Busy Bank Holiday weekend at the Transport Museum Wythall

Visitors flocked to the Transport Museum Wythall over the bank holiday, many eager to discover the fascination of the bus for the first time. Visiting vehicles joined the museum’s own collection for rides out into the Worcestershire countryside where the recently completed 1931 Birmingham AEC Regent was a prime target to experience.

On one of its first public appearances, Richard Webb’s Plaxton Paramount III bodied Mercedes-Benz 0303 coach proved an eye-catcher with its gleaming three-point star, even at the far end of the row of visiting vehicles. After a full restoration with parts donated from three other similar vehicles, the coach has been re-finished in the Plaxton demonstration livery it carried when first revealed to the public in 1990. Two dozen similar vehicles were subsequently built for operators such as Shearings and Wallace Arnold, concluding Plaxton’s third phase of bodying Mercedes-Benz chassis. Previously there had been a batch with Supreme bodies featuring standard 0303 front panels and a solitary Paramount I example.

The demonstration vehicle underwent many styling changes during its long service life and these have been carefully reversed with the only visible external difference being the peage window in the entrance door. Wheel-trims have been refitted and the uniquely windowed driver’s bunk reinstated. In the smart interior, Richard would eventually like to retrim the seats with the pattern of moquette supplied by Firths when new.

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