Now famous for its two ‘lasts’ – the first being the last standard Routemaster built in May 1965, the second being the bus to operate the last scheduled journey on route 159 on 8 December 2005 on the last day of traditional Routemaster operation.
That last day must have seemed a long way off when the bus started work at Willesden in September 1965 replacing RTWs on route 46.
The bus stayed at Willesden for just over 5 years before moves to Stonebridge and Stockwell followed by its first Aldenham Works overhaul in May 1972. After a brief spell at Walthamstow the bus spent nearly 7 years at Battersea working on central London routes 22 and 31. After its second overhaul in 1979 the bus moved to Brixton where it would end its London service over 25 years later.
The bus also had two engine changes with an Iveco one fitted in 1991 and a Cummins B series Euro 2 in August 2001, at the same time gaining an Allison gearbox and Telma electrical retarder.
After its fame with Harry Potter, work started in June 2005 on preparing it for the last Routemaster day. Norwood garage staff took on the task and the excellent standard of their workmanship can be seen in the condition of the vehicle today.