Based on the relatively unknown DAF SB220 chassis Optare of Leeds (occupying the former site of Charles Roe bodybuilders) unveiled the Delta using totally untraditional methods of bodywork - mainly stressed steel panels. Mechanically the SB220 chassis was quite reliable, bodywise became a very different story a few months down the line.
There was very little in the way of front end support, particularly with so much equipment being placed there such as the cooling radiator and virtually all of the electrical gadgets also lived on top of the "nose end". The weaknesses of the inadequate supports gave way to sometimes spectacular movement at the front end. One by one existing vehicles returned to Leeds for modifications which were incorporated in later built vehicles for the fleet.
All quite far removed from the spin given at Uttoxeter New Road Central Works one day when the type had a formal launch..............
G910 XFC is seen in its demonstrator guise at Derby Bus Station appropriately enough on 1st April 1991. The passengers were certainly fooled into thinking they had a nice new coach on the Manchester service with a lovely low entrance - then they sat down on bus specification seats..........
Just over 2 years later the vehicle had become part of the fleet numbered 300. It is seen at meadow Road on 29th April 1992. It was widely believed Optare virtually gave the vehicle to Trent following issues with the production batch. The vehicle was later re-registered G600NRC.
1st August 1991 and 301 makes its debut on the former Barton service 5 at 06:30
302 at Meadow Road prior to entering service 20th July 1991
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