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Homepage. This page: An old press photograph of a Standard Vanguard of the 1950s, and other Vanguards in action.

1950s Phase 2 Vanguard.

Thanks to David B, who sent me this old publicity photo of a Phase 2 Standard Vanguard saloon. This was the second of the Vanguards, taking over from the beetleback Phase 1 Vanguard range of saloons, estates, and light commercials. There was little change to the front half of the car, but the overall shape was now a notchback, with it's prominent boot area replacing the curvy humped-back look of the Phase 1.
A Standard Vanguard Phase 2

2. A Vanguard seen in Manchester, 1955.

Next, this view of Garratt Street in Manchester as it was in 1955.
A Vanguard seen in Manchester, 1955
A Phase 2 Standard Vanguard, sporting Manchester registration DNA 435, is seen parked outside the premises of "Carolast Limited - Leather, Plastic & Canvas Good Manufacturers". Slightly further away is a frontage for Davidsons Engineers (M/c) Ltd, of Hayes Yard, and next to that, G.B. Ross - Family Butcher. Outside their premises is parked an EIX Series Vauxhall Wyvern (HFR 991). In the centre of the road is an old-style "KEEP LEFT" road sign/bollard. Below is a closer look at the Vanguard.
Zoom in to see the Phase 2 Vanguard

3. Another Phase 2 Standard Vanguard.

Was it this boy's first day at a new school? We'll never know, but it seems that he'd be making the journey on board a Phase 2 Vanguard of the early/mid 1950s. While the Vanguard would have offered him few bragging rights in the school playground, he could at least bask in the knowledge that his parents' Phase 2 offered 50% more bootspace than the earlier Phase 1/1a, and that in 1954 the Phase 2 would be the first British car to be offered with a factory-fitted diesel engine as an option. Wizard!
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
Another Standard Vanguard Phase 2

4. A Phase 2 Vanguard with caravan.

Thanks to David for this next old photograph, scanned from a slide. It shows his family's Phase 2 Standard Vanguard, registration RUM 946, in 1960/61 on a family holiday, towing a similarly-aged caravan (possibly an Astral?).
A Standard Vanguard car tows a caravan
In 2013 David kindly sent over a second snapshot he found in a family album, featuring the same Phase 2 Vanguard, but with a slightly earlier, 1950s caravan, in tow...
"The year is probably 1959 and it's definitely in Scotland on our annual summer holiday. The car is my late father's 1954 Phase 2 Standard Vanguard RUM 946 and I think the caravan will be a Fairholme Goldfinch. The badge on the car bumper above the 'R' is 'North Lancashire Motorcycle Club', of which my father was at that time President. My father bought the pre-owned Vanguard in 1957 to replace our 1949 Standard 14 that was pretty tired by then. He kept the Vanguard until 1965, using it in the later years purely as a tow-car. It was then passed on to my older sister and brother-in-law (who fitted a replacement used engine and, much to my father's disgust, a heater in it!). They then ran it as their daily driver for a couple more years. I learned to drive in the Vanguard in 1964/5 and still recall my first go at the wheel on Morecambe promenade."
Phase 2 Vanguard tows a caravan

5. Standard Vanguard plus other classics.

A bevy of British-built beauties in this photograph, which dates to September 7th 1954. A number of photographs were taken, assessing traffic conditions in London on one afternoon in 1954. Notes on the rear of this photograph pinpoint the location of this shot as Warwick Street, looking S. from Regent Place, "... showing parked vehicles on both sides of street & GPO van unloading in central lane".
To the left is a two-tone Standard Vanguard, in Phase 2 form, with an MG Y-Type saloon parked behind it. A Minx convertible is next in line, with an E-Series Vauxhall, a Minx saloon, and upright Ford Prefect completing that row of classic cars. The aforementioned Royal Mail van - a 1945 Morris by the looks of it registered HGF 85 - blocks the entire road. To the right a further selection of old motors, which includes a Mk1 Consul, another E-Series, a Morris plus a distant Standard.
To the left are buildings occupied by Griffiths McAlister Limited, Tropical Outfitters, with a cafe next door. The imposing office building visible in the background is called Venture House, situated on Glasshouse Street.
A Phase 2 Vanguard in London

6. Crash-test Vanguard.

Vanguard enthusiasts look away now, for this next photo portrays a Phase II Vanguard being crashed into a safety barrier that was under development at the time. Shorn of its usual chrome ornamentation (bar the bumper), the sturdy old Standard suffers a glancing blow, its driver wisely choosing to sit in the passenger side of the car as contact is made. Photographic and measuring equipment records the impact and the affect it has on the barrier, while the car's crumpled front corner will later be inspected to assess the damage it received. In the background, a couple of chaps can be seen sat in the comfortable surroundings of a Mk2 Zephyr, while in the distance, a line-up of crash-test cars can be seen behind a mound of old car tyres, awaiting their moment of glory.
Crash testing a Vanguard into a barrier

History of the Phase 2.

The Standard Vanguard Phase 2, or Spacemaster as it was known in Australia, was introduced in 1952, and again was available as a 4 door saloon, an estate, or a commercial (pickup or van). The new car improved on the Phase 1 in a number of areas, most significantly with an increase in luggage capacity and larger rear window than on the previous version. Wider tyres were fitted to improve adhesion, but for some reason the Ph.1's anti-rollbar was no longer fitted. In 1954 the Standard buyer was given the option of a diesel engine, instead of just the four cylinder petrol unit that hitherto had been the only choice. Performance was less than eye-watering, with the heavy diesel Vanguard struggling to crack 65mph. As a result, less than 2000 oil-burners found buyers. Production of the Ph.2 lasted until 1956, after with the substantially-different Phase 3 took over.
Return to Old Vehicle Photos Page 8. An interesting tale of life with a preserved Phase 2 Vanguard can be found here, again on this site. Spares for the Phase 2 can also be listed f.o.c. here.

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