By: Fabian Cotter, Photography by: courtesy QOCS

FACING one of its most challenging bus-salvation projects yet, the Queensland Omnibus and Coach Society Inc. (QOCS) is attempting to restore a rare 1948 Bedford bus to its post-World War II glory, the organisation confirms.

This Bedford’s bus body work is extremely rare being of wooden frame construction and one of only 12 buses built by the Ibis Garage between 1942 and 1960.

The ‘Ibis Bus Restoration Project’ was originally built for Bill White’s Ibis Bus Service at Sandgate in Brisbane, which means returning the bus to its original silver and red livery and attending to glaring bodywork repairs, QOCS explains.

It is being saved by QOCS and Royans-Coachworks because the vehicle is one of the oldest Queensland buses still in existence today and is an example of post-war expediency being a British Bedford army truck chassis fitted with a bus body built by the Ibis Garage at Sandgate, it adds.

Its story began during World War II, where it was a military truck used to support the war effort in Australia. After the end of the War it was sold to Bill White for his Ibis Bus Service at Sandgate, where it was overhauled and re-purposed as a passenger vehicle during late 1947.

The Ibis Bus Service operated between Brighton, Sandgate and Eagle Street for a period of 23 years between 1925 and 1948, QOCS confirms.

The vehicle entered service on 12 January, 1948, and was the last new vehicle in the Ibis Bus Service fleet before the business was sold to successor operator, Black & White Buses, during July 1948.



L-R: Mark Bailey MP, Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Phil White, Terry White, OOCS president Nick Wilson and Royans-Coachworks general manager Scott Isaacs. 



This Bedford’s bus body work is extremely rare being of wooden frame construction and one of only 12 buses built by the Ibis Garage between 1942 and 1960.

As one of Queensland’s leading bus and coach refurbishment businesses, Royans Coachworks at Acacia Ridge has been engaged to perform the work, QOCS confirms. The bulk of the work required is extensive external panel repairs and painting, the society explains.

Funding for the project is via a thus-far $23,500 grant from the Queensland State Government, which is being combined with private donations from the White family and other interested parties, QOCS says.

Society president Nick Wilson says the project is still in need of further donations to restore the Ibus back to its former original condition, with all donations received over $2 being tax deductible and can be made to: Account Name - Museum Account, BSB - 034000, Account No - 301482

Sponsors are reminded that once you have made a donation, please contact the QOCS treasurer via treasurer@qocs.org.au to receive a tax deductible receipt.

qld bedford retro bus.JPG



The Queensland Omnibus & Coach Society Inc. is a not-for-profit organisation preserving passenger transport history since 1996, it explains.

The society has grown since that time to possess a fleet of 19 heritage buses and incorporate a membership base of more than 100 members Australia wide, it confirms.

The principal objects of our organisation are: To establish a bus museum in South East Queensland to maintain, preserve and restore historic buses for display and operation to the public; and to conduct mobile static displays of historic buses and memorabilia, which educate and promote the progress and history of the bus industry in Queensland to the public.

As subsidiary and consequential objectives it also brings together those with an interest in buses and establishes links with the bus industry in general, it adds.

In terms of community events, QOCS and its voluntary members regularly participate in a number of community events throughout South-East Queensland each year. At these events it displays and operates the club’s fleet of heritage buses and provides a display of photos and memorabilia on the history of the bus industry in Queensland.

Notable events include: These events include: Heritage Truck Association Annual Show at Rocklea during May; the National Motoring Heritage Day at Ipswich during May; Teneriffe Festival during July; RACQ Motorfest at Eagle Farm Racecourse during July; All British Day at Tennyson during September; and the Brisbane Open House in Brisbane City during October.


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