564KHT (L510EHD) – 1993 DAF Ikarus
|Body||Ikarus Citybus 480|
|Original Operator||Solent Blue Line|
|Joined our collection||February 2011|
|Status||Class 5 MOT – Roadworthy|
L510EHD joined the North Somerset Coaches fleet in February 2011 at a time when passenger numbers on our X54 service were growing so rapidly that a larger bus was urgently needed. Initially planned to be a short-term acquisition (and remained in blue livery), it proved so popular with drivers and passengers that it was treated to a repaint into company livery and gained “cherished” number plate 564KHT.
It remained a loyal and reliable member of the fleet right to the end of bus operations, running in service on the last day on 8th November 2013. It has been laid-up since then awaiting a replacement rear axle. Obtaining the correct part was a very difficult and lengthy process, with parts support from DAF virtually non-existent for older models. The bus returned to the road in time for the Eastern Europe Car Club annual road run in 2016 and it has seen limited use since then.
By winter 2017 serious corrosion had rapidly eaten away at the rear end, so the decision was taken – at considerable expense – to replace the entire body framework rearwards of the the back axle.
L510EHD is one of only two suriving Ikarus 400-series buses in the UK. Ikarus was, at one time, the World’s 4th largest bus manufacturer exporting to over 80 countries from two massive factories in Hungary – Matyasfold in Budapest and Székesfehérvár about 30 miles distant. Now both factories are closed and Ikarus is no more; the company was too big to adapt quickly enough to the changes that affected Central and Eastern Europe in the early 1990s.
Some distant cousins we found in Hungary in May 2015