The Eldorado History - 1

The Beginnings

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 hire work.

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.

Post War

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 restoration.

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.



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