Ford Buses and Coaches

Ford chassis have been used for buses in New Zealand since the early days of motor buses. The first school buses were Model TT Fords. During and immediately after World War II the only new bus chassis available were Ford V8s. Approximately 1000 Ford buses took to the roads of new Zealand.

Prior to World War II most Fords in New Zealand came from Ford Motor Company of Canada Ltd. Post World War II there was a move towards English built Fords. The names assigned to English Fords has varied over the years.

1917-1933 Ford
1933-1939 Fordson
1939-1957 Ford Thames
1957-1965 Thames
1965 onwards Ford

After 1982 only a very small number of Ford R chassis were sold in New Zealand. Ford offered Hino and Mazda sourced chassis until the late 80s when Ford abandoned the bus market.


The Ford v8 was the mainstay of many fleets in the 40s. Deliveries of Canadian Ford V8 C84 models continued into the early 50s. This is a very patchy start and others will be added over time.

Thames ET7

Ministry of Works had a number of the buses at hydro-electric power construction sites in Turangi, Mangakino and Twizel

Thames Trader

All Ford Thames Trader buses located in New Zealand

R192 and R226

All Ford R192 and R226 buses and coaches ind New Zealand


All Ford R1014 buses and coaches in New Zealand


All Ford R1114 buses and coaches in New Zealand

D Series

An incomplete list of buses and coaches built on Ford D series chassis in New Zealand


Bus and coach chassis built by Tasman Special Vehicles using Ford R chassis


Bus and coach chassis built by Dargaville Engineering & Manufacturing Co Ltd (Demac) using Ford chassis


Mazda supplied M05xx chassis sold as Ford Trader and used as buses in New Zealand


All badge engineered Hino BX341 chassis sold in NZ as Ford N1117

N Truck Chassis

One bus built on a Ford N truck chassis. Like the N1117 this was a badge engineered Hino.