Asian Greyhound Ltd, Guildford


Asian Greyhound is, by a process of elimination, was the longest running overland company, or for that matter, camping tour operator. It grew from the original ‘Waltzing Matilda Overland Service, which was an unregistered outfit first operating at the end of 1957, on the Indian route. It had run for a year in Morocco and Algeria, but was discouraged by the Algerian troubles.

In 1960, after disagreement between the two partners of the old Waltzing Matilda, Swagman Tours came into being. For many years it was simply Norm Harris and one bus. The company expanded in about 1965 to two buses, and grew slowly since then. The named changed in January 1970 to Asian Greyhound, partly to get at the American market, and also because Swagman Tours was too Australian for the British market. The Swagman name beening retained simply as a name for the main tour.'

Nepal replaced Bombay as the final destination at the time of the Israeli/Arab war. In the late sixties. Onward connections were set up by air to Bangkok, thence onward air connections more or less worldwide, and through Malaysia and Indonesia by various forms of local transport to Bali, with a final hop to Darwin and onward coach connections to Sydney. Until the mid sixties a variety of vehicles were used, including Guys with both Park Royal and Plaxton bodies, and Commer TS3 with Beadle body. Eventually Bristol LS with Gardner HLW engines became the standard, with two MW's joining the fleet in the seventies. Asian Greyhound also contracted camping tours to Europe Scandinavia and Russia, using the name Tent Tours, using the MWs, two RE's, and a Leyland Leopard.

Modifications to the LS's were raising the suspension by 5 inches, fitting a 21 foot roofrack, an additional radiator and electric water pump, and rerouting the engine air intake inside the saloon. Vehicles thus modified ran about five tours of some 25,000 miles before retirement. The company ceased operations in 1977.

Bristol LS's Operated

Reg No In service Out Service Original Operator
JFU 290 1972 LINC 974
MOD 979 Feb 72 <1975 SN 1292
OTT 75 <Dec 75 SN 1366
OTT 78 SN 1369
OTT 81 SN 1372
OTT 89 SN 1380
OWX 136 WY CUG19
SHT 350 BT 2877
SLA 762 TT
THY 952 BT 2878
THY 953 BT 2879
THY 954 BT 2880
THY 956 BT 2882
VDV 749 WN 2206
VDV 773 1973 <Mar 76 SN 2210
VDV 776 Aug 73 <Apr 76 SN 2213