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leyland hippo gallery

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Does anyone know what happened to Q255GDB ?


It's not a lot of help but here's what the DVLA says:


The vehicle details for Q255 GDB are:


Date of Liability 01 09 1988

Date of First Registration 03 08 1985

Year of Manufacture Not Available

Cylinder Capacity (cc) Not Available

CO2 Emissions Not Available

Fuel Type Heavy Oil

Export Marker Not Applicable

Vehicle Status Unlicensed

Vehicle Colour GREEN

Vehicle Type Approval


Vehicle Excise Duty Rate for vehicle

6 Months Rate Not Available

12 Months Rate Not Available

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Hello Bob,

I think its still around, i remember a couple of hippo's on Q plates. At first i thought it was tommy snape's super hippo, but looking at this picture he's Q625 GDB not to far out.




There was another chap with a hippo from wigan/warrington called john, he did a lot of shows at one time but i haven't seen him since normandy 1994, i think he may well have your old one.

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'John' in Warrington, about 8 miles from me, was probably John Groves from memory..............

I seem to remember that it was licenced at the time as a crane and then had the small road tax duty of £16. It was purchased from David Crouch and driven home on trade plates at 33mph.

Thanks for all the info


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May be confusion here, it was our Hippo that was licenced as a crane. It had a chain block

hanging on a RSJ which in turn was hanging from the canopy frame. not rearly a crane at all !

Possibly John Groves Hippo was also a crane, his Hippo was much better than ours.


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Large heavy and slow just about does it for driving a Hippo!!!!! Speed is about 30-35 mph but remember that the speed limit for a vehicle of that size in its day was only 20mph anyway. The gearbox (once you have got use to it)is a delight and is very easy to make clutchless changes on. They are powered by a 7.4litre diesel engine that runs like a sewing machine. As for the driving position, well the driver was the last thing they thought about!!!! The seat is a wooden box with a cushion on it, the back rest is a piece of metal with a cushion on it. The steering (except at low speed) is not bad, but that may be something to do with the size of the steering wheel!!!. The handbrake is a ratchet park brake ( as fitted to most heavy vehicles of the age) and if it doesnt nip your fingers when applying it or releasing it then you will catch your trouser leg on it when you get out of the cab. No health and safety in those days!!!

All I can say is that a drive of as Hippo should be on everybodies to do list!!!


I drove them in Germany mid-1950s, I always thought that they were a great piece of british engineering, well built and good to drive, a real mans machine. Your above description is pretty accurate, the engine ticked-over like a sewing machine. I dont ever remember the handbrake being any kind of a problem, thought that it was actually pretty good, I do know that if the handbrake cable should snap it was a bit of a basket to replace.

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  • 3 months later...

Just an FYI, I have put my 1944 Hippo 11B on the for sale thread. I also have a complete small set of the little wheels and tyres.

a selecton of pictures taken in Normandy in 2009 and 2004. Mattadors and Diamond T's are large, but the Hippo dwarfs them all.


Hippo Omaha 2009.jpg

hippo omama beach 60yrs on.jpg

Gold beach 2009.jpg


Edited by raschippo1
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