A.E.C. “Q” Double-Decker Bus

Like the prototype of my 1928 TD1, the “Q” was designed by John Rackham, but after he had transferred to A.E.C. from Leyland. Its original conception was as a double-decker, with the engine at the side tucked neatly under the stairs, although as built, most of the engine was further to the rear.

It is amazing to discover that the prototype was built as early as 1932, with many features not out of place today. Its four, rather than six bay construction anticipated the “RT” design of 1939, while the appearance of the front end with the entrance ahead of the front wheels was twenty-six years ahead of the Leyland Atlantean of 1958.

The “Q” title was originally a nickname derived from the “Q” ships of the Great War — warships disguised as cargo vessels to confuse the enemy. The “Q” was too far ahead of its time to gain widespread acceptance, so that only 348 (single and double deck) were built. London Transport operated many of these.

Like my previous models, the “Q” is scaled at one-sixteenth full size. It is also built from the contents of a 1954–1961 Red & Green № 9 set. It features full leaf suspension, and working steering gear. The intended power unit, an E15R motor, is mounted prototypically at the side, and can be accessed through a hinged side panel. Also modelled is the strange front lifeguard slung on hinges based on that provided on tramcars.

The model is almost finished, including the floors, staircase, and the drive to the rear axle. I am at present constructing a gear lever to operate the reversing switch on the E15R.

Prototype information was obtained from the Transport Publishing Co. book The Best of British Buses № 2 — The A.E.C. “Q” Family.

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