Duple Coachbuilders

Duple Coachbuilders was a coach and bus bodybuilder in England from 1919 until 1989.

Duple Bodies & Motors was formed in 1919 by Herbert White in HornseyLondon. Before World War I, he had briefly built cars under the Bifort name in FarehamHampshire.

Early days

1933 Dennis Dart / Duple
1937 Bedford WTB / Duple
Preserved 1944 Bedford OWB with replica Duple utility body. Wartime bodies used untreated timber and often had short lives
1945 Daimler CW / Duple utility (left)
1947 Duple Vista bodied Bedford OB
1950 Duple A-type bodied AEC Regal
1956 / Duple Vega bodied Bedford SB
1965 Duple Bella Vega bodied Bedford SB
1966 Duple Bella Venture bodied Bedford VAM5
1970 Duple Viceroy 37 bodied Bedford VAL70
1977 Duple Dominant I bodied Bedford YLQ in Malta
1985 Duple Dominant bodied Leyland Tiger
1983 Duple Caribbean bodied Volvo B10M
1986 Duple 320 bodied Leyland Tiger
1988 Duple 425
1990 Duple Dartline bodied Dennis Dart

The name Duple is intended to convey the principle of a single vehicle being suitable for a dual role, an idea Herbert White developed. The first vehicle of this type was called the Bifort. Subsequently, former military Ford Model Ts were fitted with the newly designed dual-purpose bodywork. The bodies looked like a small touring car, but could be transformed into a van by removing the decking at the rear of the car and fitting a van top. This type of vehicle had enormous appeal to the owners of small businesses, who were able to obtain a working vehicle and private car for little extra, and soon bodywork of this type was being produced in substantial numbers. The 'convertible' body, as it was known internally, was built on Morris Cowley and Oxford chassis as well as the Ford T; as well as the standard van top there was a pick-up and even a version with raising sides and slide-out display shelves for use in markets, production ceasing around the end of the 1920s although Duple continued to repair and service examples for many years afterward.