Article header
Parts
Homepage. This page: A contemporary photograph of a Vanden Plas 3 Litre saloon in a BMC sandwich.

Vanden Plas 3 Litre Princess.

BMC certainly got their money's worth from Pinifarina, given how many times they re-worked the basic Farina saloon body design to suit different marques in their stable. Austin Cambridges and Morris Oxfords were the bread-and-butter offerings, while those with deeper pockets, or a tendency to wear a trilby while behind the wheel, may well have been tempted by the rarer, and more opulently-trimmed Vanden Plas, either in 3 Litre or 4 Litre R guise.
Whereas the 4 Litre R was propelled by an engine sourced from Rolls-Royce, the 3 Litre understudy introduced in 1959 made do with BMC's C-Series straight six of 2912cc. The 3 Litre Vanden Plas shown below is in good company, to its left is a Morris Minor, while to its right is a close cousin, in the be-finned form of a Mk2 Austin A55 Cambridge, registration 511 LTG. Both the Cambridge and the VdP (registration 1 GNY) were first registered in Glamorgan, Wales. The Princess' distinctive number is now attached to a modern BMW Mini, so maybe the Vanden Plas survives on a re-issued number, or else met its fate in a crusher. Being thrashed and trashed around a b*nger racing track could also have been its final journey, once the number had been stripped from it.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
Vanden Plas 3 Litre
Initially, this model was known as the Princess 3 Litre - no mention of "Austin" or even "Vanden Plas" as on many vehicles prior to this car's launch - but by mid-1960 the model name had been altered to Vanden Plas Princess 3 Litre in the catalogues. Visually, from the front anyway, there are few differences between the 3 Litre and the 4 Litre R. The latter, while sharing the 3 Litre's basic profile, differed in that the top of the screen no longer jutted forward slightly, and the sidelights were of a slightly different design. The 3 Litres also have standalone Lucas foglamps fitted above the bumper, either side of the radiator grille. The back end was significantly re-worked for the Rolls-Royce powered version though.
Two versions of the 3 Litre Princess were produced during the car's production run, with the final Princess rolling out of the factory in 1964.
Anyone running a Vanden Plas, whether it's a 3 Litre or a different model, may well find the parts advertised in this section of the site to be useful.
Return to Page 12 in the vintage and classic car gallery.

Custom Search
www.oldclassiccar.co.uk (C) R. Jones. Content not to be reproduced elsewhere.
Website by ableweb.
Privacy Policy, Cookies & Disclaimers