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END OF AN ERA: LAST VDL FUTURA CLASSIC

Coach number 35,300 marks the end of an era: more than 31 years’production of the Futura Classic. During these 31 years a total of 11,218 Futura Classics were built – a unique achievement in the coach world that no other model even approaches. What’s more, the distinctive, characteristic design of the Futura Classic is still every bit as recognizable as when the first Futura was introduced in 1982. The characteristics sound, reliable and comfortable, combined with a high resale value, have largely contributed to the good reputation Futura has developed throughout the years. Parts are still easily available and this has ensured that even Futuras from the first year are still on the road.
The last Futura Classic is a right-hand drive FHD-104/365 that will be delivered to Anderson Travel of London in early 2014.

A bit of history

The Futura was introduced on 1, 2 and 3 September 1982, at which time both the Futura FH (high)and FL (low) models were presented. A milestone in the history of the Futura was the registration of the first FHD 15 Magnum, a three-axle vehicle with a length of 15 metres, in 1994. This was followed by the introduction of the FHD 14 Magnum, with a length of 13.6 metres, in 1996. Due to the low net weight of the Futura it was possible to produce a two-axle version, the Futura FHD 127 with a length of 12.7 metres, in 1997 – an optimally deployable coach. With its extra 70 cm of length this variant offers four additional seats. The last Futura facelift took place in 2006. The introduction of the Euro 4 and Euro 5 engines was seized as an opportunity to update both interior and exterior. 2007 marked the 25th anniversary, and to mark the occasion the Futura range was expanded with the new length variant FLD 104, a low Futura with a length of 10.4 metres. With this expansion of the range and various modernizations VDL Bus & Coach once again underlined the importance of this classic among coaches in the middle segment, which even after 25 years of production still produced high sales figures. In October 2008 the 10,000th Futura was delivered.
With the introduction of the New Futura in 2010, the original coach very appropriately gained the moniker ‘Classic’.11,218 Futura Classics
If all 11,218 Futura Classics were parked end to end they would form a line nearly 137 kilometres long. This is equivalent to the distance from the factory in Valkenswaard to the Central Station in Amsterdam!
In total, 6,986 Futuras with a length of 12 metres were produced, 702 with a length of 10 metres,2,974 with a length of 12.7 metres and 556 Magnums with lengths of 14 and 15 metres.
Throughout the entire history of the Futura Classic most sales have been in Western Europe, mainly in Germany (3,214), France (2,873), The Netherlands (1,410) and Great Britain (1,258). Italy, Belgium and Switzerland were each good for around 500 Futuras. However, Futuras were
also delivered to Australia, China and Peru. Used Futuras are still in great demand throughout Europe, Central America and parts of Africa.

New Futura

In 2010, VDL Bus & Coach made the carefully considered decision to name the successor ‘Futura’ too, knowing this would create high expectations because customers associate the Futura name with economy, above all, but also with a long life and absolute reliability. “The fact that the new Futura won the prestigious prize ‘International Coach of the Year 2012’
shows that with our products we rank among the European top in our industry. It also reflects the fact that we develop our products based on our customers’ wishes and proves that we have made the right choices. We are convinced that our new Futura does justice to the name the Futura Classic built during its 31-year history”, says Rémi Henkemans, Managing Director VDL Bus & Coach.

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