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Vanden Plas Princess 1100

Vanden Plas was originally a coach building company but came under control of Austin in 1946. Vanden Plas produced luxuriously appointed versions of various Austin models during the 1950s.

Princess logo

In 1963 a Morris 1100 was given the luxury treatment by Vanden Plas at the request of a customer. The finished car impressed BMC so much that they decided to put it into production. About 16,000 Mk1 Princess 1100s were produced in England 1963-1968.

1965 advertisement for VP Princess 1100

New Car pricelists of the time show the Vanden Plas Princess 1100 was the only non-Morris version offically available from BMC in Australia, fully imported of course.

Its price in 1965 was £1,627 - twice the price of a Volkswagen 1200 (£799), considerably more expensive than the locally made Morris 1100 at £979 and £50 dearer than Holden's 6cyl luxury "Premier X2" flagship model.

Registration figures indicate about 23 were sold new:

  • 1965, 14 in NSW; 5 in South Australia; and one in Victoria
  • 1966, one each in South Australia and Tasmania
  • 1967, one in Western Australia
Apart from the distinctive front styling, the Princess 1100 featured many other luxuries that the Morris 1100 did not.
  • Twin carburettor engine
  • Burr Walnut fascia and door cappings
  • Clock, ammeter and oil pressure gauges
  • Leather seats and armrests
  • Full carpeting including the boot
  • Reversing lamp and electric windscreen washers
  • Fold-out picnic tables for rear seat occupants
  • Individual reading lamps for rear seat occupants