Leyland Leopard GCS 50V was bought by myself, Kenny Barclay on the 18th May 2007 for preservation from West Coast Motors. This was the first Clydeside Scottish vehicle I purchased and I decided to restore and repaint her in the original Clydeside Scottish Livery of Red and Yellow as worn by Clydeside vehicles from 1985 till 1989. I have always felt this was a fantastic bright and colourful livery and to my knowledge there are few vehicles in preservation in this livery.
I was brought up in Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire during the 1980's and 1990's and Clydeside Scottish was therfore my local bus company. In June 1988 I started a summer job working for Clydeside Scottish at their Johnstone Depot, the same depot that GCS 50V first entered service eight years previously!
After my summer job finished I found I had developed a strong interest in the Clydeside Fleet and company developments, it was for this reason I decided that when the time came for me to purchase my first bus it would have to be an Ex Clydeside Scottish vehicle!.
When the time was right for me to preserve my first vehicle there were very few ex Clydeside vehicles left. Many had either been sold for scrap or exported to either Asia or Ireland for further use. In April 2007 I was informed from a reliable source that West Coast Motors were still operating not one but two Ex Clydeside Leopards at their Ardrishaig Depot. After contacting the company I was told that both GCS 35V and GCS 50V were due to be withdrawn from service shortly and I could make an offer on either vehicle which would be considered.
In late April 2007 I headed up to Ardrishaig early one Saturday morning to inspect both GCS 35V and GCS 50V. Although both were in fantastic condition for their age, GCS 50V was clearly in better condition. Just before I left the depot a member of staff asked if I would like to go for a run in her, she started first go and after a few minutes and the air was built up we headed into town. It was great to be back out on her again, first time in many years! The driver took me for a short trip around Ardrishaig including some alarming hills and I was pleased to find out the brakes were just as good as the engine!
Once I arrived home I put a formal offer in to West Coast Motors for GCS 50V which was accepted on 18th May 2007. She was collected and moved down from Ardrishaig on Wednesday 30th May 2007. Since the vehicle still had a current MOT, tax and insurance she was able to attend the Kilmarnock Stagecoach Western open day on Saturday 9th June 2007. The open day was to mark the 75th anniversory of Western SMT and this of course was the Company my vehicle entered service with in 1980.
Please have a look at the photos page, this contains pictures taken during my inspection trip to view GCS 50V at Ardrishaig in April 2007 and of the various trips out and open day events she has been involved with. There are also photos of her in service during her 27 years in service. Over time more pictures will be added.
I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank Dan Halliday, Dougie Martin and staff at West Coast Motors for all their help with this project . The vehicle is in fantastic condition for her age and is a real credit to the staff at West Coast Motors.
Below is a brief history of the vehicle from the information I have to hand, it is my intention to develop this website further over time and hopefully add more pictures of GCS 50V both in service with the various companies she has worked for over the past 27 years, and also of the restoration project.
If you have any photographs, comments or further information please get in touch!