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Note: This is a sub-section of Bedford.
The Bedford OB model was a bus or coach chassis introduced in 1939.
The OB has a wheelbase of 14 feet 6 inches, and is a semi-forward control model, designed to carry 26 to 29-passenger bodywork.
It was fitted with a 27.34 horsepower petrol engine, and has a four-speed manual gearbox and fully floating rear axle. The brakes were of the vacuum servo assisted hydraulic type.
Although only 73 were built prior to the cessation of production due to World War II, it reappeared in an unchanged form at the end of the war, continuing in production until 1950. A total of 12,766 were produced, making it one of the most popular buses of its type ever.
The Pre War OB was introduced in the summer of 1939 as part of a new range of models, which included the "O" type lorry chassis. The passenger version was named the 'OB' and Duple modified their 'Hendonian' body to fit the chassis, which at 14 ft 6 in, was longer than the previous WTB model.
The new model had a very short production run - with the advent of World War II, Bedford turned over to the war effort. Only 73 chassis were built and consequently the pre-war OB was very rare. The 28 horsepower engine, which had been introduced in 1938, was based on the model "O" goods chassis and the six cylinder overhead valve power unit with a capacity of 3,519 cc developed 72 bhp at 3,000 rpm.
The Post War OB had ash framework reinforced with steel and the floor made from hardwood with softwood tongued and grooved boarding with the exception of the cab area which was finished with alloy chequerplate. Seating capacity was normally 29 with overhead luggage racks provided for passengers, whilst the rear luggage boot was also used to store the spare wheel.
The Vista remained Duple's standard OB body until production of the OB chassis ceased in the early 1950s.
The price of a complete coach, including finishing in a two colour livery, was £1,314.10s for a 27 seater and £1,325.10s for a twenty nine seater.
From the end of the war until 1950 a total of 12,693 OB's were built.
The OB is one of the most popular coaches in preservation. There are known to be 180 still about and nearly 70 in roadworthy condition, and about 30 are fully PCV'd for private hire work.