AEC Reliance

The AEC Reliance was a mid-underfloor mounted engined single-decker bus and coach chassis manufactured by AEC between 1953 and 1979. The name had previously been used between 1928 and 1931 for another single-decker bus chassis.[1]

AEC Reliance
Preserved Maidstone & District Marshall bodied AEC Reliance in July 2008
AssemblySouthall, England
Body and chassis
Doors1 or 2
Floor typeStep entrance
EngineAEC AH470
Capacity7.7 litres
8.1 litres
11.3 litres
12.4 litres
TransmissionAEC manual
AEC Monocontrol
ZF synchromesh
Length30 feet, 36 feet, 39 feet
SuccessorLeyland Leopard


Two prototypes were completed in 1953, one with Duple coach bodywork and one with Park Royal bus bodywork.[2] Production vehicles entered service from 1954.[3] The last Reliance entered service in 1981.[4]

Following successive changes to Construction & Use regulations, the maximum length of the Reliance was increased twice from the original 30 feet: firstly, to permit an overall length of 36 feet from 1962;[5] and later, to permit a length of 39 feet.[6]

Various AEC engines were fitted during the chassis's production, including the 7.7-litre AH470, 8.1-litre AH505, 9.6-litre AH590, 11.3-litre AH691 and 12.4-litre AH760.[7] Transmissions fitted to the Reliance include an AEC synchromesh gearbox, AEC Monocontrol semi-automatic epicyclic transmission, and ZF 6 speed crash-gearbox.

The Reliance had the Leyland Tiger Cub and, from 1959, the Leyland Leopard as its major competitors throughout its life, even though they were built under the same ownership from 1962 onwards.[8] After production of the Reliance ended, Leyland offered ZF synchromesh as an option for the Leopard, although the Volvo B58 and other imported buses later won a number of customers' orders.


In Australia, Canberra Bus Service purchased ninety-two 470s and twenty-eight 505s[9][10] while Brisbane City Council purchased three 470s and forty 590s.[11] McVicar's Bus Service, Sydney operated a total of 44.[12] There were many other AEC buses exported to Australia as well, for example Adelaide MTT were the recipients of numerous Regal VI vehicles.


  1. London R-class Reliances Ian's Bus Stop
  2. AEC Reliance Prototypes Bus Lists on the Web
  3. AEC Reliance Bus Lists on the Web
  4. Truran, Gerald; Platt, Philip (1999). AEC Reliance. Somerset, England: Roundoak Publishing. p. 25. ISBN 1-871565-34-0.
  5. Truran/Platt p.20
  6. Now AEC's 12-metre for UK Commercial Motor 24 November 1967
  7. Truran/Platt p.20
  8. Truran/Platt p.19
  9. Disposals ACT Bus Wiki
  10. Heritage Fleet Actbus
  11. AEC Reliance 590 / Charles Hope BT Buses
  12. McVicar's Bus Services Australian Bus Fleet Lists
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