#16 - 1963 Bedford VAS3 4WD
The Maxwell name is highly regarded in the Tasmanian bus industry. Jeanette & Dennis Maxwell, operated the Cradle Mountain service for over 50yrs, taking tourists from across the globe into this remote spectacular region. Dennis Maxwell with his lively personality promoted this part of our state and was instrumental in developing tourism in the region.
This little coach was used on the Cradle Mountain service in the early 90s after extensive use on tours & charters around Tasmania along with operating their many school runs. It was (and still is) Jeanette Maxwell's pride & joy.
However, it started it's life new in 1963 with Brien's Comfort Coaches in Victoria. Originally with a 214 petrol Bedford motor, it was upgraded in it's early days to the more powerful 300 petrol motor.
In 1970, Dennis Maxwell purchased the bus, and his wife Jeanette drove it on their school run into Devonport for about 5yrs. It then saw service operating tours around Tasmania on contract to Centralian amongst others, before finally ending her days operating the Cradle Mountain service. Because of the harsh conditions, Dennis decided to install a 4WD from a S-series Bedford truck, to better cope with the conditions into Cradle, a feature still on the vehicle today.
In 2013, the bus was passed onto a Society member for preservation, however circumstances changed and it has now been passed onto the Society to allow the Society to showcase the bus across the state, highlighting another Maxwell vehicle from our past.
Again the Society are thankful that the Maxwell family entrusted us, to preserve a part of their transport history, a history that was recognised in 2015 with Dennis Maxwell being inducted into the National Transport Hall of Fame.
Photo credits: Brien's Comfort Coaches BCSV Archives/GM & Bruce Tilley
Chassis: Bedford VAS3
Engine: Bedford 300 petrol
Cylinders: 6 in line
Output: 133 bhp
Mounting: Front engine
Transmission: Bedford 4spd manual
Built by Ansair, Victoria
Features: 4WD ex S-series truck
Capacity: 25 seated passengers,