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EFE26615 - Plaxton Paramount 3500 Mk II Coach Blackburn Coachlines
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EFE E26615 Plaxton Paramount 3500 Mk II Coach Blackburn Coachlines

EFE26615
Only 19.95 Out of stock but available to order
Brand: EFE
Part Number: E26615
Scale / Type: OO Scale
Our Code: EFE26615

Plaxton is an English builder of bus and coach vehicle bodies based in Scarborough. Founded in 1907 by Frederick William Plaxton, it became a subsidiary of Alexander Dennis in May 2007. By the end of the 1970s, the British coach scene was dominated by two similar vehicles - the Plaxton Supreme and the Duple Dominant. In the early 1980s coach services over 30 miles were deregulated by the Transport Act 1980 and there was an increasing attempt by some operators to compete with the railways and airlines for express and intercity travel. As a result, there was a move away from light-weight chassis by Bedford and Ford to heavier-duty chassis from Leyland and Volvo, and an emphasis on improved comfort and amenities. There was also a growing interest from operators in imports from Europe due to their stylish eye-catching designs that attracted passengers. In particular, designs from Neoplan and Van Hool received much attention. In response, Plaxton returned to Ogle Design to create a new look for their coach products. The result was the Plaxton Paramount, which appeared at the 1982 British Motor Show. The Paramount was a squarer design than the Supreme, with cleaner lines, a flatter roof line and a distinctive "feature window" just behind the front wheelarch. The use of the "feature window" was a return to a trump card played by the Ogle-inspired Panorama/Panorama I first seen in 1964. From there the waistline sloped down to meet the deeper windscreen. Initially there were two versions, the Paramount 3200 (available in 8, 10, 11 and 12-metre lengths) and the high-floor Paramount 3500 (available in 11 and 12 metre lengths) to replace the successful Viewmaster. Around 30% of Mark I Paramounts were the 3500 high-floor option, a greater proportion than had been anticipated. The rear of both versions were similar to Supreme V and VI but all else was new. In 1984 the design was adapted to produce the Paramount 4000 double-decker coach, initially built on Neoplan underframes. The design later appeared on chassis by Volvo, Scania and DAF. The Paramount II launched for the 1985 season brought a tidier frontal appearance. (See the picture with the Paramount 4000) Gone was the black plastic moulding below the windscreen and the "hole" like appearance of the centre of the grille between the lights. The rectangular headlights were retained within a bright silver like surround. Other modifications included deeper parcel racks that were capable of supporting air conditioning. A tweed like material was used to cover the interior skirt and a large part of the racks. A "low driver" option was available for the 3200. This was useful for touring however the driver lost the commanding view of the road ahead. The driver sat low in the body so the passengers have a better view ahead. The windscreen from the 3500 was used on this version of the 3200, the headlights being lower to the road than usual. 1986 saw the final and most elegant version of Paramount, the Mark III. According to brochures it was even stronger than the Paramount II. The sloping front window was gone and in its place a stepped front window that formed the first bay. In the glass Plaxton's "castle" logo was etched, the rear window contained a blind like decal at the base with a castle badge in the centre. The dashboard consisted of a moulded cabinet, ceasing the use of wood and formica of earlier versions of Plaxton coaches since the Panorama's. In the centre of the black finished cabinet was a large castle logo. Airline-style locker doors were now available on the parcel racks to further give a sleek appearance like a 747. In 1989 Plaxton responded to a request from the privatised National Express for a further version of Paramount III to be leased to its contractors by a joint venture of Plaxton, National Westminster Bank and National Express.[4] The Paramount Expressliner was created from the Mark III Paramount on a Volvo chassis and was tailored to National Express' specific requirements which included a closed back with the double N logo etched into the fibre glass rear moulding. This period of coach design seemed to introduce the windowless rear as a design feature for most coaches.

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