AEC Routemaster Bus

The AEC Routemaster is a front-engined double-decker bus that was designed by London Transport and built by AEC and Park Royal Vehicles. The bus entered service in 1956 and the last one was delivered in 1968, they were withdrawn from regular service in 2005.. In modern UK public transport bus operation, the features of the standard Routemaster were both praised and criticised. The open platform, while exposed to the elements, allowed boarding and alighting in places other than official stops; and the presence of a conductor allowed minimal boarding time and optimal security, but with greater labour costs.

The early releases (486) by Mettoy (Corgi Toys) were different and better. In June 1964 it was released in red with Corgi Toys advertising; Corgi Classics on one side and 'Naturally Corgi Toys' on the other. In 1965 the graphics were changed to 'Outspan Oranges' and the core range bus continued in this livery up to 1975 when a new casting was released. There were though a number of code 2 specials based on the old casting released during this period and they are rare and valuable. In this early casting look out for Australian issues of the Corgi advertising and Outspan Oranges in green/cream/brown, these are seriously rare and valuable, but any other code 2 on the early casting is well worth having. The early version has suspension, a driver and usually a female conductor, they mostly have jewelled headlamps and a diecast base plate.

In 1975 the updated version was released (469). The casting is a little larger, the baseplate is plastic, the wheels are Whizzwheels and there are no jewelled headlamps. Very early Whizzwheels releases have a driver and conductor, but they were soon dropped. The First releases have BTA Welcome to Britain adverts, this livery remained in production right through to the Mettoy bankruptcy in 1983 and remained in production under the new management.

1977 was a busy year for the Corgi Routemaster. There was a new set of adverts (Selfridges) on the red bus released in April under number 467, this bus remained in production for a year. In the same month there were two releases in Silver to commemorate the Queen's Silver Jubilee. These were both on number 471. One has Woolworths adverts the other 'See More London'. I have also found another silver bus with Ingersoll Rand adverts, this was probably a code 2 release. In July 1977 an open top Routemaster was released in Disneyland colours (470), remaining in production until 1978.

In 1981 Corgi were desperately trying to turn the tide against the electronic toys and games which were beginning to turn boys away from playing with toy cars. One of their feebler efforts was an electronic Routemaster bus (1004) - you pushed down on the springs to make the horn beep. History shows that this piece of innovation failed to save the company. It was initially released with BTA Welcome to Britain adverts (below), these were changed to 'Aero Unfogettabubble' (not represented), I have also found it with Hamleys graphics.

The last release under Corgi Toys was another 469, the London Country green bus. This one came out in December 1982. It is referred to as 'Green Line' and number 470 in the Great Book of Corgi and the accompanying pocket book and is not illustrated in the Great Book of Corgi.

In later years, and continuing today, there are, were, have been hundreds and hundreds of variants on the Corgi Routemaster, it has become a piece of advertising media. The newer Corgi Routemaster uses the later, slightly larger casting with the plastic base and without a clippie or driver or suspension or jewelled lights. There are so many versions that the Corgi Routemaster gets its own page in Ramsay's Guide. The later bus is so common and in so many versions that most of them are worth almost nothing.

 

First Casting: 1964 to 1975      
Corgi Toys 468; AEC Routemaster Double-Decker Bus; First Issue; Corgi Classics, Corgi Toys, Red, Spun Hubs, Suspension, Jewelled Lights Corgi Toys 468; AEC Routemaster; Outspan Oranges; Spun Hubs Corgi Toys 468; AEC Routemaster; Outspan Oranges, Cast Hubs Corgi Toys 468; AEC Routemaster Double-Decker Bus; First Issue; Outspan Oranges, Cast Hubs, No Jewels  
Corgi Toys 468; AEC Routemaster Double-Decker Bus; First Issue; Corgi Classics, Corgi Toys, Red, Spun Hubs, Suspension, Jewelled Lights Corgi Toys 468; AEC Routemaster; Outspan Oranges; Spun Hubs Corgi Toys 468; AEC Routemaster; Outspan Oranges, Cast Hubs Corgi Toys 468; AEC Routemaster Double-Decker Bus; First Issue; Outspan Oranges, Cast Hubs, No Jewels  
Second Casting: 1975 on        
Corgi Toys 469; AEC Routemaster Whizzwheels; London Transport; 11 Liverpool St; BTA Welcome to Britain Corgi 469; AEC Routemaster Bus; London Transport; 11 Liverpool St; BTA Welcome to Britain Corgi Toys 469; AEC Routemaster Whizzwheels; London Transport; 11 Liverpool St; BTA Welcome to Britain Corgi Toys 467; AEC Routemaster Whizzwheels; Selfridges Corgi Toys 471; AEC Routemaster Whizzwheels; Woolworth's; Queen's Silver Jubilee 1977
Corgi Toys 469; AEC Routemaster Whizzwheels; BTA Welcome to Britain, Early With Crew Corgi Toys 469; AEC Routemaster Whizzwheels; BTA Welcome to Britain, Early Box Corgi Toys 469; AEC Routemaster Whizzwheels; BTA Welcome to Britain, Later Box Corgi Toys 467; AEC Routemaster Whizzwheels; Selfridges Corgi Toys 471; AEC Routemaster Whizzwheels; Woolworth's; Queen's Silver Jubilee 1977
Corgi Toys 471; AEC Routemaster Whizzwheels; See More London; Queen's Silver Jubilee 1977 Corgi Toys 471; AEC Routemaster Whizzwheels; Ingersoll Rand; Queen's Silver Jubilee 1977 Corgi Toys 470; AEC Routemaster Whizzwheels; Open Top, Disneyland Corgi Toys 1004; AEC Routemaster; Beep Beep Bus, BTA Welcome to Britain Corgi Toys 1004; AEC Routemaster; Beep Beep Bus, Hamleys
Corgi Toys 471; AEC Routemaster Whizzwheels; See More London; Queen's Silver Jubilee 1977 Corgi Toys 471; AEC Routemaster Whizzwheels; Ingersoll Rand; Queen's Silver Jubilee 1977 Corgi Toys 470; AEC Routemaster Whizzwheels; Open Top, Disneyland Corgi Toys 1004; AEC Routemaster; Beep Beep Bus, BTA Welcome to Britain Corgi Toys 1004; AEC Routemaster; Beep Beep Bus, Hamleys
Corgi 469; AEC Routemaster Bus; London Country, Pentel, Quick on the Draw        
Corgi Toys 469; AEC Routemaster Bus; London Country, Pentel, Quick on the Draw        

 


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Last Edit: 11/09/2022 Page Added 02/06/2022