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BT Models 1:76 Bristol HA Tractor w/Trailer: British Road Ferry Services

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BT Models 1:76 Bristol HA Tractor w/Trailer: British Road Ferry Services

BT Models 1:76 Bristol HA Tractor w/Trailer: British Road Ferry Services

Bristol Commercial Vehicles was a vehicle manufacturer located in Bristol, England. Most production was of buses but trucks and railbus chassis were also built.

The Bristol Tramways and Carriage Company started to build buses for its own use in 1908 and soon started building vehicles for other companies. In 1955 this part of the business was separated out as Bristol Commercial Vehicles Limited. It closed in 1983 when production was moved to its then parent company Leyland.

The first trams of the Bristol Tramways Company ran in 1875, and in 1906 the company started to operate motor buses to bring extra passengers to their trams. In 1908 the company decided to build bus chassis for its own use, the first one entering service on 12 May.

The Motor Department was initially based at the tram depot in Brislington, on the road that leads east from Bristol to Bath. The Car Building Works there had been responsible for erecting electric trams and had gone on to build horse-drawn vehicles for the company. The first motor bodies built there had been three charabanc bodies constructed in 1907 for the Thornycroft buses delivered the previous year. During 1907 the bus fleet was transferred to the tram depot at Filton to the north west of the city. In 1908 the company built its first six buses. The chassis were erected by the Motor Department and three bodies each at Brislington and the company's carriage works in Leek Lane, north Bristol.

In 1910 the company decided to build aeroplanes, forming the British and Colonial Aeroplane Company, Ltd. The best place for this work was the sheds occupied by the Motor Department at Filton, so motor repairs and construction returned to Brislington. The tram depot proved too small for the volume of work and so a new 4 acres (1.6 ha) site, to be known as the Motor Constructional Works, was purchased nearby in Kensington Hill, Brisington.

In May 1914 it supplied its first bus to another operator, a C50 fitted out as a charabanc for Imperial Tramways at Middlesbrough. The two companies shared a chairman, Sir George White, who in January had taken some buses out of service in Bristol to send to Middlesbrough when a rival company had tried to start a competitive service. The Middlesbrough order was followed by a number of trucks for the Royal Navy Air Service.

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