AUSSIE-BUILT ‘MARATHON’ SCHOOL BUS WOOS QLD MARKET

By: Fabian Cotter, Photography by: courtesy Bus Stop Sales


PERFECTLY POISED for the Queensland Government’s NC5 funding category – and featuring arguably one of the best-looking school bus front ends - the all-Australian-built Marathon is attracting “plenty of interest” prior to official launch, local distributor Bus Stop Sales (BSS) reports.

AUSSIE-BUILT ‘MARATHON’ SCHOOL BUS WOOS QLD MARKET
“After exploring a number of local body building options, Coach Concepts answered the call to design a straightforward school bus body with a sophisticated style,” said Bus Stop Sales dealer principal Pete White.

In a collaboration that proudly supports Australian manufacturing – underwritten by an all-American driveline - the current Marathon nameplate first debuted onto the Aussie bus scene more than 30 years ago and is now re-introduced by Queensland-based, family owned and operated Bus Stop Sales.

The new Marathon school bus is a combination of proven and uncomplicated Iveco Delta bus chassis assembled in Victoria, the company explains, with renowned Queensland manufacturer Coach Concepts building the sharp-looking body.

In announcing the completion of the first of 10 pre-launch new Marathon school buses in September, 2021, Bus Stop Sales dealer principal Pete White stated: "This new offering is a real game-changer for operators desiring a tried and tested, locally built vehicle". 

"Bus Stop Sales is thrilled to offer an all-Australian vehicle to the market for the first time," White added.

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MADE IN AUSTRALIA

The Australian-built Iveco Delta chassis features a Cummins ISL 8.9-litre engine, Allison T375R automatic transmission with retarder, and Meritor axles. This has been coupled with the Coach Concepts’ Marathon body featuring local-Queensland Styleride seating, Valeo (Spheros) air conditioning, and other "desirable items", including in-swing door, lift-up wheel arches, and a high floorline providing excellent storage capacity, says BSS.

The initial batch of 10 Iveco Delta chassis were built in Dandenong and trucked to Brisbane, where they were delivered to body builder Coach Concepts

"After exploring a number of local body building options, Coach Concepts answered the call to design a straightforward school bus body with a sophisticated style," White explained.

"Coach Concepts have been building quality buses and coaches in Queensland for almost two decades now and we are pleased to be able to support local manufacturing with the new Marathon product offering," he added.

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FAMILY INSPIRATION

Interestingly, the inspiration for this new vehicle combination came from Pete White’s father, Dick White, who helped design the original Marathon school bus during his co-ownership of Brisbane bus manufacturer Motorcoach Australia, between 1985 and 1997.

"I am fortunate to be able to draw upon my father’s vast 46-year involvement with the bus industry, which began as a sales engineer at the original Denning business at Acacia Ridge in 1975," White stated.

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Customers have already given their tick of approval for the new Marathon with significant pre-release interest expressed, White confirms. 

With prices starting from AUD$375,000 plus GST, Bus Stop Sales is confident the new Marathon school bus will be an attractive proposition for Queensland Government school bus operators, as it is falls within the NC5 funding category.

"The pandemic has made us all re-evaluate our businesses and identify new opportunities to add to our existing, traditionally imported product range and there is more to come," White affirmed.

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