Hino Australia has continued its 50th anniversary celebrations with a salute to the first Hino sold in Australia.

The 1965 Hino bus, which now resides at the Tasmanian Transport Museum in Hobart, was brought out from its shelter for a drive with its current custodian and a key figure in the vehicle’s history.

The bus was originally commissioned by Merv Cresswell for his company Ace Bus Services in Hobart, with a body built by Freighter Industries in Adelaide.

It was first used for tours around the island and remained in service until 1997 when it finished its working life as a school bus in Hobart.

The Cresswell family donated the bus to the Tasmanian Transport Museum, which specialises in vehicles with historic significance.

Merv’s son Graham Cresswell said the bus impressed from the very beginning and was well ahead of other buses at that time.

“It was certainly a large leap in faith to buy the first Hino in Australia at the time,” Graham Cresswell said.

“Upon its arrival here in Tasmania it also caused quite a bit of excitement within the bus and tourism circles.

“It was superb to drive – it was so quiet.

“The road vision was good, and it rode and drove very well – compared to the old vehicles it was miles in front,” he said.

Even though the bus travelled around one million kilometres during its 32 years of service Mr Cresswell said it is still largely original.

“Its axles and everything underneath the bus is still original today. The vehicle was built so sturdily; it was so heavy underneath that those parts just didn’t wear out.”

Mr Cresswell and Tasmanian Transport Museum President Rod Prince understand the significance of having the first Hino in Australia at the museum.

“We discovered that it was the first Hino to be built and sold in Australia, and that made it very special,” Mr Prince said.

A video of the first Hino in Australia can be downloaded at the top right of screen.