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Lot 022: Austin Princess 3-Litre Vanden Plas MkII

Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles, Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers (18 July 2012)

The luxury Belgian coachbuilder Vanden Plas was founded in Brussels in 1870 and became famous for building special bodied cars for the likes of Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Alvis and Lagonda. In 1946 it became a subsidiary of Austin and for the next three decades it was to paint and trim luxury versions of Austin's top rank models at a purpose built factory in Kingsbury, London. Structurally and mechanically identical to the Farina-styled Austin A99 Westminster and Wolseley 6/99 models, the 1959 Princess 3-Litre was never officially called an Austin, although it is popularly known as such. The cars were assembled at the BMC factory in Cowley but were delivered to Kingsbury for furnishing and completion to Vanden Plas standards. While external differences to the A99 and 6/99 were few (a restyled front end being the major change), the interior was entirely special with a fine-grain walnut veneer dashboard, special instruments, specially trimmed and padded seating and a great deal of extra sound-deadening to help make the passenger compartment as quiet as possible. Powered by BMC's C-Series 2,912cc 6-cylinder engine, driving through a 3-speed column-change gearbox with disc brakes and independent suspension at the front, the car could whisk five adults along at almost 100mph in conditions of considerable luxury. A MkII version was launched in 1961 with an uprated 120bhp engine, improved brakes and suspension, rear picnic tables and a 2-inches longer wheelbase. First registered in April 1963, this particular MkII Automatic has had five keepers from new, the last being an aircraft engineer who kept the car for 14 years and maintained it to a high standard. This included fitting new front wings, a new exhaust system, five new tyres and new copper brake lines. The car is said to be in good condition throughout with a very nice original interior and good chromework although the paintwork is now somewhat faded here and there. It comes with a large history file, workshop manual, owner's handbook, original tool kit and a quantity of spare parts. MOTd and taxed until April 2013, it is said to drive very well with no mechanical issues and will be driven to the sale.

Lot Details
Auction Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles
Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers, Easters Court, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 0DE
TypeCar
Lot Number022
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1963
Condition rating
Registration numberAMX 190A
Mileage-
Chassis numberVBS2-9199
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)2912
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors