The Quest 80 Engineering Ltd firm was formed at Telford in Shropshire in the North of England as a design consultancy to develop trucks and buses for the South African Sigma Corporation but today have now since moved from Telford in England to Harare in Zimbabwe, Africa, where they are now based. At present day, they are under the control and ownership of UK giant British Leyland Trucks.
This English manufacturer started originally with the development of buses as described below but their first truck was the 1984 Quest F1646 an original and technically advanced lorry model that was very advanced and very innovative, with self-leveling air suspension and a very unusual cab design above the windscreen. They were available in long and short wheelbase versions. Of the few that were made so far, some had Perkins T6.354 Diesel engines with Leyland gearboxes while others had Mercedes OM352 Diesel with ZF S6-36 Gearboxes. Every Quest truck produced used Rockwell axles front and rear. Even when built with fibre-glass cabs their trucks were still very heavy restricting payloads to 8 Tons that meant 2 Tons below average.This and the highly unconventional design and style probably led to their demise after about 500 trucks of all types were manufactured. By late 1985 Quest 80 Engineering Ltd were bought by the United Engineering Industries Group and 18 months later production ended. In 1986 this company was then reorganized and reinstated but moving to Harare in Zimbabwe trading as Quest Motor Corporation Limited and are owned by Leyland Overseas Holding. They also assemble both heavy Leyland road-tractors and Scammell trucks.
Quest 80 Engineering was also deeply involved in battery-electric trolleybus hybrids and those that were produced around 150 of them were for export only all going to South Africa under the Sigma Corporation who assembled and built the coachwork shells on them in Johannesburg.The first units were diesel-electric trolleybuses for operation on or off overhead lines in this city. These were followed by a number of high-floor diesel buses for Johannesburg as well with Gardner or Mercedes Diesel engines located behind the drivers cab at a slight angle to the offside chassisframe sidemember.Some bus models had conventional leaf springs and others bus models air suspension.
Another third and last version had a low floor design that forms the basis for an articulated model for operation in Belgium while another one for Holland is an updated version and is a hybrid type trolleybus on 6 wheels with twin steer using battery electric power and this unti carries 3 Tons of underfloor batteries. Trucks have now taken over completely since the early 1980s for Quest 80 Engineering Limited that have found reasonable sales with the Quest F-Series.