A circulating photo depicting an SBS bus covered in snow fascinated many Singaporeans recently.
Here’s the photo in case you have not come across it yet:
Definitely not a sight you will see in Singapore.
Last ever Leyland made SBS bus model
This SBS bus plied Singapore roads for around 20 years before it was retired in 2013.
That very same year, the bus was bought by Dave Rogers, a man in the UK.
The bus originally bore the number plate SBS 9168S in Singapore, running as bus service 154.
After Dave’s purchase, the bus was then registered as L888 in the UK as a homage to its previous owner. The number “8” also signifies good fortune and “888” would translate to “Lucky lucky lucky”.
Speaking to Mothership, Dave said that he has an interest in older buses built by British bus and train manufacturer Leyland.
Leyland was a bus and train manufacturer with over 100 years of history before the brand disappeared in 1993.
Explaining the reason for his purchase, Dave said that this particular SBS bus has a “very significant historical importance” for the bus manufacturing industry in the UK.
This bus model was the last one built by Leyland in the UK before Volvo acquired it in 1988.
Licensed for private use
Dave said that the bus is now licensed for private use and it has been showcased at several vintage vehicle shows in the past.
Unfortunately, there was none in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Here’s a 2014 bus festival where you see the SBS bus L888 on the move:
Here’s a photo showing the SBS bus on what looks like a countryside road:
SBS bus representing “Singapore” in a typical vehicle show in the UK:
Plans to restore the bus to its original colours
Besides the SBS bus, Dave has a collection of around 10 buses, most from Hong Kong.
Here’s a bus from Hong Kong that Dave managed to restore over a two-year period:
He told Mothership that the maintenance of these huge vehicles is not an issue at all as he has an extensive knowledge of these buses after working on Leyland buses in the UK for over 30 years.
Spare parts are also readily available in the UK, he added.
Dave said that currently, all the buses are in storage and he plans to restore the SBS bus to its original colours and original condition just like when it was delivered to Singapore in 1993.
All images courtesy of Dave Rogers