ACE Cougar
Provincial Ace Cougar 3 H523CTR.jpg
The first ACE Cougar, Provincial's 3, at the Southsea Bus Rally in June 1991.
Manufacturer Alternative Chassis Engineering
Built at Huddersfield, England
Operator(s) First Hampshire & Dorset
Caves Bus Services
Length 10.5m
Floor type Step entrance
Doors 1 door
Engine(s) Perkins
Transmission Allison
Options Various customer options

ACE Cougar is a type of bus built by Alternative Chassis Engineering in the UK in the early 1990s. It did not prove successful and only two were built.

Details[edit | edit source]

The ACE Cougar was designed to use Leyland National components wherever this was possible.[1] The chassis was powered by a rear 'in-line' mounted Perkins 6-cylinder 'Phaser' turbo engine, and included Allison automatic transmission and air suspension.[1] Both models built were 10.5m long and 2.3m wide.[2]

Production and operations[edit | edit source]

The second Cougar operating in Solihull with Caves Bus Services.

The Cougar was built in ACE's factory in Huddersfield and entered production in late 1989.[3] The first Cougar was bodied by Wadham Stringer and sold to People's Provincial in 1990.[4] Provincial director James Freeman saw the vehicle as a possible replacement for the company's large fleet of Leyland Nationals, but in the event only one was delivered.[1] It was the only full-size bus bought new by Provincial as an independent company following privatisation in 1987.[5] Provincial was taken over by First Group in 1995; the Cougar was used by the First Hampshire & Dorset subsidiary until 2004, and is now preserved.[1][6]

The second carried Willowbrook Warrior bodywork (a body rarely applied to new vehicles). It was completed in 1991 and was initially painted in a demonstrator livery, but was sold to West Midlands independent Caves Bus Services later in the year.[7] Caves closed down in June 1999[7] and the Cougar was sold to a private owner on Valentia Island.[8]

Intended developments[edit | edit source]

Both Cougars built were technically described as ACE Cougar V models.[2] This was to differentiate them from the Cougar VI, a 12m variant which ACE intended to build for sale to London Buses.[9] ACE director Keith Ward suggested that up to 100 Cougar Vs and Cougar VIs could be built per year.[9] The company also intended to create 30 manufacturing jobs producing the vehicles.[2] However, ACE went out of business in late 1991[1], having produced no further vehicles of any sort.[4]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Provincial Society - Survivors
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Cougar ready to go", Buses (433): 151. April 1991. 
  3. Booth, Gavin (Autumn 1994), "Bus Scene: Single-dekers", Buses Focus: 24. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Bus Lists on the Web: ACE
  5. Brown, Stewart J (November 1995). Buses in Britain 2: The Mid Nineties. Capital Transport, 175. ISBN 1-85414-181-3. 
  6. Preserved Provincial Buses - Gosport and Fareham Omnibus Company (Provincial)
  7. 7.0 7.1 Caves Bus Services
  8. "Caves' Cougar", Buses (585). December 2003. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Expocoach", Buses (430): 19. January 1991. 

External links[edit | edit source]

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