Toastrack is a 1929 Dennis GL type bus with a 16-seat charabanc style body by Roberts. The G type chassis was first introduced by Dennis Brothers of Guildford, Surrey in around 1926 and was commonly used for small lorries, fire engines and buses. The engine is a four cylinder side valve unit of approximately 2.7 litres capacity, which drives through a conical clutch to a four speed “crash” gearbox to the “worm and wheel” rear axle via a two-piece propeller shaft. The brakes are servo-assisted from the inlet manifold depression.
Registered CC 8671, the “Toastrack” was one of four new to Llandudno Urban District Council and used to give tours during the summer months along the seafront and up the Great Orme headland. It was used up until circa 1955 and was laid up in the council’s yard.
In February 1958, a group of students including Mr S Ffowcs-Williams, Mr Willis, Mr P Davis and Mr D Mead, from the Engineering Faculty Society (the forerunner of SUES) saw it and made an offer of £24 which was duly accepted. It has been at the University of Southampton providing transport for students ever since. In the 1960s it even went on summer holidays all over Europe to destinations as exotic as Spain, Italy and Yugoslavia, but it hasn’t ventured out of the UK for a while.