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For other Leyland vehicles called Lion, see Leyland Lion.
Leyland Lion (PSR1)
Manufacturer Leyland Motors
Built at Preston, Lancashire, England
Operator(s) Various state, municipal and private operators, export only.
Length 36ft (11m) for 38-53 seats
Floor type Step entrance
Doors 1 or 2 door
Engine(s) Leyland O.600 9.8-litre diesel engine
Leyland O.680 11.1-litre diesel engine
Transmission Leyland Self-Changing Gears Pneumocyclic direct-acting semi-automatic, electric or air control, 4 or 5 speeds.
Options Tag axle forward of rear axle to reduce axle-loading (Australia only), Eaton two-speed drive head to rear axle.

The Leyland Lion, coded as PSR1, is Leyland Motors' first production rear engined single decker. A total of 88 were built between 1960 and 1967, which was low for the time. It was the third of five Leyland bus models to be called Lion.


Having expended a large amount of time and money developing the Leyland Atlantean's transverse rear engine and Z-drive transmission, Leyland Motors sought further applications for it (the Dromedary 8x4 petrol tanker sold in the thousands, but only as a Lesney Matchbox toy, only one full size example entered service). By combining the Atlantean power-pack with a Leyland Royal Tiger Worldmaster chassis frame, Leyland produced a vehicle equivalent to North American transit buses. This was the Leyland Lion PSR1.


The high straight chassis frame was made of high-duty steel channel sections and was similar to that of the Worldmaster. Springs, controls, and brakes were as specified for that model. The engine, transmission, radiator etc were Atlantean-type components.

Standard power unit was the Leyland O.680 rated at up to 200bhp with the Leyland O.600 with outputs from 125-140bhp as an option, these were mounted vertically and transversely at the rear. The front axle was a Worldmaster unit and the rear was similar to the Worldmaster unit but with the driving head inverted. Leyland SCG Pneumocyclic transmission was offered in 5 or 4-speed versions, with electric or pneumatic control. Drive was transmitted from engine to gearbox through either a centrifugal clutch or in later models via a fluid-friction coupling which enabled a solid connection at higher road speeds. An Eaton two speed driving head to the axle was optional. For the Australian market only a third non-driving axle, mounted ahead of the rear axle, was also offered. This was based on the Worldmaster rear axle but without a driving head, and was fitted into a suspension system based on that of the Albion Reiver 6x2 lorry. The purpose was to reduce axle loading. Most of the 6x2 Lions went to West Australian Railways and had passenger and cargo bodies fitted; the one exception to this was used by a West Australian Independent[1].

An Atlantean style glassfibre bustle could be supplied to cover the engine, or coachbuilders could enclose it, examples were built to both styles. Leyland mocked up a version of the bustle with fins and tail-lights from the contemporary Austin Cambridge A55 but this did not enter production.


Although designed with North America in mind none were sold there. The largest customer was the government of Iran who took 52 with local bodies resembling those of Mercedes-Benz and Magirus-Deutz vehicles entering service at the same time. 30 were sold to Australia, including six three-axle versions. Two were sold to an operator in New Zealand, two to the Egged organization in Israel and one each went to Spain and Turkey. The Spanish one received a striking high-floor luxury body, that showed the Atlantean-style bustle, by Ayats, and was operated by Chacosa in the Alicante-Madrid route.

In retrospect

The Lion PSR1 was not a success, but the chassis it was derived from, the Atlantean and the Worldmaster, were.

One Lion (PSR1) survives, converted into a mobile home, in New Zealand.[citation (source) needed]


See also


  • Jack, The Leyland Bus Mark Two, Glossop 1982
  • Smith(ed), Buses Annual 1964, London 1963
  1. Jack, Doug (1984). The Leyland Bus Mark Two. 

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