Some decent progress was made today. The steering wheel was finished off and during my time with some wet & dry paper, I discovered that beneath the black paint that was applied while the bus was at Chesterfield, there was either an undercoat or GCT had applied a second coat of off-white/cream to the steering wheel during its operational time at Grimsby. What is now revealed is certainly the original colour on the steering wheel from 1976.
I believe that, while under Stagecoach ownership at Grimsby, a new fleet number plaque of such was applied to the front of the bus, at the top of the windscreen. Unhelpfully, this had been stuck to the body using that black gloop which sets strong in seconds. While the '15513' plaque couldn't be saved, the black mess behind it did eventually peel away to reveal a smaller '113' number outline next to a much larger one which isn't an original; it must have been applied while at Chesterfield.
The remnants of Stagecoach ownership in sticker form have all now been removed. It was a melancholy process, peeling off everything that pointed to the company who had gone above and beyond the call of duty and maintained the bus into its 40th year and enabled me to acquire it, but needs must; she is no longer a Stagecoach bus though her 24-year ownership by the company makes GCT 113 a Stagecoach-owned bus for longer than she was under municipal control. It won't be until 2026 before the tide turns andshe will have been under non-Stagecoach ownership for longer.
But the biggest breakthrough of the day was the reconnection of the original dashboard speedometer and odometer. Less than 2 years ago, Stagecoach fitted an analogue tachograph rather crudely to the dashboard - riveting it no less. To be fair, there was precious space available and the driver would need to look at it to asses their speed. A couple of local commercial companies entertained the idea of reversing the set-up - where the tachograph would be disconnected and the speedo/odo reconnected - but I suspect when they considered the potential for problems, one company said no and the other said they'd only do it with a wiring diagram.
Hmmm. A wiring diagram for a 1976-built Daimler-derrived Fleetline under Leyland stewardship wouldn't be an easy thing to come by. A close friend and someone far more intuitive than me suggested contacting the Wythall Transport Museum, as they've got a number of Fleetlines in their collection and he believed they may have acquired the WMPTE documentation for its Fleetlines.
A quick call and email later saw their Engineering man contact me to request a specific piece of information about the speedo I wanted to reconnect and then, hey presto, a diagram offering advice when reconnecting a speedometer!
What great service.
Save the removal of the black tape around the edges of the front number and destination glasses, the refitting of the new, bespoke rear number blind end gear and the attachment of new, non-yellow wingmirrors, the relatively minor alterations to GCT 113 necessary before she's rallied for the first time in private ownership (and before its repaint into a former GCT livery) are nearly done.