Wallace Arnold Tours had been a strong supporter of Plaxton and Volvo and the combination had been well proven over the years. The Paramount III was launched in 1986 and had seen many initial minor faults ironed out over its many years of production, resulting in a very solid design and build that introduced still stronger bodies than before. The interior had upgraded airline style lockers instead of parcel racks and Wallace Arnold commissioned their own moquette by Holdsworths.
The body on H630 UWR is to the 3500 Paramount III style, 3500 denoting the nominal height of the vehicle, thus affording passengers a higher and improved view of the passing countryside. Unfortunately the updated model that followed the Paramount III, known as the Excalibur, had initial teething problems and the relationship between Wallace Arnold and Plaxton soured for several years before it was resolved and large numbers of the combination were once again delivered to Wallace Arnold.
Whilst she looks very modern and is not that dissimilar looking to modern touring coaches, she is 25 years old and has earned a well deserved retirement in preservation representing a well respected Yorkshire coach tour operator, a Yorkshire body builder and the care lavished on her by her final commercial operator. The first restoration task was undertaken in August 2013 and resolved the misted windows issue. A thorough internal deep clean has also been undertaken.
Chassis – Volvo B10M-60 number 26145
Body – Plaxton Paramount Mk III number PN9112VCB0014
Power – Volvo with 6speed ZF gearbox
This coach has left our collection and is now with Paul Webb. Follow progress on her Facebook page here
In March 1991 Wallace Arnold Tours of Leeds placed into service a large batch of Plaxton Paramount III bodied Volvo B10M, registration numbers H601 UWR – H660 UWR. Built to a high standard for their mainland and overseas touring programme they were extensively used all over the UK and Europe, and were a familiar sight on West Yorkshire roads and the UK motorway network.
In April 1994 H630 UWR was sold to Slacks of Matlock and after 5 years' service as a front line vehicle she was sold on to Dudley’s Coaches of Inkberrow where she became the favoured vehicle of the owner Chris Dudley. During her time at Dudley’s she was well cared for in Dudley’s own workshop facility and the interior was kept in original condition.
Dudley’s had planned to retire her several years ago, however her ongoing reliability and the affection for her ensured several more years of operation, although some minor body damage and misted windows was not attended to in her twilight years. After 14 years' faithful service with Dudley's and having been downgraded from front line tour work to school contract duties and stage carriage work, she was finally retired on 19th July 2013 and passed straight into preservation the same day with Mark Byard.