Greater Manchester had taken their first minibuses in 1986, utilising the Dodge S56 chassis. Following deregulation in October of that year smaller vehicles were deemed to be the way forward and large orders were placed for more. As well as more Dodges with the customary Northern Counties bodywork, fifty Ivecos with Robin Hood bodywork arrived and eighty of MCWs new Metrorider. The Metrorider was the first purpose built minibus as opposed to using what was essentially a van chassis for everything else that was on offer.
The very early deliveries of Dodges had buses wearing standard fleet livery, with some carrying localsied branding but when the operation started on a larger scale a new livery was needed. The in house designers came up with the catchy name 'Little Gem' and was accompanied by an attractive livery as seen here. Later deliveries wore a simplified, cheeper fleetname, the ones seen here being a tad expensive due to the metallic effect.
1602 was the second of the Metroriders and is seen here parked at Wythenshawe bus station prior to working back to Altrincham on the A18 service.