1971 Vanden Plas Princess 1300 MkII Automatic
Stunning ADO16 painstakingly restored to 'as new' condition; only 33,650 documented miles; surely the best example in existence
Internally known as the ADO16, the Austin/Morris 1100/1300 range was an instant hit, becoming Britain’s best-selling car from 1963 – 1966 and again from 1968 – 1971 when the MkII version came out which proved so desirable that there was a waiting list of several months – most unusual in a car of this class. The Pininfarina styling was bang up-to-date and clever Hydrolastic suspension made it ride even better than its sophisticated European competition. Issigonis had another hit on his hands. So impressed was Fred Connolly (owner of the famous leather firm) with the ride and comfort of the humble ADO16 that he approached Vanden Plas (one of his main customers) with the idea of introducing a luxury limousine version. The concept was enthusiastically embraced and the new model launched at the 1963 Earls Court Show. Eventually nearly 40,000 Princess 1100/1300s were to be produced, initially from Longbridge and Cowley, but latterly from Vanden Plas themselves where they took an MG bodyshell complete with twin carb 55bhp engine and painted and trimmed the car to their normal high standard. Complete with full Connolly leather interior, lashings of burr walnut to the dash and doors, picnic tables and the oversized Vanden Plas grille at the front, the recipe proved irresistible. This stunning Damask Red 1971 VDP 1300 MkII Automatic must surely be the best in existence. Owned and cossetted by one Essex family for the first 42 years of its life, it was in light regular use until 1991 when it was laid up with 30,000 miles on the clock. In 2013 it was acquired by a Hereford ADO16 enthusiast who also happened to own his own car dealership. Using the skills of his workforce, he treated it to a meticulous restoration with the spectacular results you see today. Although there are no invoices for the work done, we are told that much time and money was spent sourcing rare ‘new old stock’ parts including front wings; front panel; front and rear subframes; all four hydraulic displacers; Fog Ranger lights; headlights; rear lights; bumpers/over-riders; boot fairing; radiator etc. Other new parts include the wiring loom; battery; all five tyres; exhaust system; electronic ignition; interior and roof lining. The suspension components have all been blasted and powder coated and the paint finish is exemplary. You could even eat your dinner off the underside, it’s that clean! The comprehensive history file contains the original purchase invoice, correspondence from the supplying dealer, V5C, old style log book, original handbooks and manuals, service book with six period stamps, original sales brochure, VDP Owners Club heritage certificate and an array of historic maintenance and parts invoices dating back to the early ‘70s. A stack of 18 old MOTs confirms the car’s low mileage of only 33,650. Starting promptly and driving perfectly as we moved it around our yard for these photos, this wonderfully correct, rigorously restored and impressively historied Princess would sit well in any collection. We love it!
For more information please contact James Dennison on 07970 309907 or email [email protected]
Reg No: AJN745K
Chassis Number: 29347
Engine Number: 5418
Engine Size: 1298
Docs: V5C; large history file - see text
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