Odball Wednesday: FAP-Sanos S315.21 Charisma

An Ensign Charisma seen in service with Hamilton of Uxbridge
in 1993 (Mark Bowerbank)
In this week's Oddball Wednesday we take a look at "the poor man's Mercedes" - a Yugoslavian built Mercedes Benz look a like. 

In 1989 and 1990, Ensignbus Sales imported a handful of licence-built FAP-Sanos S315.21 Charismas; a type which in the United Kingdom was marketed as the Ensign Charmisa. Other than the manufacturer's badge, the product was entirely indistinguishable on the outside from the Mercedes Benz O.303. The Ensignbus Charisma was sold at around a third of the cost of a Mercedes Benz O.303.

Just twenty five were imported and registered in the United Kingdom, many of which had their original badges replaced with the well recognised Mercedes Benz three point star. Notable deliveries included two for Shearings and one for United Counties; other deliveries were made predominately to smaller independents, most of which later passed from hand to hand. 

I am unable to find traces of any of the type still existing actively in Britain, however, there were a handful in Malta and Gozo before the low floor revolution a few years ago including G895VNA - which was one of the pair new to Shearings.
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About Kieran Smith

Norwich Buses Blog was founded in December 2013 by Sam Larke after he left another popular blog, Norwich Bus Page. Since it's launch, the site has grown dramatically, especially whilst written solely by Kieran Smith during 2015. The blog is now in it's third year and we look forward to more success and growth in the future. If you think you'd make a good writer for Norwich Buses Blog, please do get in touch via email: samuel.larke@gmail.com
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