Category:Dennis Dart

English: The Dennis Dart was a series of British built midibus chassis, built on both step entrance and then low floor forms, from 1989 to 2007. It was largely known by the 'Dennis Dart' name after the original manufacturer Dennis, but took on other builder names later in its life, while retaining the Dart model name. Initially built as the step entrance Dennis Dart, the chassis was conceived by Dennis as a lightweight design intended to bridge the gap between minibuses and heavy full size buses. As Dennis at the time was under the same ownership as Duple bodywork builders, the chassis was initially bodied with their Dartline product. After 5 chassis were delivered to Duple in August 1989 (G reg.), deliveries proper commenced from January 1990. Duple closed down shortly after production commenced, and the rights to the Dartline passed through a number of others hands being redesigned several times, while other body builders also began offering bodywork for the Dart. Over its lifetime in both versions it was built with bodwork from a number of suppliers, but in large numbers by Plaxton and Alexanders, with the Plaxton Pointer built on both versions, and the Alexander Dash for step entrance and Alexander ALX200 for low floor versions. In 1995 Dennis launched the low floor version, the Dennis Dart SLF (Super Low Floor), with deliveries commencing in January 1996 (N reg.). Production of the SLF and step entrance continued side by side for a while, until the step entrance was eventually superceded. The last deliveries of the step entrance to the UK mainland were in October 1997 (R re.g), with a final 5 delivered to Jersey MT in May 1998. In 1997 & 1998 the Dart SLF chassis was also offered in reduced and extended length to be bodied exclusively with Pointer bodies, as the 11.3m long Dart SPD & 8.8m long MPD (Super Pointer Dart & Mini Pointer Dart), meaning the lightweight bus now almost fully spanned the length between the shortest of the original step entrance Darts, and most full size heavy buses. Eventually both lengths went on to be offered on other bodywork too. In 1998 Dennis & Alexander came under common ownership, before in 2001 also being joined by Plaxton, with the formation of TransBus International, which saw the dropping of the ALX200 as a competitor to the more successful Pointer, and the renaming of the Dart as the TransBus Dart (and the Pointer the TransBus Pointer). In 2004 TransBus entered administration, and the Dart passed to the company which bought most of its assets, Alexander Dennis, with the Dart becoming the Alexander Dennis Dart (and the Pointer the Alexander Dennis Pointer). With the launch by Alexander Dennis of the Alexander Dennis Enviro200 Dart midibus, the last model in its Enviro range of chassis only, body only, and integral buses, the chassis only 'Dennis Dart' was discontinued, with the last deliveries largely being made in 2007 & two in 2008, slightly overlapping the first Enviro200 Dart deliveries which began in 2006. While referred to initially as the Enviro200 Dart to avoid confusion with an earlier abandoned full size 200 model, the Dart tag was later dropped and it is now commonly referred to as just the Enviro200.


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