A charabanc is a type of horse-drawn vehicle or early motor coach, usually open-topped, common in Britain during the early part of the 20th century. It has “benched seats arranged in rows, looking forward, commonly used for large parties, whether as public conveyances or for excursions”.
Charabancs were especially popular for sight-seeing or “works outings” to the country or the seaside, organized by businesses once a year. The name derives from the French char à bancs (“carriage with wooden benches”), the vehicle having originated in France in the early 19th century.
Although the vehicle has not been common on the roads since the 1920s, a few signs survive from the era. The word is in common usage especially in Northern England in a jocular way referring to works outings by coach.
Here below is a set of fascinating photos that shows people in charabancs from the early 20th century.