This week John Mason International’s famous 1962 Leyland Comet left the yard for the last time as it was driven to a new home at the North West Transport Museum for a well-deserved retirement.
Registered in Liverpool on 23rd July 1962 as a Platform/Container type body, the vehicle had a matching draw bar trailer capable of carrying containers and crated goods to UK ports including the Isle Of Man Steam Packet container vans. The vehicle also had a demountable pantechnicon body that could be craned on and off at John Mason International’s Wavertree Depository. To facilitate the body, the cab was custom built at Woodward’s Vehicle Builders at Southport and is the only one of its kind in the country.
In 1975 the chassis was shortened and the vehicle was converted to a tow truck and remained in service until 1991. It has been refurbished and painted several times in this period keeping the original John Mason livery. It has since travelled approximately 15,000 miles to classic and commercial vehicle shows around the U.K and Ireland.
The Leyland Comet will join a range of other historic vehicles on show at the North West Transport Museum based in St Helens including a 1934 Leyland Titan 50-seat open-top double-deck bus and 1958 Morris dropside lorry originally owned by St Helens Fire Service.
John Mason International’s Director Simon Hood commented: “For a number of years this historical piece has been hidden away in our Liverpool warehouse, which has been a real shame. For almost 60 years the Leyland Comet played a vital role in the company’s history. It was used to deliver a new organ to Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral and even used to move items for the Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II. I’m delighted that it will now be on display so it can be admired and enjoyed by the general public.”
More information about the North West Transport Museum can be found here: https://www.nwmort.co.uk/