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Leyland National 2 Cumberland Motor Services

From when the Leyland National was launched, operators had cried out for the option of the trusty Gardner engine. One or two operators had manage to fit the Gardner lump into their Nationals, thus proving that it would fit. Leyland decided rather too late in the day to offer the Gardner engine as an option on the National 2, this project was allocated the code B65. During late 1982 Leyland Bus announced the option of the Gardner 6LXB engine producing 170bhp @ 1,850rpm. The first batch of Gardner powered National 2s entered service with Cumberland Motor Services, who had the honor in 1972 of being the first company to put the Leyland National into service. Here we see the last of the batch WAO 399Y leaving the factory to go on the standard road test. Just behind the National is the gable end of the National factory, at this part of the factory all the metal was treated against corrosion. Also the large sign showing the joint ownership of the factory can be seen, by the end of 1982, the NBC sold their share of Bus Manufacturers Ltd to Leyland, thus the factory became Leyland Bus Workington. Sales of the National 2 continued to fall and production ceased in 1985, with Nottingham Transport taking the last large batch of Nationals, but Halton Borough Transport had the honour of taking the very last National to be built. An interesting story regarding the Cumberland Gardner Nationals, was when CMS came to sell them, it was found that one, maybe two out of the five were on lease and not owned by Cumberland. Another interesting point about the photo, the NBC badge is placed below the Leyland badge, later the NBC badge was placed in the middle of the grill, which was standard practice for all the Nationals purchased by the NBC.

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Taken on July 29, 2010