The Leyland Atlantean
The Leyland Atlantean tells the story behind the pioneering double-deck bus and its setbacks and successes over 25 years
The Leyland Atlantean revolutionised the design and layout of bus design in Britain, setting a standard that has dominated double-deck designs for the last 50 years. Appearing in the late 1950s, when the bus market was dominated by the rear-entrance/front-engined double-deck design, the Atlantean’s rear engine represented a significant change.
But it was not plain sailing; there were the inevitable teething problems and the design underwent considerable change before it — and the competitors it inspired such as the Daimler Fleetline and Bristol VRT — could come to dominate the market. By the end of the 1960s, economics dictated that the traditional front-engined double-decker had had its day. The Atlantean was probably the last British designed and built bus to achieve massive sales worldwide, with the list of operators both at home and abroad being legion.
Gavin Booth looks back at the development of the Leyland Atlantean from its origins in the 1950s and examines its importance over the past half-century.
Dimensions: 250mm x 250mm
Photos/Illus: over 200