In the old days, there were no air-conditioned coaches in Barbados. The common bus was a modified flat bed truck with seats, railing, a roof and guard rails along the side. The last standing bus was the Bedford bus Vauxhall Motors, which was ultimately owned by General Motor. It was the bus owned and used by the Barbados Rocklyn Bus Co.
Open Air Buses of the Past
The old Bajan buses ran people around the island. Vendors and farmers boarded with livestock and market produce and the few adventurous tourists in those days loved the jolly rides in the open air.
Buses are not made like that now. They are closed-in vehicles with windows and in many cases, air-conditioning. Tourists for the most part do island tours in air-conditioned coaches.
Reviving the Vintage Barbados Bus
Someone had the great idea that we were missing the fun joy rides on the open air vintage buses of the past. It was a passion of Nick Rose, he had always loved the old buses and was sad to see them disappear.
Banks Holdings had a relic that had been lovingly restored in 1969. Nick teamed up with Martin Ince from the Ince Group Of Companies to buy it and test out the concept of the old time bus revival. The last standing Bedford Bus was overhauled again and updated with ice buckets and a sound system and put on the road as the #1 Bajan Bus.
Pretty soon, these entrepreneur artisans needed more buses. After looking for vintage buses to buy they realized they would have to make them.
Made in Barbados
They bought a rolling chassis from Simpson Motors, cut off the truck cabin and added a new specially molded fibreglass front and back. All the work was done in Barbados with wood aluminum and fibreglass. Each bus would have a well-stocked ice bucket bar and top of the line surround sound.
The recipe was a huge success: They named the 3 buses after the original Barbados bus companies (Rocklyn, Elite and Progressive) and gave each one their own colour – Red, Yellow and Green, the colours of Reggae.
Reggae Coloured Bajan Buses Make a Splash
And so it began. The #1 Bajan Bus, also known as the “Reggae Buses” were soon rolling across the country carting visitors and locals to beaches, attractions, bus parties and tours. Banks beers and rum punch are on tap, kept cold in the ice bucket bus bar and all buses are equipped with sound systems so the party is always on.
Exporting to Other Island
They are now exporting buses to St. Lucia, being the first to export a Barbados-made vehicle anywhere. The second bus for St. Lucia is in the works and other islands are on the charts.
The #1 Bajan Bus is an upbeat, fun and friendly way to experience the island. The buses can carry up to 30 persons with panoramic open views as you go. All have professional and experienced drivers. The round-the-bus sound system, ice cold drinks and open plan make the drive a breeze.
Weekly Island Tours
Beautiful BEACHES TOUR from 9am – 1pm
Visit (3) stunning beaches with a historic commentary along the way.
INCLUDES: Drinks & Snacks
Private Tours available.
Private Tours and fun Group Tours available on the No.1 Vintage Open Bus.
UNESCO Bajan HERITAGE TOUR: 9am – 12pm
Visits historical UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
INCLUDES: Drinks & Entrance Fees
The ATTRACTIONS OF BARBADOS LUNCH TOUR: 9am – 3pm
Scenic drive through the countryside and along the coastline.
INCLUDES: Drinks, Lunch & Entrance Fees
Choose from our list of exiting Private Tours and fun Group Tours available on the No.1 Vintage Open Bus.
The PUB HOPPING TOUR from 7pm until 11pm
Party Bus Bar Crawl to Barbados pubs. Nightlife commentary included
INCLUDES: (3) Drink Vouchers, Party favours & kicking tunes to help create the mood
Ask about the Sail and Trail Tour from 9am – 4pm
The best of both worlds…a beautiful scenic tour along with a Catamaran Cruise
More Barbados Artisans and Entrepreneurs: http://barbados.lifestylesoftheartisan.com
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VIDEO & Photography by LifestylesoftheArtisans
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