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|Manufacturer||Thomas Harrington Ltd|
|Body and chassis|
|Floor type||Step entrance|
Ford Thames 676E
|Engine||Leyland O.400 straight six diesel engine|
|Length||11 Meters (36ft)|
The Harrington Legionnaire is an 11 metres (36 ft) passenger coach body built by Thomas Harrington Ltd in Hove, Sussex between 1963 and 1965. It was built on three-axle Bedford VAL, two-axle Ford Thames 676E and two specials on Guy Victory trambus chassis.
The design was never a success, and very few were built.
The Harrington Legionnaire was a square-rigged body with straight waistrail and five deep windows per side. It also differed from the Harrington Cavalier and Harrington Grenadier by having plated window surrounds, there was a large brightwork grille and twin headlights, a Harrington Grenadier-style front windscreen was used with a similar sized one at the rear. Above the windscreen was a destination box of illuminated nameboard and above that a prominent peak.
At the rear the illuminated nameboard was inside the rear glass and this was fitted the other way about to the front, meaning the first and last pillars had a pronounced forward rake to them whilst all the others were vertical. The Cantrail was flat above it was a roof section of very shallow curvature.
The Mark 2 which followed in 1964 for the final two seasons omitted this flat cantrail and had a roof of compound curvature, which reduced the tall square effect of the original but reduced space in the overhead luggage racks.
The Italian Job
For use in the film, it was modified to reinforce the bulkhead behind the driver's seat, to allow for the Mini Cooper S getaway cars to be driven into the bus safely. Even though, there was still enough force to in the event push the driver into the steering wheel.
True to the film story, the destination displays on the coach showed London-Turin, and then the opposite during the film, and also displays 'Charlie Croker's Coach Tours' logos on the rear and both flanks, a reference to Michael Caine's character.
After the film, this coach went back to coaching, mostly in Scotland, before being scrapped in the 1990s. Corgi Toys released a sought after gift set which included the three Mini Cooper cars (albeit incorrectly modelled on much newer Minis) in 1:36 scale and a 1:50 scale Plaxton Panorama 1-bodied Bedford VAL coach, in place of the Harrington Legionnaire which accuracy demanded.