Bristol Commercial Vehicles Enthusiasts

CURRENT FLEET - MURPHY OF DENVER, COLORADO, U.S.A.

Last Updated : September 15th 2017 (photo feature added)

This page lists all Bristol VRs owned by Double Decker Bus including links to all photos currently in the BVRES Collection showing the liveries carried by individual vehicles. If you have any further information or photos I would be delighted to hear from you at rob@robsly.com

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One of these VRs shown as "current" was sold to Club Hopper, Laughlin, Nevada, by 8/2000 - which one is unknown

Fleet Number

Registration

Chassis Number

Date Acquired

Date Withdrawn and Sold Notes
301 XWU337S VRT/SL3/1115 11/1992 (West Riding 843) by 12/2003 (Wells, El Paso, Texas, U.S.A.)  
302 XWU338S VRT/SL3/1116 11/1992 (West Riding 844) ?/1996 (Gray Line, New York, U.S.A. 228)  
302 YNW290S VRT/SL3/1269 4/1996 (Tees & District 848) Current (4/1999)  
303 CWU325T VRT/SL3/1477 11/1991 (West Riding 863) ?/1996 (Gray Line, New York, U.S.A. 227)  
303 HUP765T VRT/SL3/1598 4/1996 (United Auto 765) ?/1997 (Duskin of Oahu, Hawaii, U.S.A.)  
304 DWY144T VRT/SL3/1873 11/1991 (West Riding 872) Current (6/1995)
 
304 LAK938W VRT/SL3/2994 6/1998 (East Yorkshire 788) by 11/2002 (True Majority, Burlington, Vermont, U.S.A.)  
305 DWY145T VRT/SL3/1882 5/1993 (West Riding 873) 2/1999 (Sky Shuttle, Orlando, Florida, U.S.A.)  
306 TWR464W VRT/SL3/2911 11/1994 (West Riding 914) ?/1996 (Gray Line, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.)  
306 RYG392R VRT/SL3/704 7/1997 (Tees & District 838) by 3/2003 (Wesco, Torrance, California, U.S.A.)  
307 AAP661T VRT/SL3/1667 5/1994 (Stagecoach Scotland 695) by 4/1999 (SCRAPPED)  
307 HUP764T VRT/SL3/1489 8/1998 (East Yorkshire 764) Current (4/1999)  
308 PWR444W VRT/SL3/2770 2/1994 (West Riding 894) by 8/1999 (Gap Express, Matamoras, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.)  
309 TWR462W VRT/SL3/2909 1/1995 (West Riding 912) ?/1996 (Gray Line, New York, U.S.A. 229)  
  TWR466W VRT/SL3/2913 8/1993 (West Riding 916) ?/1994 (Gray Line, New York, U.S.A. 212) Dealer stock only
  TWR467W VRT/SL3/2914 9/1993 (West Riding 917) ?/1994 (Gray Line, New York, U.S.A. 213) Dealer stock only
  XNV881S VRT/SL3/1210 3/1994 (Stagecoach Scotland 111) ?/1994 (Gray Line, New York, U.S.A. 204) Dealer stock only
  LUA715V VRT/SL3/2201 3/1994 (Smith of High Wycombe) ?/1994 (Gray Line, New York, U.S.A. 207) Dealer stock only
  PWR439W VRT/SL3/2601 3/1994 (West Riding 889) ?/1994 (Gray Line, New York, U.S.A. 202) Dealer stock only
  AUD463R VRT/SL3/670 4/1994 (Partridge of Hadleigh) ?/1994 (Gray Line, New York, U.S.A. 206) Dealer stock only
  VOD592S VRT/SL3/1393 4/1994 (Partridge of Hadleigh) ?/1994 (Gray Line, New York, U.S.A. 203) Dealer stock only
  SWW306R VRT/SL3/674 5/1994 (Yorkshire Rider 981) ?/1994 (Gray Line, New York, U.S.A. 210) Dealer stock only
  SWW307R VRT/SL3/675 ?/1994 (Capital Citybus 507) ?/1994 (Gray Line, New York, U.S.A. 205) Dealer stock only
  WWY117S VRT/SL3/992 5/1994 (Yorkshire Rider 987) ?/1994 (Gray Line, New York, U.S.A. 208) Dealer stock only
  CBV17S VRT/SL3/1035 5/1994 (Southend 306) ?/1994 (Gray Line, New York, U.S.A. 201) Dealer stock only
  YWY829S VRT/SL3/1330 7/1994 (Yorkshire Rider 703) ?/1994 (Gray Line, New York, U.S.A. 211) Dealer stock only
  MDM283P VRT/SL3/135 8/1994 (Yorkshire Rider) 9/1994 (Gray Line, New York, U.S.A. 209) Dealer stock only
  XNW868S VRT/SL3/1094 11/1994 (Tees & District 856) ?/1995 (Gray Line, New York, U.S.A. 214) Dealer stock only
  PWR447W VRT/SL3/2773 11/1994 (West Riding 897) ?/1995 (Gray Line, New York, U.S.A. 217) Dealer stock only
  TWR468W VRT/SL3/2915 11/1994 (West Riding 918) ?/1995 (Gray Line, New York, U.S.A. 216) Dealer stock only
  ODC469W VRT/SL3/3016 11/1994 (West Riding 919) ?/1995 (Gray Line, New York, U.S.A. 215) Dealer stock only
  PWR440W VRT/SL3/2602 1/1995 (West Riding 890) ?/1995 (Gray Line, New York, U.S.A. 220) Dealer stock only
  PWR448W VRT/SL3/2774 1/1995 (West Riding 898) ?/1995 (Gray Line, New York, U.S.A. 218) Dealer stock only
  PWR449W VRT/SL3/2775 1/1995 (West Riding 899) ?/1995 (Gray Line, New York, U.S.A. 219) Dealer stock only
  ODL660R VRT/SL3/746 ?/1996 (Solent Blue Line 100) by 4/1999 (SCRAPPED)  
  GGM76W VRT/SL3/2640 2/1996 (Walls of Fallowfield) ?/1997 (Duskin of Oahu, Hawaii, U.S.A.) Dealer stock only
  YNW293S VRT/SL3/1272 11/1996 (Tees & District 851) Not known  
  URB824S VRT/SL3/870 ?/1996 (Tees & District 834) ?/1996 (Gray Line, New York, U.S.A.) Dealer stock only
  PVO821R VRT/SL3/737 9/1998 (East Yorkshire 958) ?/1999 (New York Apple Tours 151) Dealer stock only
  AUP716S VRT/SL3/1009 9/1998 (East Yorkshire 716) ?/1999 (New York Apple Tours 152) Dealer stock only
  CPT729S VRT/SL3/1160 9/1998 (East Yorkshire 729) ?/1999 (New York Apple Tours 150) Dealer stock only
  DUP748S VRT/SL3/1313 9/1998 (East Yorkshire 748) 3/1999 (Atlanta Party Bus, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.) Dealer stock only
  PUF591R VRT/SL3/731 12/1998 (East Yorkshire 710) ?/1999 (New York Apple Tours 156) Dealer stock only
  PUF593R VRT/SL3/733 12/1998 (East Yorkshire 712) ?/1999 (New York Apple Tours 157) Dealer stock only
  VDV110S VRT/SL3/1051 4/2001 (Southern National 1110) 11/2001 (The London Bus, Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A.) Dealer stock only
  XDV605S VRT/SL3/1403 5/2001 (Southern National 1110) 11/2001 (The London Bus, Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A.) Dealer stock only
  GGM86W VRT/SL3/2726 8/2001 (Classic Coaches of High Wycombe) by 8/2004 (Ragin' Uptown Tours, Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.A.) Dealer stock only

