Panorama has me weak-kneed

I must be getting soft in my old age, but Plaxton’s new double-deck coach has made me get all nostalgic and fuzzy.

There’s something about ‘decker coaches which has always drawn me, gawping, like a moth to the flame. And here’s a brand-new model, the first for 27 years from Scarborough… and it’s even resurrected the old Panorama name.

The magpie in me releases an involuntary ‘Oooooooh’ whenever I’m presented with something bright, shiny and big, whether a new Land Rover, motorcycle or, as I discovered last weekend, new pressure washer hoves into view. But ‘decker coaches tower above them all.

Stuart Jones went to the launch, and has expertly reported it in the magazine. But I’ve now come over all Yvonne Fair ( and I’m itching to see the Panorama in the metal. It looks truly superb, and though the market for these leviathans isn’t huge, if Plaxton doesn’t corner a big chunk of sales, I’ll eat my hat.

The UK coach market has long been dominated by imported products. Nothing wrong with that if they get the job done, but I still genuinely believe that the UK should be supporting its manufacturing base at all costs; we have some of the most brilliant vehicle designers and R&D in the world, and should show a bit of national pride for the automotive sector.

That wouldn’t be a reason for buying a Panorama, but if first impressions count for anything, what Plaxton have created should be; Stagecoach may be the first buyers, but I can see a few others being tempted by its genius.

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