Stanford Coachworks converted a luxury Monaco minibus with wheelchair accessibility for former England Rugby union prop Matt Hampson. When Matt told us his requirements for a luxury and bespoke vehicle, we were happy to help!
Matt became a C4/5 tetraplegic in March 2005 after a scrummaging practice accident for England under 21s. Since then he has set up the Matt Hampson Foundation whose aim is ‘to provide advice, support, relief and/or treatment for anyone suffering serious injury or disability which has arisen from any cause, but in particular from participation in or training for any sport, sporting activity or other form of physical education or recreation.’
The base vehicle is a Mercedes Sprinter 319, medium wheelbase high roof. This vehicle has an automatic gearbox and in-dash air conditioning, as well as all the added extras you would expect to see in a luxury conversion. The minibus has a striking black metallic paint job, and we have fitted the body with our bespoke Stanford Coachworks colour coded front bumper and side skirts.
The colour scheme for this minibus is understated black and grey tones, which we have highlighted with luxurious suede and leather materials. The exterior of the vehicle has been fully colour coded in metallic black including the mirrors, front grille and Mercedes badge. We have also fitted 19” black Hartmann Tuning alloy wheels.
In the cab we have fitted a hinged door to the driver and passenger side. The driver’s seat and double cab passenger seat have been fully trimmed in black leather material to match the seating in the saloon. In the bulkhead of the minibus we have installed an electric style limo type privacy screen. This allows for easy communication between passengers in the saloon and the driver, and can be closed when required.
Stanford Coachworks switches have been fitted in the cab for the driver to operate all of the auxiliary items. A satellite navigation system has also been included and fitted to the dash. The dash panels have been customised in a piano black effect to compliment the deluxe theme of the minibus.
All door pads have been lined in Halo material with stitched detailing to compliment the saloon interior. Furthermore, the cab headlining has also been re-trimmed in a grey suede to match the saloon.
Access to the saloon is via the nearside load door. At the entrance we have fitted two LED step lights which have been recessed into the floor. These will aid visibility upon entry and exit of the vehicle.
The feeling of luxury is continued through to the saloon of the minibus. The lower side panels, headlining and window surrounds have all been fully trimmed in two tone deluxe Halo leather material. For an added touch of class the roof panel has been lined in leather material and has straight stitched detailing.
The flooring in the saloon has been overlaid with ebony wooden style flooring. This flooring is hard wearing as well as giving a professional and luxurious finish. Tracking has then been built-in to the rear of the saloon where Matt’s wheelchair locking system has be fitted.
Passenger seating in the saloon is provided by three Monaco M1 VIP 500 wide electric reclining seats. This seating is the ultimate in lavish and deluxe travel, giving a feeling of being in first class. Two of these seats are rear facing with twin armrests, and one is forward facing without armrests. All seating has been trimmed in black Halo material with stylish straight stitching and black piping.
Between the forward and rear facing seats there is a section which houses the controls for the lighting and TV entertainment system. We have also installed a flip up table to the side of this unit to provide more surface space when needed.
For lighting in the saloon we have installed four dim dip blue/white LED lights, which are recessed into the ceiling. Low level floor lighting has also been fitted along with ambient roof lighting. We believe interior lighting is a key feature of any conversion as it helps to create a feeling of relaxation during every journey. We have also fixed four pull down blinds to each window in the saloon for privacy when required.
Entertainment for passengers is available during every journey thanks to the tech package included in this conversion. Stanford Coachworks have fitted a 32” smart TV complete with Blu-Ray player and four premium brand speakers. We have also installed a sub-woofer in the saloon for added sound quality.
There is a 1500 watt invertor with one 240 volt stainless double plug socket and USB charger in the centre console. Furthermore, there are two single sockets with USB chargers, one of which is in the offside rear corner and the other is below the flip up table.
A drawer fridge is available in the saloon to store refreshments throughout travel. We have also created a centre console above the fridge with cup holders. Two luggage racks have been included in the conversion for easy storage. Further storage facilities have been provided by a storage unit behind the off side rear seat, providing plenty of room for any extra items.
For wheelchair access to the rear we have fitted a PLS under floor tail-lift with bumper step. We have also fitted a white LED load light to the rear doors to aid visibility during boarding.
When asked what he was most pleased about the finished product, Matt replied that it was ‘the build quality considering the bespoke nature of my vehicle’.
Stanford Coachworks will always aim to meet the needs of our customers. When we are converting a bespoke vehicle with a particular specification, it is important to us that the vehicle is perfect for the customer right down to the tiniest detail.
‘I am delighted with my bespoke vehicle. Stanford Coachworks have provided me with a van that is both luxurious and comfortable, far superior to any adapted disabled vehicle that I have seen on the market.’
If you would like to find out more about our bespoke vehicles, give our sales team a call on 01375 676 088. Alternatively you can complete our Online Enquiry Form to request a call back.