East Lancashire Coachbuilders

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East Lancashire Coachbuilders Ltd.
IndustryBus building
HeadquartersBlackburn, Lancashire, England
ProductsBus bodies
East Lancs Olympus, one of the last East Lancs badged products, this one run by Metroline
1987 high capacity East Lancs body on Scania K92 chassis: one of the last built to this flat-fronted style

East Lancashire Coachbuilders Limited was a manufacturer of bus bodies and carriages founded in 1934 in Blackburn, Lancashire, England.

In 1994 the company expanded into new premises and commenced a programme of development that resulted in a range of single and double deck buses which was the primary source of income for the company.

On 17 August 2007, the company went into administration, but was saved and bought out by the Darwen Group the next day. It is thought that the problem was a direct consequence of changing to the Euro IV chassis, with a shortage of Scania chassis being a factor.[1] After the purchase, the Darwen Group rebranded the company as Darwen East Lancs.

In 2008, Jamesstan Investments, an investment company controlled by the Darwen Group, purchased another bus manufacturer, Optare. Later, in June 2008, a reverse takeover was performed, with the Darwen name disappearing in favour of Optare's. This brings East Lancs name into the Optare Group, with an expanded range of vehicles.

Production of all the original East Lancs bodies ceased by 2011, and the premises in Blackburn closed in 2012.



East Lancs has had many different styles of bodywork. They had a tradition of using cacography, mostly replacing a letter i with a letter y, which continued until the Esteem and Olympus series.

Older past bodies[edit]

Lolyne and Spryte series[edit]

In the early 1990s, East Lancs created a new style of bus body. Like most East Lancs buses, this body style didn't have a definite name and was named by its chassis as follows:


Myllennium series[edit]

In 2001, a new body was launched. Again, the product didn't have a definite name, it varied according to the chassis.


Until bought by Darwen[edit]

The generation until East Lancs went into administration continues the tradition of misspelt names but each has a different name and does not vary on the chassis.

Scania series[edit]

This series are the last surviving variants of the myllennium series. They are now part of their own series. These have the standard body but with Scania own front styling.


Esteem and Olympus series[edit]

The Esteem was launched early in 2006. The Olympus was launched at the Euro Bus Expo 2006 and its lower dash is the same as the Esteem. The Visionaire launched in summer 2007 with Arriva's The Original Tour.


Production of these buses continued under Darwen ownership.

Kinetec series[edit]

The only Kinetec+ built, run by Reading Buses

The Kinetec series was launched at the Euro Bus Expo 2006. They are designed as low-floor bodies for MAN chassis. They have the Esteem/Olympus body but with MAN's own Lion's City design front and rear.


East Lancs subsidiaries[edit]

British City Bus logo.png
East Lancs Overseas logo.png
NW Bus & Coach Repairs logo.png

East Lancs also ran sub-divisions of the company, in addition to the production of buses: