Irving’s stays loyal to the Plaxton Volvo combo with latest addition

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Positive experience with earlier models, back up and appealing design lead to repeat order

Irving of Dalston near Carlisle in Cumbria has chosen the Volvo B9R with Plaxton Panther coachwork as its latest addition to the fleet, which has been supplied by Anston-based Plaxton Coach Sales.

In a fleet which features predominantly Plaxton products, proprietor George Irving decided on the 12.8m Panther following positive experience with earlier Plaxton Volvo vehicles.

He said: “The new Plaxton Panther represents good value. The design is appealing to us and our customers and there is the benefit of good back-up service if we need it.

“Operating a Plaxton Paragon for six years has been a good experience, bringing plenty of positive feedback from our customers. Although it has only been on the road for a short time, the feedback on the new Panther has already been equally positive.”

Irving’s new Panther is a 12.8m model and features 53 Gala reclining seats incorporating all age three-point seat belts and trimmed in red patterned moquette with matching red leather headrest inserts and piping. The red theme is continued through the interior trim contrasting with gold curtains. Passenger comfort is assured with full climate control, a centre mounted washroom, fridge and hot drinks facility alongside the centre offside exit. Entertainment is provided by a Bosch CD/Radio/ PA system.

Underneath the Plaxton Panther body is the rear-engined Volvo B9R chassis with Volvo’s nine-litre D9B 380hp Euro5 engine coupled to the Volvo I-shift gearbox.

Externally, the Panther carries Irving’s current colour scheme – subtle blue and red waves on a white base with the Irving of Dalston script branding in matching colours. The coach is further embellished with Alcoa Dura-Brite alloy wheels and coloured striping on the mirrors matching the bodyside graphics.

George Irving founded Irving of Dalston in the early 1970s and remains at the helm of the two generation family business. The company operates 10 coaches from the village of Dalston, covering schools, contracts, private hire and a free bus service from local villages to the Carlisle Tesco store.

Plaxton coachwork has been chosen regularly and is currently carried by most of the fleet. The new Panther replaces an earlier model of the Plaxton-Volvo combination and will be used on the company’s full variety of work throughout Great Britain and into Europe.