Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,403 pages of information and 233,519 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
Note: This is a sub-section of Bristol Commercial Vehicles.
The Bristol RE (Rear Engine) was a single-deck bus chassis and is considered the most successful of the first generation of rear-engined single-deckers.
Initially, the RE was only supplied to subsidiaries of the nationalised Transport Holding Company, by which Bristol was wholly owned. A few years later, when Leyland purchased a shareholding in Bristol and the company's products became available to other customers, the RE also gained popularity with companies in other sectors, including the British Electric Traction Group and municipal operators.
From 1972, sales to the National Bus Company (which had taken over the operations of both THC and BET) began to dry up, due to the introduction of the Leyland National.
From 1976 the RE remained in production only for the Northern Irish state-owned bus companies Ulsterbus and Citybus, and for export to Christchurch Transport Board, New Zealand.
In Great Britain, the RE was most commonly fitted with bodywork by Eastern Coach Works, but several other manufacturers also built bodywork on the chassis.
Some express coaches were fitted with Plaxton Panorama Elite or Alexander M Type bodywork.
In Northern Ireland, the RE was bodied by Alexander (Belfast), with the X Type bodywork.
These designations were suffixed by a code indicating the type of engine fitted: