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Midland Red M1 express by Mike Jeffries

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When the Birmingham -London section of the M1, one of Britain’s first motorways, opened in 1959 the forward looking, dynamic Midland Red company lost no time in introducing the country’s first motorway express coach service with specially built vehicles based on their existing C5 design.

These handsome machines were fitted with turbo-chargers and capable of 100 mph (this is long before the blanket 70 mph maximum) which they needed to be in view of the tight schedule. The motorway proper in those days didn’t start until just outside Coventry and finished at Watford Gap so drivers had to fight their way at both ends of the journey though normal roads beset by roadworks and other traffic to keep to time.

The C5 class in their dotage were later converted for bus duties so had their turbo-chargers removed to avoid the temptation of 100 mph service buses!

Please remember this image is my property and protected by copyright law.


transportart, birmingham, coach, coventry, london, m1, motorway, watford

Ex footplateman, soldier, lorry driver, bus driver who lives in the past.

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  • Edward Denyer
    Edward Denyerabout 5 years ago

    Very good Mike. The other vehicles in the Image are always so accurate too. – Ted

  • PhotogeniquE IPA
    PhotogeniquE IPAabout 5 years ago

    I remember pictures of the M1 not long after it opened. Stretching into the distance with only one car in view. How times change!

  • Mike Jeffries
    Mike Jeffriesabout 5 years ago

    Yes, I used it in the early sixties and there were no crash barriers and very little traffic compared to nowadays but we thought it was busy!

  • Tony Payne
    Tony Payneabout 5 years ago

    I remember the M1 and M45 opening and the old Midland Red buses. This brings back great memories. Fantastic picture.

  • rahulsutar
    rahulsutaralmost 3 years ago

    just in love with all your work…i always loved buses,trucks highways since childhood and still now.This one just gave me a flash back of my last highway stop at talegaon in Maharashtra(INDIA),its 99 % same what i have image store in my good memories…

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