All DMU vehicles carried data panels on the No.2 end of the vehicle. This meant it was the inner ends in a set formation, but as single cars had no 'inner end' the data panels are more prominent than on other types. The No.2 end on a bubble car is the brake van end with the exhausts. However the data wasn't always on the No.2 end, at least one vehicle carried it only on the No.1 end, some carried it on both ends!
Here we look at how these changed over the years. This is just a summary of what I've found rather than an exhaustive list, and are will be other variations, each works, depot and even individual painter could have their own styles. The quality of the images varies, as these have been enlarged from a mixture of sources.
55007 taken on the 26th May 1958. The data begins with the weight, the vehicle length and width, and then the seating (65 second class). The second part begins with it's next scheduled works date (SP meaning Shopping Proposal), and the final line reads DKS. S.R. - anyone know it's meaning?
An undated image, vehicle unknown. Most of the original data remains as above, the biggest change being the vehicle type (MBS) added in the gap between the two sections. It also lacks the 'S' after 'CWT'. The SP date remains unchanged, but there is now a list of works visits added at the bottom. Note how they start to turn to the left so the list can continue past the blue square!
This was 55007 again, taken on the 13th June 1964. The shopping dates and vehicle type have been added as above, and it has also gained an overhead warning flash added on top of the whisker.
This was 55012 taken in June 1962. There's always an exception to the rule! The data panel is on the No.1 end, with no data on the No.2 end. Also of note - the vehicle is still in DMU green - it hasn't had a full repaint (it still carries a right hand facing lion on wheel logo). The text still closely follows that carried from the whiskers era, onlike the changes applied to fully repainted vehicles as in the examples below. Although the warning flash could cover the end of the whisker protruding from under the yellow panel, there was no evidence of this on the opposite side. Although not seen in the section of the image I've included here, the blue square has been moved to directly under the lamp. Do these clues suggest that perhaps the lower half of the cab (from the middle lining down) was repainted?
This was 55018 taken in 1964. The vehicle has been totally repainted and will have lost its DMU green in favour of loco green. The yellow panel means the text has been moved more to the corner of the vehicle and the first line abbreviated. The first few lines seem to read 36T 6C, 64'-6" x 9'-3', 65S, MBS, S.P. 12-66, LIFTED 3000. The next line should be the date it was lifted, and then the next line can't made out.
Left, 55008 taken on the 2nd July 1964, right, 55015 on the 23rd June 1965. The content and order of the text seems to be pretty much the same as above, just in different locations!
Set TS056 on the 7th August 1976. Now using black text to show up on the yellow ends. The format is the same as from green livery / yellow panel days. This is another example of No.1 end data. Of similar vehicles in that era all No.2 end images have data, some No.1 ends to (so some had it on both ends, some only on the No.2 end). On the right hand side of the cab would be a single line with the SP date.
This was 55005 taken on the 13th April 1977. A change has been made from handpainted text to transfers, although often the shopping dates would still be handpainted. The white may be a ScR peculiarity.
This was 975994 taken on the 6th August 1981. It appears to have had another coat of yellow paint, but this painted around the text to save re-applying it. There was no data above this section (i.e. no weight or dimentions, and a MPV wouldn't have passenger seating). It's clear also that the S.P. date has been painted over and a new date added. It was last lifted at 7076 (Glasgow Works) on 8.1.76, and then there are some C4 and C3 dates.
55005 in early 1988. The black text is similar to the format from the rail blue days.
55005 emerged from Vic Berry's in 1988 after asbestos removal and a repaint with the text on the left. The right side is 55006 in January 1991.
55000 in September 1991 has a black data panel sticker, with additional information below.