Leyland Leopard Plaxton Panorama Elite

VUB 396H

Heaton Park, Manchester, 2014. Both photgraphs coursity of Scott Hall
Photgraph courtesy of Scott Poole


Chassis Leyland Leopard 
PSU3A/4R 7000732
EngineLeyland 680 6 cyl mid mounted 11.1 litre underfloor developing 130 bhp
Engine Number
Leyland pneumocyclic 5 speed semi automatic
Air assisted
Body Plaxton Panorama Elite 11 metre
Number 709155 C53F
Date of first registration March 1970


The Leyland Leopard was new to Wallace Arnold Leeds Ltd and entered by them in the 1970’s British coach rally. The coach returned to supplying dealer Jack Hughes of Cleckheaton in 1975, remaining in storage until purchased by Fairfax Travel of Melton Mowbray in 1987. The Leopard was used by Fairfax Travel and subsidiary companies on local tours and excursions, until it was withdrawn from service in 1997 and restored for preservation and occasional use.

Purchased by Classic Connections in Jan 2011 and re-painted into original livery, March 2012.


Wallace Arnold Tours – April 1970
Jack Hughes (dealer) Cleckheaton – October 1975
Dry Stored unused – May 1987
John Penniston (Fairfax) Melton Mowbray – May 1987
Re registered VRY 562M June 1982
Re registered 001908 May 1987
Midland Fox (Fairfax Foxrooms) 351 – June 1986
J Penniston West End Travel – October 1993
Re registered TIB 8792 Nov 1993
Re registered VRY 562M Jan 1998
Alan Tucker (Rutland Coaches) Melton Mowbray – January 1998
Rumsdrive (West End Travel) Melton Mowbray – September 1999
Preserved – September 1998
Restored to WA Cream Livery – September 2004
Re Reg VUB 396H – September 2004
Neil Millington – September 2010
Jonathan Dodsworth – 18th January 2011
Classic Connections – 1st April 2012

Servicing and Repairs

September 2010
Jonathan Dodsworth calls regarding Leopard
Collect from West End Travel at Melton Mowbray
Test run in vehicle

November 2010
Remove 2 seats, fit 2 tables – Downseat from 53 to 49
Fit smaller wiper blades
Check heater blowers and fans, wire in table lamps
Repairs to drivers footwell body panels

December 2010
To Sewells for speedometer repairs
Check engine mountings
To Arriva for steam cleaning

January 2011
Sell to Jonathan and Jane Dodsworth, Boroughbridge

January 2012
Repurchase from Dodsworth’s

March 2012
Check out paint spec and advise Express Coachworks at Pickering

April 2012
Collect from Express after MOT and repaint
Wash and check over
Fit new saloon clock
Secure and seal N/S rack blower box
Paint interior mirror backing

May 2012
Fit chrome beading insert to window surrounds

June 2012
Investigate oil leak at o/s/f compressor passing oil
Drill out and tap towing eye bracket

July 2012
Fit new full width rear mudflap
Fit and wire in new hazard warning light switch
Service vehicle including gearbox oil
Fit micro switch to emergency window

August 2012
Obtain and fit new engine stableizing shock absorber and modify bracket
Reconnect low air pressure warning buzzer
Obtain and fit new micro switch for emergency window, and fit new warning buzzer
Fit plastic insert to alluminium side trims

September 2012
Repairs to n/s/r top marker lamp

October 2012
Fit new centre saloon heater, bleed system and road test

November 2012
Repairs to rack blowers, clean out and reseal
Repairs to door lock mechanism

January 2013
Fit new loud speaker grille to saloon

February 2013
Clean floor with spec, lino cleaner
Take for weighing & correct unladen weight figures on side of vehicle
Pre MOT inspection
Note compressor passing oil
Remove compressor
Refit compresser after overhaul
MOT Test. Pass Class 6

April 2013
Repairs to boot lock

May 2013
Polish bodywork & clean windows

July 2013
Repairs to near side air box on rack
Fit 24-12v converter & 12v socket

October 2013
Fit new destination blind
Fit new glass for above

November 2013
Take down to M & H for front grille repairs & rear name glass repairs
Collect from M & H & wash off

December 2013
Repairs to leaking fuel pipe
Deep clean, seats & floor

March 2014
Fit new “Leopard” badge to radiator grille
Renew leaking oil switch
Pre MOT inspection

MOT test class 6 Pass


Repairs to door air pipes

February 2015

Pre-MOT inspection and service

March 2015

MOT class 6 pass.

Fit chrome badges to rear panels

April 2015

Repairs to damaged rear panel

Clean and Polish ready for Llandudno

June 2015


July 2015

Refill steering box with oil

Check end float on gear box output shaft

August 2015

Clean and polish for Leeds running day

February 2016

Pre MOT inspection

Check oil levels and grease round

Check alternator drive coupling and report

March 2016

MOT test class 6, pass



Damian Sharples (02/09/12) & ‘Iantherev’ (5/5/13)


‘Drive it day’ Outside Lowfields road, Wallace Arnolds last depot. Elland road, Leeds United Lowfields road stand in the background. 27/4/14
Lunch at the Bridge Inn, Walshford 27/4/14
Photo 2
Outside the County Hotel, Llandudno, both subjects owned by Wallace Arnold. 4/5/2014
Llandudno 2
Landudno 3
Photographs Courtesy of Colin Ashby
Round the Great Orme with driver Brindley.
What a happy crew!
Two panorama elites at the end of the Great Orme road run.
Two Panorama Elites at the end of the Great Orme road run. Pictures Courtesy of Phillip Thornes










Leopard approaching Harrogate on Trans-Pennine run. August 2012
Leopard approaching Harrogate on Trans-Pennine run. August 2012
Heaton Park, Manchester, 2014. Both photgraphs coursity of Scott Hall
Heaton Park, Manchester, 2014.
Both photgraphs coursety of Scott Poole








Pictures coursety of Colin Ashby
Pictures coursety of Colin Ashby






Over looking the sea
Over looking the sea
Now, what do all these controls do and which one is reverse?
Now, what do all these controls do and which one is reverse?


4 thoughts on “Leyland Leopard Plaxton Panorama Elite

  1. Sorry, brain just woke up ! In your details section it looks like Elite II, but its actually 11 metre. Maybe a dash between the two would help ?

  2. Following on from the inaugural Shetland Commercial Vehicle Show in June 2017 the show will return in August 2019. The weekend starts with a road run and supper dance on Saturday followed by the show on the Sunday. The show will again showcase Trucks, Buses, Tractors and Stationary Engines, new and old, as well as trade stalls and other attractions.
    More information and entry forms can be found by sending us a message or emailing us at shetlandcvps@gmail.com

    We would love to see this lovely coach attend the show in August so if you would like to discuss it further contact Mark Robinson Chairman on 07810518530

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