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EFE29506 - Plaxton Panorama Elite Mk III Southern National
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EFE E29506 Plaxton Panorama Elite Mk III Southern National

EFE29506
Was 31.75 now only 19.95 Currently in stock & available to ship
Brand: EFE
Part Number: E29506
Scale / Type: OO Scale
Our Code: EFE29506

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. Plaxton launched a new design - the Panorama Elite - at the 1968 Commercial Motor Show in London. This essentially set the basic design of British coaches for the next 14 years. The design was stylish, with long sleek lines and gentle curve in the vertical plane. The windows were gasket glazed and the glass gently curved in the vertical plane to suit the body curve. The rear again used the large soup plate lights of the Panorama I, and the front grill was also from the Panorama I. The Panorama II was still available until 1970 with a large batch built for Midland Red. The interior of The new Panorama Elite was to the usual high standard that everyone had come to expect from a leading coachbuilder like Plaxton. It made more use of laminate than before but this was tastefully specified & well balanced. The interior skirt panels, racks and front cabinet made extensive use of this easily worked & easy to maintain material. The analogue clock in the front dome was flanked either side by small square controllable air vents. The dashboard was improved and made use of a panel of rocker switches in front of the driver with each switch designation lighting for night time operation. Previous dashboards hid the switches in places inaccessible whilst moving. Ventilation was again improved though using the same design of moulded air output & light assembly as the final version of the Panorama I. The racks were trimmed with laminate instead of using vinyl like material from the previous design. The first major update of the Panorama Elite was unveiled at the 1970 Commercial Motor Show in London. The changes though relatively subtle were very relevant to a product that had so far enjoyed wide acclaim and sale. The Panorama Elite II range built on the success of the Panorama I and Panorama Elite. The front grill was squared up although it still used the same twin headlight layout. The first bay on the near side was tidied up so the top of the window was in line with all the other side windows. Parcel racks were redesigned so the supply of fresh air and light output was more readily available. The service units were now mounted front to back instead of side to side and were much slimmer to maximise on headroom when leaving the seats. Crash padding was provided along the inner side of the racks in the form of black PVC squares filled with padding. The dashboard was again improved as was the front cabinet. The rear of the vehicle still used the soup plates from the previous range. The Panorama Elite III was the last in the Elite series. Improvements continued to the basic Elite design; this included rear lighting, rear emergency door and subtle changes to the front grill. The rear emergency door was brought about by changes in legislation and did improve the offside appearance of the Elite, however some early Mark IIIs were completed with front emergency doors. The rear lights abandoned the soup plates in favour of tall lozenge shaped lights and the name badges were re-located from between the side bright metal strips at the back to the front just behind the front door. All three marques of the Elite range were available with bus grant specification front doors and interiors, although this option was late for Panorama Elite and only a few built. It was however a very popular option for the Mark II and Mark III. To complement this destination blinds were also available in both the front grille and on the roof or front dome for front radiator chassis. This became known as "the Bristol Dome" due to the popularity of orders from the National Bus Company for coaches on Bristol RELH and REMH chassis. The major competitor for the Panorama Elite III was the Duple Dominant launched at the 1972 Commercial Motor Show in London. The Duple was of all steel design and built at Duple's Blackpool factory. The Dominant had many of the design cues of the Panorama Elite and that could be because the managing director at that time was an ex Plaxton employee. The Dominant sold well but never caught up with the Elite. The mere fact that at the 1972 Commercial Motor Show only one Dominant was available due to a long strike at the Blackpool factory couldn't have helped much. The launch of the Dominant was at Lake Garda in Italy and was Duple's most important launch for years. By the time the final version of the Panorama Elite III was built around 6,000 of the Elite series bodies had been produced.

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