Bristol Commercial Vehicles Enthusiasts

This website is for anyone interested in the products of Bristol Commercial Vehicles, a manufacturer swallowed up by British Leyland and a tragic victim of the politics of the 1970s and early 1980s. The models we deal with in full detail are the VR (Vertical Rear-engined) double decker, the remarkable Lodekka half-cab low-floor double decker and the single-deck RE (Rear-Engined) and LH (Lightweight Horizontal-engined) models with every single chassis listed from original owner through all subsequent owners to final (or current!) resting place. It is a sad fact that in 2018 all Bristols are now extinct in normal service but many VRs remain in use in the U.K. withcertain operators and also in non-PSV roles. By contrast there are now well over 200 VRs recorded in various states of preservation in the U.K. with many more continuing to earn their keep in a multitude of uses around the World. Ever-faithful Lodekkas also continue to earn their keep in all corners of the World, some of them now well beyond their sixtieth birthday, while many are still in private hands in the U.K. Finally there are also many preserved REs and LHs that continue to provide nostalgia and enjoyment at events around the U.K.

 Last Updated : August 15th 2018 (UWA293L, GRY63D, WLT999, GDL667, KJH731, A105FPL, SMK701F and VLT202 on eBay, FDL681V for sale)

***NEW Parking brake and ECW vinyls***
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Search engine by freefind

NEW FEATURE ***Maintenance and Parts Manuals - Scanned and searchable*** NEW FEATURE

***Most recent Unusual Bristol - THU354G masquerading as XHN934G***

***Commercial Motors Archive***

Spotters' Log - all Bristol sightings recorded here

Photos currently for sale :

All proceeds go towards restoration and ongoing maintenance of Bristols VDV138S, JOU161P, SWC24K and 314PFM
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***Updated : Bristol merchandise - key rings and fridge magnets***
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Bristols For Sale
I do not charge any fees for listing Bristol vehicles for sale on this page, but I regret I cannot advertise events due to lack of available time. I do however list Bristols advertised on eBay in the hope of alerting buyers who may otherwise miss the opportunity and have added a few additional links to interesting eBay categories such as those for Photos and Models at various points on the website.

Mission Statement
The aim of this website is to be the up-to-date reference point for all Bristol VR, Lodekka, RE and LH vehicles. Ultimately it is the intention to have a profile page for every one of these vehicles that were built including photos with every owner in every livery. Obviously this is a lifetime's work and will not be achieved without the help of a great many contributors - these kind folk have already helped to swell the number of photos held for publication to over 45,000, many of which are already in use on the site. I am very careful not to breach copyright but if I have used any of yours inappropriately please contact me and I will put it right immediately. With the dramatically reduced activity in the Bristol vehicle world in recent years I now record all major vehicle changes and items of interest on the Recently Recorded Changes Log.

I hope that whether you are a regular visitor to this site or you have simply stumbled across it you can sense the enjoyment I have derived over many years in compiling it (and continue to do so - there's still a long way to go before I'm "finished" documenting these wonderful timeless vehicles). I have recently started a number of new pages which deal with the more unusual and noteworthy aspects of operation and use of the VR, Lodekka, RE and LH models and I thought it was time to share the links for these new pages with you. All are still very much under construction so do please come back periodically and see what I have added. The first page deals with unfortunate incidents resulting in fire and accident damage. Next comes advertising liveries (this will take a long time to complete and so far I have only started the Bristol Omnibus and Eastern Counties pages!). Finally there is a repository for operations, uses and conversions which I think merit their own separate entry which I am calling Unusual Bristols. Don't forget I have listed some coverage of Bristols on YouTube as well. If you have any contributions for any of these pages I would be delighted to hear from you.

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Please help to support this website by using this link. Anything you buy (not just bus-related items) on eBay, having clicked through from here, results in a commission payment of a few pennies which I put toward the cost of having this website professionally hosted.


Operator Focus (June 16th 2018)

Devon Independents

RPH111L with Devon Services

Having completed the full list of operators of VR, RE, Lodekka and LH models my attention has now turned to adding as many photos as possible of each vehicle with each operator in each livery. I have completed Cornish Independents and am now working my way through the Devon Independents. The idea is to add a placeholder wherever a photo is not currently available to make it obvious where I need help - if you are able to plug any of these gaps please do get in touch, either by email or on Facebook where I am easily found (look for Bristol Commercial Vehicles Enthusiasts). Here we see RPH111L in a later version of Devon Services livery courtesy of Howard Whiskin.

Operator Focus - Archive

The Operator Focus Archive contains a log of previously featured operators. If you can contribute to fill any gaps or correct any mistakes I'd be delighted to hear from you.

