Combine UK truck and chassis manufacturer Bedford with iconic UK coachbuilder Plaxton and you can rarely go wrong – as this “cute as a button” Bedford J2 Plaxton Embassy 20-seater bus clearly demonstrates.
The Bedford J2 was a 2-ton conventional chassis built from 1958 – 1976. Besides Plaxton, Duple and Willowbrook also made coach-bodies for this chassis, though the Plaxton Embassy seemed to be the most popular model.
The Embassy was 2.4 meters wide and 5.6 meters long – making it much easier to navigate the UK’s smaller streets compared to a larger bus. Engines included a 3.5 inline six-cylinder petrol, and the more popular 3.3 and 3.6 four cylinder diesels.
Plaxton’s designers imbued the small bus with a little style – besides Plaxton’s signature oval grille in front, it added small fins at the rear, along with unique wrap-around rear windows.
Compare that with its somewhat contemporary US equivalent; the Flxible Flexette with all flat surfaces and low-cost industrial design.
I read that after retirement from service, quite a few were modified into campers and small motor homes.
Fortunately several have been saved and restored – this one is available for rent today from a UK transportation/carriage company for weddings and other events.