Leopard 1591 - (Paul Savage)

Leyland Leopard 1591

1591 is a Leyland Leopard PSU3A/4R (Original Chassis Number 902910) and first entered service on 4th November 1969 at Belfast Great Victoria Street. When new it carried an Alexander (Belfast) DP49F body, fleet number 1347 and was registered AOI 1347. On 16th October 1974 1347 was maliciously destroyed during disturbances in North Belfast. Rebuilt during 1978 the chassis, now numbered UBLE697801(Ulsterbus, Leopard, 1969, 1978, Number 1), was fitted with a new Alexander (Belfast) B53F body and entered service at Craigavon on 13th September with its new registration number (SOI 3591) and fleet number. 1591 continued to serve at Craigavon until it was transferred to the Reserve Fleet on 1st April 1989. It was finally withdrawn during 1991 and on 6th June that year was sold to the Irish Transport Trust for preservation. We purchased 1591 to replace another Leopard, 1337 (4037 WZ), which had been destroyed in an arson attack at Antrim depot where it had been undergoing bodywork repairs. Since being acquired some modifications, to make the vehicle more suited to longer journeys, have been carried out. These have included the fitting of a larger fuel tank and the replacement of the original 4-speed gearbox with a 5-speed unit. These features prove particularly useful during our Cross-Channel trips.