During the 1979 Centenary of Electric Traction parade, Car No.1 was the star of the show, resplendent in the best condition it had been for over 30 years. Car No.2 however, was still the down-at-heel Overhead Line car, in maroon paintwork with faded lining. With the historic liveries programme of the year already encompassing Cars 1, 9, 19 and 32, further repaints were suggested for the future, with both Cars 2 and 21 chosen to also receive historic liveries.
And in Winter 1980, the decision was taken to withdraw Car No.2 from the overhead line car role on a permanent basis (Car No.14 replacing it), and to fully overhaul it to a similar specification as No.1. The Car received a full bodywork rebuild, new dash panel ends, and a repaint in an interpretation of the original livery, albeit with a different style of lettering to No.1 (and not carrying the ‘Isle of Man Railways’ boards that No.1 did).
No.2 was completed for the Summer of 1981, and ran in the guise alongside it’s sister throughout the 1980s, the first time it had ran exclusively passenger service since the 1920s! In the above picture Car No.2 waits to run north from Derby Castle during July 1991.