Friday 21 April 2023

Delivery of Volvo Plaxton Panther to Henry Cooper Coaches

The latest addition to the fleet of Henry Cooper Coaches is a Volvo B8R fitted with I-Shift gearbox and Plaxton Panther 3 bodywork. The 53 seater coach is fully PSVAR compliant and has a rear floor level mounted toilet.


The Volvo will mainly be used on private hire with occasional tour work. The coach replaced a Volvo B9R Panther purchased new in 2013 and is part of an ongoing plan to upgrade the fleet to Euro6. The Plaxton bodied coach was built to the specification of Graham Greaves owner of Henry Cooper Coaches.

The previous VVK, a Plaxton Volvo B10M seen in Newcastle Upon Tyne on school duties.
The term Scholars was used in the north east as an alternative to School Special

The coach to previously carry the cherished 526 VVK registration was a Volvo B10M with Plaxton bodywork which I drove on a regular basis during my weekend coach driving exploits. It was always a pleasure to drive the Henry Cooper vehicles, knowing that the whole fleet were kept in tip top condition. VVK was the last vehicle to join the fleet with a conventional manual gearbox. The next vehicle to join the fleet, a Volvo Plaxton Excalibur, was fitted with a Volvo G8 gearbox and then automatic gearboxes took over for subsequent deliveries.

526 VVK with Volvo Plaxton Excalibur EX 180

VVK at York railway station on rail replacement duties. At the rear is Plaxton Elite
671 MBB, a Volvo B12BT 

When the Volvo Plaxton Elite joined the fleet the vehicle was entered by Plaxton in the European Coach of the Year competition which took place in France,

MBB in the European Coach of the Year line up

The Elite being examined by the judges of the European Coach of the Year

Henry Cooper and his brother started the company in the early 1920's with a Reo Speedwagon. The brothers split and Henry continued to run the company until his death in 1963. His daughter Lilly took over the running of the operation which, at the time, had two Bedford OB's and an SB.

Lilly's son Graham came into the business and, following Lilly's death, now runs it with his wife Pamela and daughter Jade.

As well as the coaching operations Graham runs a fleet of ex London Routemasters on Wedding and other private hire work. The RM's have been totally refurbished and are kept to the high standards of the rest of the fleet.