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1959-1964 Vanden Plas Princess 3 Litre


The 1959-1964 Vanden Plas Princess 3 Litre was a carefully reworked, upper-crust version of a mass-market sedan, the familiar British Motor Corporation (BMC) mid-range series introduced in 1958 and styled by Pinin Farina.

Like the cheaper Austin A99/A110 variations, the Vanden Plas Princess featured prominent fins and rather boxy overall contours, but the front had a distinctive square grille with vertical bars. Construction was monocoque, and the rear suspension was a simple beam-axle affair. It was powered by BMC's old but sturdy 3.0-liter overhead-valve straight six, which gave moderately good performance -- around 100 mph tops.

Unlike its corporate relatives, the Princess was trimmed at the Vanden Plas works, which installed plush carpeting, walnut-covered dash, a good deal of extra sound deadening, and other equipment to set this model apart. All in all, it was rather like what GM would do two decades later when it offered the J-car both as a Chevrolet Cavalier and a Cadillac Cimmaron.

Pluses of the 1959-1964 Vanden Plas Princess 3 Litre:

  • Quality trim and furnishings
  • Mechanically simple
  • British-traditional appeal
  • Vanden Plas name a plus for some
  • Good appreciator

Minuses of the 1959-1964 Vanden Plas Princess 3 Litre:

  • Indifferent road manners
  • Modest performance
  • Many parts no longer available

Production of the 1959-1964 Vanden Plas Princess 3 Litre:

  • Mark I: 4,719
  • Mark II: 7,984

Specifications of the 1959-1964 Vanden Plas Princess 3 Litre:
Wheelbase, inches: 108.0/110.0
Length, inches: 188.0
Weight, pounds: 3,480-3,540
Price, new: NA

Engines for the 1959-1964 Vanden Plas Princess 3 Litre:

TypeSize
Horsepower
Years
ohv I-6 2,912 cc (178 cid)105/120 1959-1964

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