1967 International ACCO Coach PIJ-744

This vehicle operated long distance passenger services for Skennar’s Coaches in Queensland for two decades. Proprietor Clarrie Skennar is a huge part of Queensland’s transport heritage having pioneered and operated long distance passenger services for over three decades between June 1959 and March 1992. At their peak, Skennar’s Coaches operated coach services between Brisbane and Charleville, Gold Coast, Moree, Mt Isa, Sunshine Coast, Sydney, Tenterfield, Toowoomba, and Warwick. Clarrie’s affinity with International vehicles came from his time carrying goods between Brisbane and Tweed Heads under the name of Cunningham’s Transport.

This vehicle is of all-Queensland construction comprising an International ACCO chassis built at Rocklea, with an A.B. Denning & Co body constructed at Salisbury on 7 August 1967. It is a very early Denning coach (build no. 163) and originally seated 41 passengers. Known as ‘PIJ’ because of its registration number, it was one of three, two-axle Denning ‘Squareline’ coaches in the Skennar’s fleet. The vehicle was originally powered by a petrol V345 International motor which later gave way to a Detroit Diesel engine. It largely operated in the South East Queensland corner on the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Tenterfield, and Toowoomba routes. The vehicle was heavily refurbished by Brewer’s Body Works prior to World Expo 88, which saw it repainted into the modernised Skennar’s colour scheme.

PIJ remained in the Skennar’s fleet until sale to Hoy’s Coaches in Victoria during 1989. It was here that the vehicle spent over a decade operating ski shuttles to the Hotham Alpine Resort. After finishing up with Hoy’s Coaches, the vehicle was sold to Grant Templar in 2001 for the Revolution Youth group of the Riviera Christian Centre in Bairnsdale, Victoria. Remarkably, the vehicle known as ‘REVBUS’ remained in regular use as a passenger vehicle until December 2018. At this time, it was one of the oldest vehicles still in service in Australia at 51 years of age. The vehicle was then secured by QOCS for preservation in January 2020.

Vehicle Specifications

ChassisInternational ACCO
EngineDetroit Diesel 6v71 6 cylinder engine
TransmissionFuller 6 speed ‘crash’ gearbox
BrakesRockwell full air s-cam brakes
SteeringPower assisted (retrofitted)
BodyA.B. Denning & Co Pty Ltd Acacia Ridge, Queensland
ConstructionTubular steel frame, fibreglass stretch panels and stainless steel skirt panels
ColourOdina blue, daffodil yellow and india white
Seating44 passengers
In Service in QueenslandAugust 1967 to 1989
Pictured shortly after delivery to Skennar’s Coaches in 1967. It was originally signwritten ‘Brisbane-Ipswich-Warwick-Toowoomba-Stanthorpe-Wallangarra-Tenterfield-Gold Coast’ and seated 41 passengers. Photo: Bob Nean
Pictured at Skennar’s Barry Parade depot in Fortitude Valley on 3 August 1969. Photo: Vic Hayes
The chrome front bumper bar was replaced by a bull bar later in its life. Photo: Paul Wright
The vehicle was heavily refurbished by Brewer’s Body Works prior to World Expo 88, which saw it repainted into the modernised Skennar’s colour scheme. Photo: Paul Wright
The bus in its current condition as owned by the Queensland Omnibus and Coach Society at the Heritage Bus Expo on Saturday 16 October 2021. Photo: Matt Browne