BMC/ BL Vanden Plas Experimental Cars
Vanden Plas Princess 1800
Vanden Plas had two attempts at producing a Princess 1800 ADO17. The first was in March 1965 when an Austin 1800 was converted. With its special front end with large Vanden Plas grille, slanting light treatment and Princess 1100/4 Litre R side/indicator lights, altered rear end with extended wings containing 4 Litre R rear lights the car reached the mock-up stage.
It was painted Dark Green with Champagne Beige interior trim. It was however felt that the Vanden Plas should look much more different than its lowlier sisters so this first design did not make it into production.
In 1970 Vanden Plas had a second attempt. This time a Wolseley 18/85 body was sent to Kingsbury where more major work was carried out to the front and rear styling. The result was a car not unlike the soon to be announced Leyland Australian Tasman/Kimberley X6. A full working model was completed and registered in 1971. Unfortunately by the time of completion Vanden Plas had become part of the Leyland empire and it was felt that this Princess 1800 model would compete directly with the Rover and Triumph 2000's so the project was cancelled. The sole completed example has been preserved into private ownership.
Vanden Plas Princess 3 Litre:
An attempt was made to produce a Princess 3 Litre ADO61 in 1967. Photos of the car show a much better frontal aspect than the rather bland Austin version with its mesh grille. Changes to the rear of the car including the wraparound rear windscreen were not so successful and with poor sales of the Austin the Vanden Plas did not make it to full scale production. The prototype was destroyed in a fire in one of the wartime storage tunnels at Longbridge.
Vanden Plas Princess 2200:
Lastly Vanden Plas took a wedge Princess ADO71 in 1975 and converted it into a Vanden Plas Princess 2200. It was painted a unique shade of red with Vanden Plas Chamois interior trim. The prototype is currently exhibited at the British Motor Museum, Gaydon, Warwickshire.