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Retired bus driver and wife buy and restore 1949 bus they got for $765

After bus-lover Lionel bought the bus and brought it back to his hometown of Radford, he began fixing the bus up in a six-year mission.

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By Amy Reast via SWNS

A retired bus driver and his wife bought a run-down 1949 bus for $765 (£650) and restored it to its former glory.

Lionel Tancock, 68, grew up fascinated by transport and worked as a bus driver for more than 40 years.

He jumped at the chance to buy a 1949 EMW 284 Bristol bus as a fixer-upper in 1983, and spent years renovating it.

The pensioner from Radford, Somerset, England had to hunt down special seats to fit the narrow 7ft 6in bus width limit from the time.

Now, he and wife Julie, 62, drive it around with pride - and even attended a bus rally on Sunday, August 21, to show people what travel was like all those years ago.

Lionel said: "I've been interested in transport ever since I was a little boy.

"I worked as a bus driver but I always wanted a bus of my own!

"It was originally a coach, doing long-distance journeys.

"When I first got it, the bus was all rubbed down and some bits were missing - all it had was two rotten seats.

"Now we show it to people so they can see how travel was in the old days."

Lionel was single when he first bought the bus for £650 from a farm near Andover, Hampshire.

Over the years, with help with friends, he renovated the bus - and when he met and married Julie she loved it too.

His beloved bus started being built in 1947, documented on the chassis, but the bus wasn't taxed until 1949.

Lionel said: "Where it was between 1947 and 49, we don't know; probably in storage somewhere."

It was decommissioned in 1962, at which point it ended up at the Enham Alamein disabled village in Andover.

Lionel believes it might have been used to take retired soldiers on day trips.

After bus-lover Lionel bought the bus and brought it back to his hometown of Radford, he began fixing the bus up in a six-year mission.

The seating on the bus needed to be entirely re-fitted - and needed specific size requirements to fit the bus.

Lionel explained that when the vehicle was built, buses couldn't be any wider than 7ft6.

But the dedicated former bus driver managed to hunt down some replacement seating from an old bus in Guernsey.

He even managed to source some original seat covers and had everything reupholstered to make it as authentic as possible.

Now Lionel and Julie travel around the UK showcasing the bus to allow people to understand the way transport used to be.

On Sunday, they went to the Cotswold Vintage Bus Rally at Stow-on-the-Wold.

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