This is definitely the worst styling of any of the New Zealand VAL bodies. The body was shortened rear of the back
axle as heavy newspapers could not be loaded any further rear of the axle without overloading the vehicle and making
the front end light on the road. The bus appears to have been converted
to a movan in 1985 but the use by Childrens Permaculture Foundation 1922-94 is unclear. The bus still has it original
Leyland 0400 engine.
Some reminiscing from Mike Chandler, whose father was the Dominion contractor with this VAL. "This bus was built by Hales in the Hutt Valley for my father Bill Chandler, who was a contractor for the dominion paper in Wellington. You are correct in your comment about the shortened rear end as the weight of the newspaper bales were to heavy . The bus was purpose built for dad and was unique in that a delivery chute enabled single papers to be delivered without leaving the cab, I do know that accuracy was not that great for a start and there was the odd dent in car doors until dad got the hang of it. The Dominion bus delivered the paper to Wanganui via Otaki, Levin, Foxton, and Bulls, as well as up to 20 passengers . I recall something like 150 bundles of papers as well as some local newspapers printed by the Dominion. The paper was delivered every night with the exception of Christmas Eve. I vividly remember Dad suffering a sudden illness on the return trip and me as a 17 year old having to drive the bus home to our home in Seatoun, luckily enough there were no passengers on board and Dad's illness was not serious. I was happy that Dad had taught me to drive the coach."