Arguably the most influential coach ever to operate in Australia
(Click on photos to enlarge) - Images free to share and distribute
The GM PD-4106 was arguably the most influential coach ever to operate in Australia. Building on the success of the Flxible Clipper, the PD-4106 raised the bar to an unprecedented level and set a new benchmark for the entire industry in Australia to follow.
The PD-4106 introduced many significant firsts to Australia - powerful rear mounted GM diesel engine, air conditioning, air suspension, tinted windows, large underfloor luggage capacity, restroom, a new increased length to 35 feet and incredible durability and reliability. The PD-4106, along with its successor model the PD 4107, also inspired a young Alan Denning to build a simpler Australian version at a reasonable price that revolutionised the entire Australian coach industry…the GM Denning Mono.
GM built 3,226 PD-4106’s at GM Truck and Coach in Pontiac, Michigan, USA with 43 destined for Australia, 35 new and 8 ex Greyhound USA.
Before the importation of the first GM PD-4106s into Australia, Ansair - the bus building division of Ansett Transport Industries, had discussions with General Motors about manufacturing the PD-4106 in Australia, in a similar manner to how Ansair built the Flxible Clipper under license to the Flxible Corporation, Ohio USA. Both Ansair and GM ultimately agreed on full importation of the PD-4106 after currency restrictions were lifted in 1961.
Built in August 1961 for Ansett Pioneer, then imported into Australia and converted to RHD by Ansair in Melbourne, our PD-4106, fleet # 623, was first registered in Melbourne in January 1962. After years of reliable service over millions of miles, with 3 different paint schemes and various work duties spanning long distance express, tours, charter and school work, Ansett Pioneer sold this PD-4106 to McCafferty’s Coaches , Toowoomba, QLD. From there it went to Dunkley’s in Brisbane, QLD and finally to Les Bishop in Lexton, Victoria. Les spent over 10 years painstakingly restoring the GM in his shed in preparation for it to become a motorhome, until he had a change of heart.
Although the coach had no interior, Driver Classics purchased the GM from Les in 2015, along with another GM, the ex Turnbull, Mt Gambier SA 1965 PD-4106 (Build #3163 ex Greyhound USA 1970, Pioneer fleet #661) as a parts coach, and continued the restoration, but now to become a seated coach.
To bring the PD-4106 back to a seated coach required the sourcing of many interior fittings. Using our parts coach, PD-4106 #3163, and with assistance from the Ansett Museum’s GM PD-4106 (Build #1225, Pioneer fleet #639) ex Alan Hartney in Hamilton VIC, PD-4106 #623 is once again a fully seated coach with original fittings.
The GM PD-4106 is powered by a GM V8 2 stroke diesel engine, 568ci model 8V71, transversely rear mounted, with a 4 speed Spicer angle drive constant mesh transmission. The model designation PD-4106 stands for P - Parlour Coach, D - Diesel, 41 - 41 seats and the series, and 06 - the sixth model in the 41 seat series.
1930 Pontiac 29-6
1946 Bedford OB
1947 Bedford OB
1948 GM PD 4151
1948 White 798-12
1954 Flxible Clipper
1959 Bedford SB3
1961 GM PD-4106
1968 GMC PD 4107
1972 MCI MC7
1976 MCI MC8
1983 GM Denning
1988 Denning Landseer
1989 Eagle Model 20
1977 Kenworth W925
1986 Kenworth W925
1950 Dodge Pick Up
1962 Ford Thunderbird
1968 Ford Fairlane