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Custom Bus (previously Custom Coaches) is an Australian bus body builder in St Marys, New South Wales.

History

Cycle Components Manufacturing Company

Busabout Wagga Wagga Custom Bus (previously Custom Coaches) is an Australian bus body builder in St Marys, New South Wales.

History

Cycle Components Manufacturing Company

Busabout Wagga Wagga In 1935 Stanley Hillsdon founded Cycle Components Manufacturing Company (CCMC) in Guildford, having been involved in manufacture of bicycles since 1911. In 1946 the company won the contract to manufacture reversible seats for Sydney's tram system.[1]

In 1955 CCMC successfully tendered to body 125 single deck Leyland Royal Tiger Worldmaster buses for the NSW Department of Government Transport.[1][2] In May 1956 Jack Violet, Hillsdon's nephew by marriage, was employed as Bus Divisional Manager to oversee operations. In April 1958 CCMC bodied their first bus for a private operator, a Leyland Comet for Rowes Bus Service.[3]

Apart from six MAN SL200 and SG192s bodied for ACTION in 1982/82 as part of a contracted included when Smithfield Bus & Coach Works was purchased[4] and 19 Scania K112TR coaches bodied for the State Rail Authority in 1985/86,[5][6] CCMC built bodies exclusively for private operators after the completion of the Leyland Worldmaster contract for the next 37 years.[7]

Custom Coaches Manufacturing Company

In 1962 control of CCMC passed from Hillsdon to Violet.[1] At some point the business was renamed Custom Coaches Manufacturing Company. In May 1981 the Smithfield Bus & Coach Works business was purchased from the Bosnjak family.[8] Custom Coaches concentrated on bodying buses for the private sector. In 1967 CCMC entered into an agreement with Melbourne bodybuilder WA Newnham & Sons for CCMC to provide frames and other components.[9] CCMC also supplied components to Brisbane bodybuilder Watt Brothers in the 1960s[10] and Perth's Howard Porter in the 1970s.[11][12]

In 1988 CCMC purchased WA Newnham & Sons with the business renamed Newnham Custom.[9] In 1995 a plant was opened at Arundel on the Gold Coast.[1][13] Newnham Custom closed in 2001 with production transferred to Adelaide.[14][15]

In 2000 Australian Bus Manufacturing in Adelaide was purchased.[16][17] It had been formed in 1999 when a consortium of CCMC, Jim Bosnjak and John Hewson purchased the PMC Australia business following the collapse of Clifford Corporation.Leyland Royal Tiger Worldmaster buses for the NSW Department of Government Transport.[1][2] In May 1956 Jack Violet, Hillsdon's nephew by marriage, was employed as Bus Divisional Manager to oversee operations. In April 1958 CCMC bodied their first bus for a private operator, a Leyland Comet for Rowes Bus Service.[3]

Apart from six MAN SL200 and SG192s bodied for ACTION in 1982/82 as part of a contracted included when Smithfield Bus & Coach Works was purchased[4] and 19 Scania K112TR coaches bodied for the State Rail Authority in 1985/86,[5][6] CCMC built bodies exclusively for private operators after the completion of the Leyland Worldmaster contract for the next 37 years.[7]

In 1962 control of CCMC passed from Hillsdon to Violet.[1] At some point the business was renamed Custom Coaches Manufacturing Company. In May 1981 the Smithfield Bus & Coach Works business was purchased from the Bosnjak family.[8] Custom Coaches concentrated on bodying buses for the private sector. In 1967 CCMC entered into an agreement with Melbourne bodybuilder WA Newnham & Sons for CCMC to provide frames and other components.[9] CCMC also supplied components to Brisbane bodybuilder Watt Brothers in the 1960s[10] and Perth's Howard Porter in the 1970s.[11][12]

In 1988 CCMC purchased WA Newnham & Sons with the business renamed Newnham Custom.[9] In 1995 a plant was opened at Arundel on the Gold CoastIn 1988 CCMC purchased WA Newnham & Sons with the business renamed Newnham Custom.[9] In 1995 a plant was opened at Arundel on the Gold Coast.[1][13] Newnham Custom closed in 2001 with production transferred to Adelaide.[14][15]

In 2000 Australian Bus Manufacturing in Adelaide was purchased.[16][17] It had been formed in 1999 when a consortium of CCMC, Jim Bosnjak and John Hewson purchased the PMC Australia business following the collapse of Clifford Corporation.[18][19] Australian Bus Manufacturing was rebranded as Custom Coaches in 2004.[1]

In 1998, Custom Coaches began bodying buses for the State Transit Authority after a break of over 37 years.[7] By April 2013 over 1,280 had been bodied for the government operator.[20]

In late 2001 Custom Care was established as a bus refurbishment operation.[1]

In 2002, Mark Burgess, a great-nephew of Hillsdon by marriage, became CEO of the company.[21] He, his brother Paul and a long-term business partner, Chris Absalom, completed the purchase of the business from Jack Violet in 2005.[1]

In 2008 production exceeded 400 buses per year, and by 2009 the total number of buses bodied had exceeded 15,000.[1] In May 2010 the Sydney plant moved to new premises in Villawood[22] and in June 2012 the company was purchased by British bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis.[23][24] Custom Coaches was placed in administration in May 2014.[25] On 15 August 2014, the business was purchased back by Mark Burgess and Allegro Funds and the company was renamed Custom Bus.[26][27][28] The Royal Park, South Australia plant closed down in September 2014.[29]

In February 2018, Custom Bus was again placed in administration, resulting in the sacking of 122 staff.[30] The following month, Dunn Group purchased Custom Bus, and in May 2018, relocated its factory to St Marys.[31][32] A year later, in June 2019, Custom Bus completed its 100th bus under Dunn ownership.[33] In September 2019, Custom Bus acquired Denning Manufacturing, but the latter's branding and operations will be retained.[34]

References