Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,100 pages of information and 233,633 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.


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1985 Optare was formed when a group of former employees of Charles H. Roe, supported by Yorkshire Enterprise Ltd, began the Optare coachbuilding business in the former Roe carriage works.

Their first model was the Citypacer. It was built on a Volkswagen LT55 chassis.

1988 The Delta was launched. This model was based on the DAF SB220 chassis.

1988 Optare bought the rights to produce the Metrorider and the Metrobus from Metropolitan-Cammell-Weymann (MCW).

1990 The employees decided to accept United Bus Group's acquisition of the company[1]

1991 Optare designed a Alusuisse body named the Spectra.

1993 Management began talks with its United Bus Group owners about a management buy-out[2]

1996 They designed the Excel, it had a deep front windscreen and was powered by a Cummins B-series engine.

The first of these models went into service with Blackpool Transport.

1999 The Mark 2 Excel was launched.

2000 Optare was sold to NABI, a Hungarian company, for £21.5 million.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times Oct. 23, 1993
  2. Oct. The Times 23, 1993
  • Ian Allan - British Buses Since 1900 - Aldridge and Morris