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Historic Commercial Vehicle Society: J144 Fiat Bus

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J144 is a 1915 Fiat Country Bus

 

1913 Fiat Country Bus
1915 Fiat model 2B country bus
Entered by R Ingram for MJ Banfield,
Staplehurst, Kent

J144 is one of the grand old ladies of the Historic Commercial Vehicle Society Run. It is a 1915 Fiat country bus, and has been beautifully restored. What is very striking about these very old buses is their box shape - no inkling of aerodynamics at this stage in the history of the motor vehicle.

This vehicle was imported into England in 1915 by Ambrosetti, which is still in the motor business today. It was used as a station bus in the Reading area between 1917 and 1921, but does not seem to have had a long operational life thereafter.

The passenger cab is a comfortable sitting room on wheels - or a railway carriage on road wheels. Passengers enter through the rear door and there are two long seats, one on either side of the cab - see the photograph below. Mounted directly under the door is the fuel tank - not a very safe design feature, I would have thought. On the left of the door is a simple fixed ladder giving access to the roof for luggage storage.

Other striking features are the predominance of wood in the bodywork and brass in the "accessories" - horn, lamps, mirrors: see the photographs below. Notice here the rear lights are handheld lamps that hang off the body of the cab.

 
Interior View of the Passenger Cab
Interior View of the Passenger Cab

 

All the brasses: rear view mirror, horn and lamp
The Brasses: Rear View Mirror,
Horn and Lamp

 

Rear View showing door to Passenger Cab
Note the Fuel Tank between the Step and Door

 

Below are thumbnail photos showing close-ups of parts of J144. You can click on some of the thumbnails to see a larger version of the image.

 

Headlamp
Fiat Badge & Emblem
Lamp
Horn
Registration Number and Rear Lamp
HCVS No. J144
Fuel Tank
Roof Ladder
Front Mudguard

 

For more on the HCVS Run, click below
K148, the overall winner
J144, a 1915 bus
L163, a 1911 double deck bus
Fire Appliances
The Outspan Orange Car
Taxis
J134, 1909 Commer car
Southdown bus, reg UF1517
Steam wagons

 

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