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 Post subject: Merlins
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 4:47 pm 
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Posts: 169
Can somebody help me here?

Merlin was I think a name registered to Maudslay under the SMMT rules.

Maudslay used it for a fire appliance chassis supplied to Merryweather.

After the ACV takeover, there was a Mercury -based Alcester built Merlin II.

fast forward to 1964 and AEC announce the Merlin as an export coach chassis with AH691 engine, Panther coach type frame and Regal VI axles braking etc. None are ordered.

In 1966 London Transport announce they are buying AEC Merlins which turn out to be mildly Londonised Swift 691s.

Is this timeline broadly correct?

Can anyone point me to a link to the 1964 Merlin Brochure?


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 Post subject: Re: Merlins
PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 12:00 pm 
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The Merlin name was first used by Maudslay in 1940 for its 6ton load carrier model.

The postwar Merlin II chassis was a Maudslay product and was not based on the AEC Mercury. ACV used the Maudslay Merlin II chassis on the initial 51 Merryweather Marquis appliances, before switching to the AEC Mercury GM4R.

The straight frame AEC Merlin was mentioned on the back cover of a brochure produced for the 1964 Commercial Motor Show.

Neil F.


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 Post subject: Re: Merlins
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:28 pm 
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It's not true that no Merlins of the 1964 incarnation were ordered, though it is true that none were built. Looking at the Commercial Motor archive, London Transport's intention to order rear-engined standee single deckers from AEC was announced shortly before AEC's announcement of the Merlin. At the time it was thought that these would have AH690 engines, presumably because the dry-liner engines hadn't yet been announced either. The confirmation that Merlins had been ordered, and that they were to be bodied by Strachan, followed four months later in January 1965. However, before the chassis could be built, AEC's plans for the Merlin and Swift were replaced by Swift 691 and 505 respectively (hearsay suggesting that this was Leyland's doing). London Transport had to accept Swift 691s, but being used to calling the shots rather than being told what to do, simply ignored the fact and went on calling them Merlins.


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 Post subject: Re: Merlins
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 3:38 pm 
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Thanks both of you, helps clear a few things up. However given the Swift was effectively a Panther frame with AEC units, the front axle being a straight copy of the Panther's then how could it have been made without Leyland interference? Also Chris Drew suggested that what LT actually wanted was a single decker based on FRM units....


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 Post subject: Re: Merlins
PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 12:13 am 
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Stephen, I'm not sure that the Swift as originally envisaged by AEC was a Panther with AEC running units, though that is certainly what it became. You are probably better able to judge this than I am: the original plans can be seen at http://archive.commercialmotor.com/arti ... s-from-aec


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 Post subject: Re: Merlins
PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 3:44 pm 
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Posts: 169
Thanks Mancunian for the link to CM; both frames are the same units as the Panther bus and coach respectively. I can not see the front axle well enough on my laptop to see if it is a Leyland unit (as on the first two prototypes) or a similar AEC unit.

Stephen


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 Post subject: Re: Merlins
PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 1:08 pm 
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Thanks for looking. I had understood that AEC had designed the Swift independently of Leyland and then been brought to heel, but obviously I'd been misinformed.


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