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Homepage. This page: Various photos of 'beetleback' Phase 1 and Phase 1a Standard Vanguards.

Photographs of a Standard Vanguard Phase 1.

Firstly, a Standard Vanguard seen parked in France, with a period roofrack fitted on top.
Phase 1 Vanguard seen in a French town
Quite why this black Vanguard is photographed outside a Gendarmerie Nationale (police station) is anyone's guess, although judging by all the closed shutters on the ground floor it is either their day off, or not used too often! The furthermost window has some sturdy bars at the window, so presumably the local mobsters get thrown in their to cool off.

Closer view of the Standard
The Standard looks to be in jolly good, and clean, condition. Auxiliary fog/spot lamps are fitted to the front, as are one or two motoring organisation badges. Also visible is an optional rearview mirror fitted to the passenger's front wing, and one of those smart directional spotlamps fitted to the scuttle on the drivers side, that can be angled to illuminate roadsigns at night. I think the registration is JWK 246.

What is really weird is that I bought that photo with a collection some time ago, and more recently I purchased another batch, and a photo of what looks like the exact same Standard Vanguard was included, and now shown below. Everything seems to match - roof rack, extra lamps including one fitted to the driver's screen pillar, and even the small part of registration plate that is visible, seems to be the same. The style of photograph, with the crinkly edge, also matched the first photograph.
Standard Vanguard

Background to the Vanguard Phase 1.

The Phase 1 first saw light of day in 1947, just two years after WW2. Its distinctive styling echoed shades of American design thinking, with its swooping tail and front end chromework. Standards were not yet using monocoque construction, but other elements of the car's design were up-to-date, including a fully synchromesh 'box and hydraulic braking system (rivals such as the A40 from Austin were still hydro-mechanical at the time). The replacement Phase 2 Vanguard came along in '52 and had a more conventional 3 box saloon body (there is also a publicity photo of a Phase 2 here).
Estate & light commercial versions of the Vanguard were also available, again powered by the 2088cc engine. A diesel-powered car was also introduced.

2. Another Phase 1 Vanguard, this time in New Zealand.

Hans sent me some old photographs, including this one that shows an early (1952) Vanguard parked alongside an old caravan: "This pic is of my wife's grandfather's 1952 Vanguard. He was a mechanic for the local Vanguard agents, and bought the car when it was just a year old off a customer. He kept it right through to the early 70's, and replaced it with a Herald. The caravan was also his, and my wife and I actually used this for our honeymoon."
Standard Vanguard Phase 1 in NZ

3. Phase 1 Standard Vanguard reg. JTR 467.

David emailed over some great black and white photos, and amongst them were these two cracking images, both showing a "beetleback" Phase 1 Vanguard that his father owned. The photos were taken in 1954. Thanks David :-)
Vanguard Phase 1
Standard Vanguard

4. Standard Vanguard Phase 1a.

The next Vanguard photo to materialise is this period shot of a Phase 1a Vanguard of 1952. The 1a differed from the Phase 1 in a number of ways, most obvious being the revised grille treatment (similar to that seen on the Phase 2 of 1953). The revised bonnet line, and enlarged rear window, were also modifications introduced with the Phase 1a. This one is registered FJN 541, a Southend-on-Sea number, and has been treated to a large pair of auxiliary front lamps, and a roof rack not unlike that shown on the car at the top of this page. Note the radio aerial above the car's windscreen, turned to the passenger side to avoid the material sat on the roof rack.
Photo of a Standard Vanguard Phase 1a

5. A Phase 1 parked near a Ford lorry.

The photograph of SXA 730 turned up in June 2009, and like most photos on this page features a Phase 1 Vanguard rather than the 1a. The chrome bumpers and overriders on this car don't look particularly good, so I'm guessing it was a few years old when the photo was taken. In the background is a Thames Trader.
A Vanguard car and Thames Trader lorry

6. A Phase 1 parked in a field.

HDU 404 is another Phase 1 Vanguard, this one captured in a field with many other vehicles (cars, motorcycles and sidecars) parked in the distance. A "PRESS" pass is just visible on the passenger side windscreen, but I've not been able to make out the remainder of the writing. Comparing the various Vanguard photographs, it's interesting how many variations of bonnet mascot were fitted - and the car below has none at all! I suspect this is quite an early example, as there are no small sidelights either. The HDU registration code was used in Coventry from 1948 onwards.
Phase 1

7. A Phase 1a Vanguard.

Les kindly emailed over this next shot, featuring a Standard Vanguard in facelifted Phase 1a guise. The registration LUF 558 suggests that this car's early motoring career was spent in and around the streets of Brighton. The owner would appear to have been a keen motorist. Not only does it sport extra lamps and a conversion to flashing indicators (supplementing the original semaphores), but there are also badges for the AA and The Company of Veteran Motorists (or CVM, later known as GEM - Guild of Experienced Motorists). A wireless and aerial have also been installed.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
Standard Vanguard Phase 1a saloon car

8. Standard parked in London.

This next photo, taken in London, features a Phase 1 Vanguard and a real assortment of pre- and post-war classics. The Standard is parked behind an unidentified pre-war car, and behind it is a (now-scarce) Bedford PC van. Behind the van is, I think, a Mk1 Consul, and an E-Series Vauxhall. A similar Vauxhall is parked on the opposite side of the road, along with an Austin A40 Somerset, and a 1937/1938 Ford 7W "Ten".
Phase 1 Vanguard parked in London
Return to Motoring Photographs Page 2.
An interesting account of a Vanguard subjected to a gruelling trial in the Swiss Alps, to promote the car's rugged and reliable design, can be found on this page in the collectables section.
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