Although most single-deck deliveries to the Scottish Bus Group in the 1970s were heavyweight Leyland Leopards, lightweight buses were still being bought, mainly the truck-derived Ford R-series. Northern and Highland Scottish had the largest fleets, but the other Alexander fleets bought smaller batches.
This vehicle was one of a batch of five bus-bodied Fords new to Midland Scottish in January 1979. It passed to Strathtay Scottish on that company’s formation in 1985 and was reallocated to Forfar. Until it was repainted into Strathtay colours it was one of a number of vehicles carrying Midland blue in the former Northern area.
Strathtay got rid of its Fords relatively quickly and in 1987 replaced the last of them with secondhand Leopards from Fife, the last of which lasted until 2007. SF19 was sold to a farmer in Perthshire and remained in his ownership until 2002.
After the bus was acquired for preservation it received a repaint into original Strathtay livery (without a white band). Since the bus had a service life of less than ten years there were no alterations to be undone.