Dennis Specialist Vehicles
Successor Alexander Dennis
Headquarters Guildford, United Kingdom
Industry coaches,fire engines
Dennis Pax flatbed reg XJG 383

Dennis Pax flatbed truck


A UMW-Dennis Lance in Singapore, Duple Metsec bodied.

Dennis lance alton

Dennis Lance bus in Aldershot and District Traction Company livery

Dennis lancet aldershot

Dennis Lancet bus in Aldershot & District livery

Dennis loline III grayshott

Dennis Loline III bus


A Dennis Loline with Northern Counties lowbridge body.


Kowloon Motor Bus's air-conditioned Dennis Dragon

KMB Trident

Kowloon Motor Bus's Dennis Trident 3 with Duple Metsec DM5000 body.


New World First Bus's 12m Trident 3 (1220).


Dennis Sabre fire engine, Hong Kong Fire Services Department.

Dennis Specialist Vehicles is a major British coachbuilder and manufacturer of specialised commercial vehicles based in Guildford, England. The company is now best known as the manufacturer of fire engines, although its other major product lines are buses, dustcarts and airport service vehicles.

Dennis fire engine at Sandbach

An early Dennis Fire Engine at Sandbach Transport Festival in 2008


Dennis Fire engine F820 FSA of 1988 at Donnington Park 09 - IMG 6105small

A very Tidy Dennis Fire engine at the Donnington Park CV show in 2009

Originally known as Dennis Brothers Ltd, the company was founded in 1895 by John (1871-1939) and Raymond (1878-1939) Dennis who made bicycles which they sold from their shop, the Universal Athletic Stores, in Guildford. They made their first motor vehicle in 1899, a De Dion powered tricycle which they exhibited at the National Cycle Show but it was not put on sale. In 1901 the first Dennis car proper appeared, a four wheeler rated at 8 hp again with De Dion engine. About this time John Dennis built the Rodboro Buildings, the first purpose-built motor vehicle factory in Britain, to manufacture motorcars in the town centre[1]. Larger models followed with a 35 hp model in 1906 powered by a White and Poppe engine and this power unit soon fitted to all their models. Commercial vehicle activity was increasing with the first bus being made in 1903 and fire engine in 1908 and the cars took second place and it is doubtful if any were made after about 1915. In 1913 Dennis moved to a larger factory at Woodbridge, on the outskirts of Guildford. In 1919 Dennis bought White and Poppe and transferred engine production from Coventry to Guildford.

In 1972 the company was acquired by Hestair Group and renamed Hestair Dennis after a few years of financial difficulties. It was sold to Trinity Holdings (formed from a management buyout from Hestair Group) in 1989 and then to Mayflower Corporation in October 1998.

As of 1990s, the company was no longer a single integrated whole, but was three independent businesses, namely:

Mayflower Corporation sold Dennis-Eagle in July 1999. Dennis Bus and Dennis Fire were incorporated into Transbus International (now Alexander Dennis) in 2001.

Model RangeEdit


  • E/EV (front-engined single decker)
  • F/FS (bonneted single decker)
  • G/GL (bonneted small capacity bus)
  • H/HS/HV (front-engined double decker)
  • Dart (bonneted small capacity bus)
  • Arrow (front-engined single decker)
  • Lancet/Lancet 2/Lancet 3/Lancet 4 (front-engined single decker)
  • Lance/Lance 2/Lance 3 (front-engined double decker)
  • Ace (front-engined small capacity bus)
  • Mace (front-engined small capacity bus)
  • Falcon (front-engined small capacity bus)
  • Pike
  • Dominant (underfloor-engined single decker)
  • Lancet UF (underfloor-engined single decker)
  • Pelican (underfloor-engined light-weight single decker)
  • Loline

Fire enginesEdit


Dennis Pax V - DBF 686H tipper at Llandudno 08 - P5050110

A smart Dennis Pax mk V with Tipper body at Llandudno Transport Festival 2008

Between wars
Post war

Other vehiclesEdit

Joint venturesEdit


Dennis Pax mkII - YOD 283 at Swindon 2011IMG 1606

A MkII Dennis Pax fitted with Gardner engine

Dennis fire engine - B537 GWB at SYTR 11 - IMG 7936

B537 GWB st South Yorkshire Transport Rally 2011

There are quite a few fire engines in preservation, with several collections specialising just in fire service related memorabilia. Examples of std trucks and dustcarts (refuse wagons) are rarer.

List known example here please;
Fire engines
  • XTT 310S+ - Ex Devon Fire Brigade
  • B537 GWB+ - South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service - fire engine
  •  ?
  •  ?

Shows with Fire EnginesEdit

See alsoEdit

References / sourcesEdit

External linksEdit

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