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Austin Princess (Vanden Plas)

As the 1970s dawned, Austin decided that they would produce a Glam car for discerning middle-class suburban swingers using a name which had earned prestige in the 1960s when the company had used a Rolls Royce engine for a limited edition Princess Vanden Plas (pronounced Vanden Plah – “Men who go far drive a Vanden Plas”, declared an advert in the 1960s as a clue).


The Glam version of the Princess had a radical wedge-shaped body, the bonnet of which raked so low that drivers were forever banging the nose of the car into bollards, low walls and small children.

The engine was an Austin 2.2 litre unit which used more petrol per mile than an oil tanker, and the body was made of raw, untreated pig iron which would turn to rust and cause whole panels to casually fall off in the slightest Spring shower.