Harrington Legionnaire

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Harrington Legionnaire
Manufacturer Thomas Harrington Ltd
Production 1963–1965
Assembly Hove, Sussex
Body and chassis
Doors 1 door
Floor type Step entrance
Chassis Bedford VAL
Ford Thames 676E
Guy Victory
Engine Leyland O.400 straight six diesel engine
Transmission Manual
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[edit]

The Harrington was featured in the 1969 film, The Italian Job,[1] Legionnaire bodied Bedford VAL14 'ALR453B', new in April 1964 to Batten of London[2].

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[3]. 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[4].

See also[edit]


  1. ^ www.theitalianjob.com Vehicles of the film
  2. ^ "The Famous Legionnaire".
  3. ^ "imcd.org".
  4. ^ "Worthpoint entry of an example for sale".

External links[edit]