Photo Archive

XWU337S

Photo : eBay

XWU338S YNW290S
CWU325T HUP765T

Photo : Mark Harrington

DWY144T

Photo : Mike England

LAK938W DWY145T

Photo : Robert Togni

TWR464W
RYG392R

Photo : Gareth Crowther

AAP661T HUP764T

Photo : BVRES Collection

PWR444W TWR462W

Photo Feature on Double Decker Bus of Denver, Colorado 

Jim Speed was fleet engineer at Double Decker Bus from 1994 until leaving the company in 1996. He has kindly provided all of the information and photos for this brief feature on a very interesting company for fans of the Bristol VR.

Mr Murphy owned two antique markets situated on Broadway, south of central Denver. He originally acquired a former Halifax Corporation PD2 double decker to stand outside the markets as an eyecatcher. He kept getting enquiries about hiring the bus so eventually he started a bus company! Around the same time another company in Denver who operated ex-London DMS double deckers, British Double Decker, ceased trading and so he took the opportunity to use a similar name (Double Decker Bus) in the hope of picking up some of their former customers. BDD had imported many buses from the UK since the 1970s including dozens of Bristol Lodekkas. Here is a photo of the PD2 which started it all off and also a VR which replaced it being prepared for repaint for further operational use:

Former Halifax Corporation PD2 with MurphyMurphy VR being prepared for repaint

Vehicles soon started to be added to the fleet and many of them were Bristol VRs which were numbered from 301 upwards (as listed above). Initially these were painted allover red, but Jim Speed instigated an improvement by adding a cream band. Here we see 308 (PWR444W) peeping round the front of the garage with AAP661T in the background, the only dual-door ever owned and bought by mistake by Murphy's brothher in the UK. The central staircase meant that the doorway couldn't be relocated to the offside so it remained unconverted:

PWR444W in Denver

Murphy was an entrepreneur and quickly realised that there was money to be made importing, converting and supplying VRs to other customers in the U.S.A. He chose the model because he had taken the trouble to  register himself as an importer of the model with the US Department of Transport and had it certified for use in the US - no mean feat! The very large number listed above illustrate the extent of this business. Gray Line in New York was the principal customer. Some VRs were acquired and converted in Yorkshire, Englad prior to being exported, but others were shipped directly to Denver where the work was done before the VRs were loaded onto railway flatbeds and sent by rail all the way to New York. Here we see two facing each other ready for the journey and another during the process of being carefully loaded on board:


Murphy VRs loaded onto rail trailersMurphy VR being loaded onto rail

Another customer was Duskin on the island of Oahu in Hawaii who took three VRs, all converted with protruding air conditioning units for the lower deck. The first photo shows this installation on one carrying the livery applied by Murphy while the second photo (by Jim Royle) shows HUP765T in the attractive two-tone livery applied once they arrived in Hawaii:


Rear view of a VR for export to Duskin, Oahu, HawaiiVR in service on Oahu with Duskin

The following photos show some of the features of the conversions for Gray Line in New York. The first two illustrate the offside door conversion, while the second pair show the work in progress:


Offside entrance on VR conversionOffside entrance on VR conversion
VR undergoing conversion at DenverUndergoing conversion at Denver

Finally we have a pair of general views of the Denver yard:

Denver yardDenver yard

Unfortunately Murphy had the sad knack of falling out with virtually everyone so eventually the business collapsed owing money left, right and centre and the remaining VRs were dispersed across the US. Some are now scrapped, but others do turn up now and again with subsequent owners.

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