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Karl Blade has owned and operated Newell Coach Corp. with his wife and co-owner Alice Blade since 1979, after taking it off the hands of founder L.K. Newell.
MIAMI, Okla. — Newell Coach Corp. has been a well-known luxury motorhome manufacturer since the late 1960s. Karl and Alice Blade, company owners since 1979, help Newell keep a strong presence in the industry, making sure its vehicles’ design, amenities and size modernize with the times.
But this year Newell plans to grow into the charter and tour market with its newest vehicle, the Newell Coach 1460, a VIP luxury bus. The company is taking its luxury design expertise and applying it to this sector in response to customer requests, said Patrick Dwyer, vice president of sales for Newell Coach Corp.
“Some companies have been asking for a vehicle to transport small groups that is less like a motorhome, but still offers some of the benefits of one,” Dwyer said. “Our new vehicle offers extreme luxury. Whereas most charter buses have airline-style seating, we have an interior build that’s more like a Gulfstream jet.”
The specialized vehicle has a lavish and cozy design, only seating about 12 passengers at a time.
In the past, Newell has been contracted to create custom coaches for clients, since the company makes almost everything — from its chassis to the vehicle body — in-house. However, this will be the first standard model available to all customers.
“We’ve built so many buses and coaches for corporate and individual customers, so there must be a need for it,” Dwyer said. “This vehicle is for people who are willing to pay to have luxury.”
Defining luxury up
Similar to a motorhome without bedrooms, the Newell Coach 1460 has a full bathroom, lounge area, kitchen, salon and ample closet space. “We don’t build them like a traditional tour bus,” Dwyer said. “We try to stay on the luxury end of things. Our passengers get amenities of the home.”
The salon area has eight Gulfstream-style aircraft seats and tables. Each station has multiple plug-ins for a range of chargers and power chords. The lounge area features a recliner and a leather sofa that folds out into a bed. The carpeted vehicle also has 12 large LCD televisions equipped with HD, DirecTV, DVR and a Blu-ray player, a satellite system and a Wi-Fi ranger for constant Internet access.
The vehicle’s kitchenette features two refrigerators, a small freezer, a cook top, oven, coffeemaker, microwave and an icemaker. In the back of the bus, a master bathroom includes a shower and two hang-up closets for jackets and shirts.
“We understand the needs of customers seeking a luxury road experience, and this will be ideal for something like a small group of travelers looking for a more comfortable and intimate touring opportunity,” Dwyer said.
The 1460 is equipped with four roof A/C units. Also available are outdoor features such as patio awnings, lights and TV options.
Built with a Cummins 2010 EPA Engine that produces 600 hp, the Coach 1460 gets about 7.5 mpg. A 20kw nose-mounted generator allows appliances to run when on the road.
“These numbers are good for our industry,” Dwyer said. “The VIP Coach 1460 is built with very high quality materials, so although expensive, it could last the buyer about 40-50 years.”
The model also features: EasiSteer, a new steering gear system; StabilRide’s active suspension system; front and rear axle turn capabilities; SmartWave tire monitoring system; and a new digital dashboard. The body of the vehicle has polished stainless steel accents. “We make hundreds of changes to our vehicles every year, and with Karl’s ownership, we brought our products to the top of the luxury market,” Dwyer said.