Hague Fasteners are proud to have manufactured and donated new wheel studs to help in the refurbishment of a classic Guy Victory Coach originally built in Wolverhampton in 1960.
This Guy Victory is one of very few still in existence and certainly the only Victory coach in the UK.
The restoration is just one of the many projects undertaken by the Aston Manor Road Transport Museum, the Museum is totally volunteer-run and self-funded and with the charitable manufacturing wheel stud donation by Hague Fasteners, the project continues which will soon see the classic vehicle back on the road.
The Museum started over 40 years ago as the West Midlands Vintage Vehicle Society, a group of owners of preserved buses who needed somewhere to keep their vehicles, and who rented a barn just north of Wolverhampton.
When Birmingham City Council found they had a redundant tram depot needing occupation, the WMVVS stepped in and the Museum was born, changing the name to Aston Manor Road Transport Museum accordingly.
After 20 years in Aston, Birmingham the council imposed an unaffordable rent on the building, so the museum found themselves having to leave. Eventually they ended up in Aldridge, where they have been in their present building since 2012.
Jon Hague, Managing Director of Hague Fasteners visited Martín Fisher, Chairman of the Museum to see the specialist wheel studs being fitted by their skilled volunteers and to see the fantastic restoration first hand, Jon said “we are proud to have made the wheel studs as a charitable donation to ensure a piece of classic Wolverhampton and Great British manufacturing preserved for future generations to see and enjoy. Whilst we work extensively with modern technologies and futuristic projects is fantastic to continue supporting classic restorations and the hard work of time hardened British Engineers. The Guy Motors plant is a piece of Wolverhampton fine manufacturing history and its great to give a little back and ensure its great history is preserved.”
The Victory was an export only chassis, and was popular in Belgium, the Netherlands and Scandinavia, and this coach is a reminder of the large number of vehicles exported from the UK, and the Midlands in particular; now, no new coach chassis are built in the UK and most UK coaches come from exactly the same areas as Guy Motors used to sell to – Van Hool from Belgium, VDL (DAF) from the Netherlands and Scania and Volvo from Sweden.
This Guy was bought from new by Franky Tours, a small coach company based in Bruges, and had a very futuristic locally built body by Jonckheere. Unfortunately, in 1965, it rolled into a ditch in Germany, distorting the body so badly it was beyond repair, so a new, all-steel welded body was fitted by Van Hool, in a record turn round of 14 working days.
This black and white photograph shows the coach in Spain when newly rebodied; the driver was Raymond Van de Geuchte, the proprietor of the company, who named the coach Raoul after his son. Raoul later took over the business and so kindly donated the coach to the Museum.
After a full service life, the Guy was taken out of service in 1979 and parked in the garage, its were seats removed so that it could be used as the company office, which is how it survived in such good condition for so many years.
This photo is of the coach being loaded in Bruges for transport back to the Museum, on 28th April 2017.
Despite having the engine running within a few weeks of its arrival, restoration has not been as straightforward as the museum had hoped, with the trials of the Coronavirus prolonged lockdown not helping, but they are now looking at making serious progress. The museum continues to seek the support of local businesses to help in their numerous restoration projects and anyone who would be willing to donate their time or products are invited to get in touch.
Likewise we hope that by spreading the news of the museums hard work and numerous exhibits, people may drop by to spend their time visiting the museum.