If you follow us on our Facebook or Twitter pages, you will have learned that today was the first outing of Peoplesbus newly acquired BMC Condor, which was purchased from York Pullman due to it being surplus to requirements.
The vehicle features the revised Peoplebus livery, but I understand it may gain additional marker lights over the front destination display and at the rear as per their Optare Tempo and Optare Solo SR, overall the exterior appearance is spot on, the Bright-Tech LED’s being a little bit problematic to photograph earlier on in the day, but much easier to photograph in the evening.
Internally the layout is simple and free flowing with seating for 45, the drivers cabin is laid out simply with a digital tachograph, an on-board radio system, although the position of the ticket machine and door controls did seem to be in strange places on the left-hand side of the cabin, of which has a door which you can, in fact, walk over.
The passenger saloon is equipped with high-backed Lazzerini Pratico 3840 seating, singular strip lights are affixed to the ceiling to light the saloon. Two emergency exit windows are on the roof which comes with a novel telephone cable to retain the emergency hammers in place. Heating is provided by two blown air heaters fixed to the floor which certainly did the job, although a little draft was felt from the continental style sliding windows.
I sampled the vehicle on the 16:13 commercial 52A departure from Netherton which a hand full of passengers boarded along the route but were certainly outnumbered by bus enthusiasts. I stayed aboard for the 16:55 commercial 52A departure from Liverpool which gained a near enough full load back to Netherton.
The ride was lovely and smooth, for a bus that is already 6 years old it certainly irons out the bumps particularly on Scotland Road going in and out of Liverpool which has a particularly bad road surface. One thing I did notice was the lack of any rattles whatsoever, as well as a very pleasant clean smell which other passengers noted as they boarded in the city centre.
Having sampled other BMC products such as the Falcon both here in the UK and in Malta and the BMC Probus I was possibly a little bit sceptical on how this vehicle would perform, but it certainly does the job for what the likes of Peoplesbus want it to do and probably more!
BMC Condor BV57 MPU (0702) was new in 2007 to as a demonstrator to BMC Coventry, later York Pullman acquired it in May 2010 via auction, and was recently acquired by Peoplesbus in 2013.
The Condor is powered by a Cummins ISBe5 6-cylinder turbocharged and inter cooled engine coupled to a Voith D854.5E four-speed automatic transmission giving a maximum speed of around 64 miles per hour.
A quick history of BMC
BMC Turkey was formed in 1964 by Ergün Özakat in partnership with the British Motor Corporation in İzmir. The British Motor Corporation held 26% of the capital, with the remainder belonging to the Turkish partners. It was taken over by Çukurova Holding of Turkey in 1989, and later seized by the Turkish government’s Savings Deposit Insurance Fund in 2013.
In 2002, BMC Turkey, which was originally set up by the British Motor Corporation to build their designs under licence in the 1950s, began exporting its vehicles to Britain. This saw the return of the BMC brand to British roads for the first time in over 40 years.