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1122 is way the best of the Tigers we have and is in out of the factory condition. Whoever had her in Portglenone really looked after her.
We expect 1143 to be similar.
385 is also a first class Tiger and 340 is a good machine probably the worst of them but that is a relative term. The problem with 340 is mainly Tiger corrosion which affects many of them.
2620, 2624 and 2629 are like peas in a pod, so alike you could not tell which one you were driving. However they are entirely different beasts and one could not compare them to the TL 11 Tigers. A Gardner is a heavy sluggish beast which will run and run for ever. It is built for this purpose and achieves it to perfection. But you cannot really compare a TL11 with a Gardner machine as it is the old story of horses for courses. That is its advantage but for driving fun give me a TL 11 anyday.
Finally 598 is a beautiful machine to drive and is arguably a better machine but here again this is an express coach costing almost 50% more than a standard Alexander Tiger and you gets what you pays for! On the other hand she has a troublesome mechanical history.
Overall therefore I would say that 1122 is the best currently followed by 385 with 2629 the best of the three Gardners.
Hope this answers your question and ask again when we get the next 20. (I am not joking either!)
Hello there Michael.
Great to see 1122 looking so well. As you say 1122 was allocated to Portglenone along with 4 other buses Tigers 1121, 1142, 1143 and 1274. If you have 1143 as well are you going to go for the other 3 as well! Portglenone bus drivers keep their own buses and look after them like their own cars!
Ballymena buses are about the best you can buy and this is reflected in the condition of 1122 - it is hard to believe this bus was sold - looking at the photographs it is in first class condition and would be capable of at least another 5 years in service.
Ballymena also outstation buses at Cushendall - only 3 here but it works the same as Portglenone as each driver looks after his own bus. 1163 was in Cushendall and it is withdrawn now and would also be in tip top condition.
As a wee guide. When you are looking at buses for sale with Ulsterbus and you see a BM 20 depot code above the fleet number you will know that you are getting a bus that is in excellent condition.
Noticed 1130 has now gone from Ballymena - Reserve but still parked in Ballymena. Would be a good one as well
1130 is now in reserve. Only problem is it is still parked in Ballymena so will become a source of spare parts for other Tigers still in service if it does not move soon.
1130 is in good overall condition and would be one of the best examples of an express Tiger in the fleet.
Was thinking that myself about 1130.
Do you or anyone know if Tiger 1087 which was in Magherafelt is still in reserve
If Tiger 1087 is still in reserve it would make a good purchase along with Tigers 1130 and 1163. Alan
This was posted by a guy called Will Hughes on another message board which again proves the bus in Ballymena are hard to beat - a high speed Gardner engined Tiger was only possible in Ballymena depot!
Posted by will hughes on May 23, 2008, 9:18 am, in reply to "Re: Can anyone help with list 26XX Gardner Tigers still around?"
Only 2601/4/8-10/3/29 now remain of which 2601 has a blown engine and is only fit for scrap. 2605 went for scrap earlier in the month.
As to the condition of the rest, 2609 was the one fitted with a higher ratio back axle when it was based at Ballymena and consequently has a better turn of speed. It was latterly loaned to Citybus and was taken out of use after developing a defect but I don't know how serious that was. I think the other one Citybus had is defective to, but again I don't know how serious. It is probably something minor as had it been serious, both would probably have gone for scrap straight away.