and Fareham Omnibus Co. (Provincial).  They were later fitted with 7.7 litre six-cylinder engines and this vehicle is seen after being rebuilt as a 34 seater by Provincial in 1961, lasting well into the 1960s.   An example of the original bodywork on sister CG 9606 can be seen in Alan Townsin's book "Blue Triangle". This bus is now in preservation.  Photo by Gerry Cork

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HKL 836

One of a pair of 1946 Regal Mark IIIs with Beadle bodies converted to open top, which were for many years a feature of the Hastings town tour, Maidstone & District 8003 was seen in August 1981 at the old town. This vehicle is now with the London Bus Company for weddings and private hires, after a stint with West Coaches of Wood Green. Two other members of the batch are now privately preserved (see the Preserved page).
John Howsham sent these photos of his grandfathers coach, an AEC Regal Mk 3 new to Sheffield United Tours in 1950. Reg No. LWE 895, fleet No. 195, bodywork by Windover, 33 seats. Photos by John Howsham.

Burlingham bodied Regal III LPT 328, new to independent Gillett Bros of Quarington Hill, had been restored and returned to service by Silver Star of Caernarfon for operation on day and half-day tours in the area, and was photographed at their depot in April 2003. Following the demise of Silver Star in 2011 it remained in North Wales for some years but is now preserved somewhere in the Midlands. Photo by Derek Thomson.


Former Crosville ECW bodied AEC Regal TA5 is in the heritage fleet of Quantock Motor Services, and is licensed for private hires and tours. It was seen at Porlock Weir on one of their running days in May 2007. Photo by Stephen Gow.
Another fine AEC Regal in the Quantock Heritage Fleet is Windhover bodied ACH 441. It was pictured at a running day at Kingsbridge in September 2011. Photo by Ken Jones.
Blue Saloon of Guildford operated former London Country Regal IV RF679 on their Guildford town service for a while. It was captured on camera in July 1980. This bus is now preserved in London Country livery by the RF/RT Register.

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MLL 792

Metrobus of Orpington ran preserved ex LT Regal IV RF255 on a summer service between Bromley and Tunbridge Wells in 1994. It is seen taking layover at Bromley North station having just arrived with a standing load of Londoners returning from a day out in Kent. This RF is now preserved in Metrobus livery.

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EX 7666

A rather different Regal IV, EX 7666 was new to Seagull, Great Yarmouth in 1953 and featured an unusual and elaborate Gurney-Nutting centre entrance coach body.  It was seen at Cleethorpes in July 1969 whilst operating with Bestway.   Note the rather more flamboyant than usual AEC badge.  In the background is another Regal, a Reliant Regal Mk IV.   Photo by Gerry Cork, car identification by Bob Wingrove.

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MLL 952

Memory Lane Travel ran former RF315, which they acquired from the London & Country heritage fleet, on Sunday service 32 between Guildford and Dorking for a number of years before Surrey County Council withdrew the service in January 2004. It was seen at Gomshall in August 2000. This bus has now joined the Ensignbus heritage fleet and has been repainted into LT red livery.

Another ex LT Regal IV, RF401 pictured at Braintree in September 1991 whilst working with Blue Triangle of Rainham on an Essex County Council Sunday service from Romford to Colchester. This bus remains with London Bus Company, which continued the heritage operations following sale of the main Blue Triangle business to Go-ahead London, and is used on private hires and weddings. Photo by Mike Penn.

Former London RF421 spent some time in the operational fleet of Dorset operator Shaftesbury & District. In April 2011 it was a guest vehicle on a service run by Verwoodbus from West Moors to Poole, duplicating AEC Regent RT4777! The Verwoodbus service was withdrawn in July 2011 following the loss of an associated school contract on retendering. Photo by Peter Legg.

Another ex London Transport Regal to migrate westwards is RF269. Formerly privately preserved (in fact by the gentleman who took the photo of RF421 above!), it has returned to PSV use as a private hire vehicle with London Bus 4 Hire in South Wales, but took time out to participate in the 2013 Warminster runing day.

Former London Transport AEC Regals can still be found operating in private hire fleets, for vintage and wedding hire. An example is RF644, owned by Classic Country Bus (green-bus.co.uk). It was pictured at Leatherhead in July 2017, running a free service in connection with an Open Gardens day.