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D Class Van Hool McArdle Leyland Atlantean AN68s


Above: D763 seen in Donnybrook Garage. (Shane Conway)

In 1974 CIE did a deal with Van Hool to prduce new buses. Van Hool teamed up with Thomas McArdle Ltd of Dundalk to form Van Hool McArdle and they took over the Spa Road works in Dublin. In September 1974 Van Hool McArdle rolled out the first Van Hool McArdle bodied Leyland Atlantean AN68, commonly called the Van Hool Ds, from the production line. Between 1974 and 1977 Van Hool McArdle built 238 VanHool McArdle AN68s. All were numbered D603-D840 following on from the standard Ds. Again the VanHool McArdle Ds had engine trouble and the Leyland units were replaced with DAF units and one with a Cummins engine. All entered service in the dismal tan/orange livery of the 1970s but eventually they gained the two-tone green livery of Dublin Bus and red&white livery of Bus Éireann. Like the standard Ds all were withdrawn by 1996 but some survive as open-top sightseeing buses. However they are starting to be withdrawn as Olympians are put onto the tours.

Many the of the D class were reclassified the DF class when they were re-engined, except D803 which became DC803 when it had a Cummins unit fitted but this was later removed, but some did keep their original engines.

D694 has been preserved by the Transport Museum Society of Ireland at Howth. D665 and D711 are preserved by the Kells Transport Museum. D704, D731, D732, D830, D839 are all privately preserved.

D635 is a tree-lopper and is stored in Broadstone.