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ROBERT WRIGHT and Sons of Ballymena last week launched its new Contour all-aluminium coach body. The body, which was styled by the Bedford design group at Luton, made its public debut at the SMT coach show in Glasgow, reports NOEL MILLIER.
The Contour is built using the Alusuisse body structure system using light and rigid aluminium extrusions.
Among the body features are flush fitting, glued-in windows and boxed-in rear wheel arches to provide an aerodynamically efficient and modern looking coach.
The front end has a large bonded one-piece raked windscreen. Large headlights with wipers are fitted behind a glass panel to which badges are etched. A plug type door is fitted as standard on the premium special model.
The interior trim is evolved from current European trends and makes full use of soft carpet. The well designed driver's area groups all controls on panels immediately to the left and right of the driver. A Bedford TM instrument panel is fitted to the coach.
The prototype coach is fitted with 53 Chardon reclining seats and has an Eperspacher heating system and preheater.
Although developed in conjunction with the Bedford design department the Contour will be available on other chassis. Initial production is expected to be on YNT chassis lengthened by Chassis Developments of Dunstable.
The Wright Contour is initially to be sold by Bedford dealers Vincent Greenhous in Hereford, Shaw and Kilburn at Hemel Hempstead and SMT in Glasgow.
Built on YNT chassis, the coach has full length side luggage lock ers on the nearside and a large rear boot with side access flaps.
The Alusuisse body structure is divided into three likely accident damage zones. Panels at the lower levels have hinges incorporated into the side rubber protection strip and together with supporting struts can be easily removed for repair.
Similarly, the panels immediately above the rubber strip can be quickly, and easily removed for repair.
The Contour will be available in two versions. The De Luxe specification will have features such as a pivoted entrance door and reclining seats as standard. The special version has Eperspacher heating, plug-type door and a Blaupunkt sound system all included in its comprehensive standard specification. Body prices start at 08,100 for the base De Luxe model and £42,350 for the lavish 'Special.'
Before taking account of individual terms a customer may obtain, a Contour-bodied Leyland Tiger would cost around the same as a complete Royal Tiger Doyen integral coach.