I never knew this was the last Volvo Olympian built for the UK until I came across an appeal on a preserved owners group on Facebook regarding saving it from a messy end with the scrap man.
Now I had been keeping an eye on a few Olympians with a view to acquiring one, but because they’re so reliable operators are not keen to sell. In keeping with my own self imposed criteria that I must have some association with any vehicle I acquire, the vehicles I was watching all had Northern Counties Palatine 1 bodies (the Palatine 2 body is carried by my DAF).
I must confess I do like the Alexander Royale bodywork but never drove such a vehicle so wasn’t looking at this type at all.
Then along came 437......
The fact its the last Olympian built for the UK is enough justification for me to throw my own criteria out the window and so I quickly arranged a visit to First Eastern Counties garage at Great Yarmouth in order to secure it and save it from a fate other than preservation.
It was new to Yorkshire Coastliner and apart from a brief spell in Somerset it has spent the rest of its life on the Norfolk coast with First Eastern Counties - all that sea air has done it no favours in the corrosion department. On top of that, it was stored outside for a year and half with a top deck window missing so the interior has suffered somewhat too. It is a right mess and will need a shed load of TLC - plus time & money - to pull it back to decent state.
The important thing for now is that it is safely in preservation.
**Update October 2016......having decided that the work needed to get 437 back on the road is beyond my capabilities, the vehicle has been sold to another preservationist in Yorkshire that is in a better position to take the vehicle forward**