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The Daimler CVG has been a famous double-decker in Great Britain since 1940s. It has gained good reputations before its successor, Fleetline came.
To the Colony of Hong Kong, the introduction of Daimler CVG5 has made two records:
The first double-deckers in Hong Kong
The concept of introducing double-deckers in Hong Kong started circa 1939. At that time, the population in Hong Kong was around 1.6 million, leading to a relatively great demand for bus services. The two major operators, Kowloon Motor Bus and China Motor Bus, were providing service with 30-40 seat single-deckers, which seemed not enough. Kowloon placed an order of two Daimler COG5DD chassis in 1939, which was suitable for receiving double deck bodywork. However, they were finished in single deck bodywork.
After World War II, most buses were lost due to Japanese occupation. The bus services were operated by trucks. The problem was not serious because the population had been reduced to 600,000 by 1946. However, during 1947 and 1948, the population increased by more than 1.2 million, leading to shortage of buses. This problem had led the two operators to purchase double deck buses.
In late December 1948, four CVG5 chassis were shipped to KMB, along with body kits provided by Metal Sections Limited, Oldbury, England. These buses, together with the sixteen came in early 1949, were assembled by local staff members. In order to cope with the hot and wet climate in the territory, sliding windows and half drop windows were fitted (later changed to full depth sliding windows). They were registered on 13 April 1949 and were deployed to Route 1 four days later. These twenty buses, together with a later batch of 105, had traditional Daimler fluted-top, chromium-plated radiator shells. Then further batches of 90 buses with similar specifications, but with "Birmingham" style of pressed steel grille and bonnet entered service by 1954. These 215 buses were 7.92m long, 2.29m wide and 4.45m tall.
One of the four vehicles, 4961, was designated fleet number D26 in 1974. It remained passenger service until January 1980. Then it was used as a training bus. In January 1982, the bus was reconstructed and restored in KMB Kwun Tong Depot to a near original condition. It became an exhibit outside New World Centre in early 1983 to celebrate the operator's Jubilee. After that, it has been preserved by the company and has been seen in various functions.
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Page created: 3 June 1999
Last updated: 11 July 2003