Eldorado Motors was founded in 1922 to operate buses in the area around
Kirton, a fictitious town to the south of Manchester, by the merger of
several private operators. It was then known as the Kirton Bus
Company. Shortly afterwards, Kirton Corporation decided to cease
operating their own vehicles, and their business was taken over by the
new company, along with its motor buses, two tramway services and a
small trolleybus system.
As the business expanded, and works contracts were started, more
vehicles were purchased in the 1930-35 period. Although these
works contracts lasted many years, most have now vanished,
unfortunately, along with the industries they serviced. These
purchases consisted of Leyland Lions and Titans, some of the former
having coach bodies for use on the longer stage services and private
Further expansion in 1938 brought about the delivery of five Daimler
COG5s, four AEC Regents and four each of AEC Regal and Leyland Tiger
single deckers. Two of the Regals and two of the Tigers had coach
bodies. In the meantime, although the trolleybus fleet had not
expanded much, only one route extension having been added, the fleet was
replaced by new Sunbeam and Karrier machines in 1939, of both single and
double deck types.
The start of the war saw the company with 49 road vehicles and four
trams. Three of the trams and a considerable amount of track were
destroyed by enemy action, and the remaining tram never ran again, as
the company decided that it was not worth replacing the system.
Fortunately, only two other vehicles were lost, both being more elderly
members of the fleet. The surviving tram is still stored on
Eldorado premises, and there is a long term plan to restore it for
display to the public, and even getting it running on one of the disused
railway lines in the area.
The company was slow to expand in the initial postwar period, but in
1951 a major change in management took place.
Most of the
descendants of the original operators that had merged to form the
company had left the industry due to diversifying to other things
during the war, and the Kirton Bus Company was renamed Eldorado Motors
Limited, reviving the name of the largest of the constituent
companies. The next two years saw the new management make its
mark, with the delivery of two Leyland Tiger/Duple coaches, several
Leyland-bodied PD2/3s, and a number of PD2/1s with Weymann or Park Royal
bodies. Their arrival meant the end of the trolleybus system, and
the sale of all trolleybuses except for two single deckers (one
6-wheeler and one 4-wheeler), which, along with the tram, await
Expansion continued, and in 1953-4 six Leyland Royal Tiger coaches
arrived, one bodied by Duple, the rest by Harrington, in the style later
immortalized by Dinky's BOAC coach! Three
Park Royal bodied Leyland PD2/27s arrived in 1959.