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GCS 50V Restoration Project

During August 2007 work started on the restoration, MOT prep and overhaul of GCS 50V. First the gearbox was changed. When GCS 50V was purchased by myself in May 2007 2nd gear would not engage on the vehicle, after a quick look inside the box and a few phone calls to West Coast Motors for some advice! It was decided to try and source a replacement gearbox. West Coast Motors had a spare overhauled gearbox, which since the Leyland Leopards were now all withdrawn; they kindly allowed me to have. Many thanks to Dougie Martin not only for the Gearbox but also for arranging its delivery from Campbeltown to Glasgow, Thanks Dougie you’re a star!

GSC 50V Undergoing MOT Prep work and a Gearbox Change!

Old Gearbox Removed.

After the Gearbox was changed and a road test confirmed that the replacement box was working 100%. She was booked in to Marbill Coaches for an Underside Steam Clean, followed by a pre MOT Brake and smoke emissions test. GCS 50V passed both tests with no problems confirming all brakes were in good order and that she had a well performing clean engine!.

GCS 50V Having her underside Steam Cleaned at Marbill Coaches!

After a few days work attending to some minor repairs required along with oil changes and a couple of new tyres, GSC 50V had her engine and underside painted and was ready to be presented for MOT.

GSC 50V After Underside Steam Clean, Paint and Ready For MOT!

One part I was keen to try and replace was the cab door. During her time with Oban and District and West Coast Motors, the cab door had been modified to accomodate a Midland Scottish style of coin holder. I tried to find a solution to restore the door back, but two many parts had been removed. After a quick trip to Kennan Of Ayr, a local bus company which still operates many Leyland Leopards from the same batch as GCS 50V!, we were able to source a replacement cab door. Many thanks to Tony from Keenan's for your help!.

The pictures below show the cab area before and after!

Before! Also showing the incorrect old dash panel, later changed.

And After! Just To Apply The Top Coat Of Black Gloss!

Thanks Tony!

Transformation Work Starts

During December 2007, Scott started work on the bodywork of GCS 50V. First we decided and marked the panels that required changing. Once these were removed we were pleased to discover the body frame was in excellent condition. Scott manufactured most of the panels on site, however the larger body side panels needed to be sent away to be produced. At this time Scott refitted the "Leyland Leopard" badge and "Pay as You Enter" sign. Once the repanel work was completed Scott repaired the fibreglass front and back, also replacing the original countersunk rear number plate. A new battery box was also constructed and fitted. After this Scott prepared her for painting by rubbing down the panels unchanged / fibreglass areas and undercoating her with grey paint. Next the top coat was applied along with the Clydeside Scottish stickers, and while Scott worked on this I fitted the black infill strip to all the beading strips. After this work moved to the interior, where all the seats were removed and the seat frames were rubbed down and painted along with the floor. Finally the cab area was painted and the interior stickers were fitted along with the freshly cleaned seats. GCS 50V was ready to go!

First few panels are removed which shows body supports were in great condition.

More panels removed showing freshly painted engine under GCS 50V.

Front panels removed ready for the "Leyland Leopard" badge and "Pay as you enter" sign to be fitted.

"Leyland Leopard" Badge ready to be fitted, this was removed by Clydeside 2000.

Front panels refitted complete with "Leyland Leopard" badge and "Pay as you enter" sign fitted.

More panels removed.

A rather naked GCS 50V waiting new panels.

Rear number plate before.... Note it still has "Clydeside Buses" on it!

And after... Just waiting for the glass to be refitted!

Some new panels waiting to be refitted.

Some old and new panels inside GCS 50V.

Seat frames being painted with RAL8000 and the seat backs and bases in the background ready for cleaning.

I think I might need a new battery box!

New battery box in place....Thats better!

Wheel arch repairs completed.

New panels start to be fitted.

Re-panel work continues, the box infront of GCS 50V contains new wheel arch trim from Alexanders.

Fibre glass repairs at the front of GCS 50V.

Grey undercoat being applied.

Undercoat almost complete, ready for some red and yellow!

Beading infill strips to fit, only 80m more to fit! joy...

Not the most fun job, however it is easier when cut into short lenghts and dipped in hot water!

Paint job complete, just need the stickers.

Back end completed with period "Clydeside Scottish" advert poster.

"Clydeside Scottish" stickers applied GCS 50V almost complete.

Time for the interior, all stripped ready for cleaning and seat and floor painting.

Interior after painting, just need the seats fitted.

Interior takes shape with "Clydeside Scottish" stickers.

Seats ready to be fitted back into GCS 50V.

A few minor repairs!

After a running in period a few minor repairs and changes were carried out. First of all the foot pedals were cleaned up and changed. A fault with the reverse lights was traced to a faulty EP valve and then the dash light panel was changed to a proper Leopard panel. Thanks again to Tony at Keenan's for the new panel for GCS 50V. Finally after years of searching a member of staff at Arriva's Johnstone depot contacted me to say he had a Clydeside Scottish "Greenock" destination screen. Now fitted to G750 it is of the later "Clydeside" style with yellow writing on black the same as fitted in M73. Many thanks Neil for the blind G750 really is now complete! Something that I had been keen to replace was the damaged metal edge on the first step. This was damaged by me! the first day I collected GCS 50V. The West Coast Motors staff had left the old wheel rims inside the bus. When I was removing them I droped one and it left a nasty dent. After many years I finally got round to changing the metal strip, don't feel so bad now!

New leyland brake pedal and cleaned up "gas" pedal in G750.

Faulty EP valve (in the middle) was causing the reverse lights to stay on!

"New" Leopard dash panel fitted, thanks again to Tony at Keenan.

At long last after years of searching, G750 now has an proper "Clydeside" destination screen fitted. Just like M73 it is one of the later "Clydeside" blinds with yellow writing on black. Now G750 IS complete!

Photo showing "new" metal step edge fitted and the err "old" dented one above!

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