Photo of the Month (July 16th 2018)

JON700E in 1980

JON700E was notable even before it was delivered in being the very first RELH4 chassis (RELH4/101). It was also the very first RE delivered to an independent operator and was one of only three built with Plaxton Panorama bodywork. It was delivered to Flight's Coaches of Birmingham - it turned out to be somewhat unreliable, the air suspension giving them some trouble - and remained the only RE in their fleet. Seen here at Epsom in 1980, captured by the prolific camera of Frans Angevaare, it is now in the hands of Alpine of Chadwell Heath where it remained until destroyed by fire in an arson attack in late 1983, just failing to survive long enough to stand a decent chance of being saved for posterity.

Photo of the Month - Archive

This is the latest photo in a regular feature intended to showcase the work of some of the very kind contributors to this website to whom we are very much indebted. 


Operator Focus

For a few years now I have been adding Illustrated Fleet Histories for operators who have run VRs, REs, LHs and/or Lodekkas at some point, ranging from large groups to tiny one-vehicle operations. Those added so far are listed by county on the Operator Cross Reference page (including an indication as to whether or not the list yet contains all the details and photos in my possession), but I now plan to showcase operators as I work on them. The purpose of highlighting them on here is both as a means of promoting the pages but also as a request for viewers to send in any photos that fill in the gaps in the Photo Archive sections on each page. The aim is to illustrate every vehicle in every livery with every operator and I want to thank all the very many kind individuals who have already made such contributions to this website.

The Illustrated Histories Log page details those vehicles that have already been processed. More are added each week. If you can help to complete any with either additional information or photos I would be delighted to hear from you, either through the submission of photos or slides for scanning, or through the email of digital images. You will find my Contact Information at the foot of this page.



VRs in Service

All current VRs operated around the UK.


Playbuses, exhibition units, caravans, etc. They're all here.

Preserved VRs

Over one hundred and eighty VRs are already in preservation. Keep up with their progress here.

All RE Survivors

Lists by original owner of all RE survivors from around the World

All Lodekka Survivors

Lists by original owner of all Lodekka survivors from around the World

All LH Survivors

Lists by original owner of all LH survivors from around the World




Here you will find all VRs that were manufactured with links to subsequent owners. This list shows all original owners and links to lists showing all known survivors, all others being marked as scrapped.

Every RE ever built is listed here with links to all subsequent owners.
Every LH ever built is listed here with links to all subsequent owners.
Every Lodekka ever built is listed here, with links to all subsequent owners.

Although we do not cover the Bristol SU, you will find very comprehensive comprehensive coverage on Gerry Tormey's website using the above link


Gerry Tormey has also now completed a superb site devoted to the Bristol MW. Follow the link above.


Further offerings from Gerry Tormey now include this site for the Bristol SC....


...and this one for the integral Bristol LS model.


Here are Gerry's two latest websites, dedicated to these grand old Bristol single deck models.

eBay items index

Contact Information

Your webmaster would be delighted to hear from you about anything Bristol/ECW-related. His email address is rob@robsly.com.

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Bristols on Video
Following the use of JOU161P on free services in and around Cheltenham on Saturday 12th September 2009 a video of it appeared on YouTube, thanks to the prolific camera of Simon "Video47". This has prompted me to add a new page to this website where I will add links to videos of Bristol VRs, REs, LHs and Lodekkas across the Internet. If you find any more do please drop me a line at rob@robsly.com and I will build up this library of material.

Facebook Page
I thought it might be nice to have a forum whereby readers could easily comment on and raise issues about the website, chat with me and with each other and help with information and photos for use on the website. I have therefore added a page on Facebook where I will periodically post photos and information that might not normally make it onto this website. I have started off with four photos of Bristol Lodekkas which I hope we might be able to identify and thereby add to the historical record on here. Do please become a fan of this website - I look forward to seeing you there!

The Doctor Who story has been moved here

Special Feature - a Bristol VR at the 2010 World Cup

Morocco Special Bulletin

Fantastic news is that after 22 years "missing in action" Series 1 flat-front VR BYG851H, former West Yorkshire VR44, has been spotted in good condition in Morocco. It was parked just off the main road heading back into Tangier from Cap Spartel and the "Caves of Hercules". Unfortunately Clive Williams (whose quick thinking provided enough of the registration to check its identity on this website) was on a tour coach at the time so it was impossible to get a photo. My request to readers is for anyone who finds themselves heading out to Morocco to keep their eyes peeled for this one (and to carry a camera with them!!).