When considering which was the last AEC Regent V, there are several contenders and not a ‘right’ answer. What does appear certain, though, is that this pair for Pontypridd were the last to enter service, on 1st March 1969. They were the penultimate pair of MD-series Regents (the final one going to Garelochhead Motor Services), a chassis which had latterly been produced mainly for operators in South Wales. After 1961 96 were built and apart from 29 for Devon General just 11 others went outside the area. They were a familiar sight in Pontypridd as the Council had 13, Rhondda had 31 and Western Welsh 10.
These two vehicles became 7/8 (UTG 312/313G) and had Willowbrook H34/26F bodies. They were to have been bodied by Metro-Cammell but they were not able to carry out the work which was then transferred to Willowbrook, who also built the bodies on the last AEC Regent chassis, two 3D3RA models for Douglas.
In recognition of its historic status, 8 was restored to original Prussian Blue livery in 1983. Whilst 7 was withdrawn the following year, 8 remained in the fleet to become the only AEC Regent owned by Taff-Ely Transport Ltd. in 1986, being finally withdrawn the following year.
At the time of writing both 7 and 8 still survive, with 8 being fully restored.
© David Beilby