Classic Car Catalogue

Vanden Plas 1959

Princess 3 Litre
Princess 4 Litre

Great Britain

The workshops of Vanden Plas started in 1870 in Belgium, making wheels, followed by axle units for carriages. In 1884 the business moved from Brussels to Antwerp where horse drawn carriages were produced, and with the increase in business another branch was opened in Brussels again in 1890. In 1900 having gained the highest award ever by a Belgium coach-builder, work flowed in from De Dion Bouton, Berlier, Germain, Packard and others producing vehicles at that time. By 1908, Vanden Plas had a workforce of 400 men producing 300 special bodies a year and this soon increased to over 750. In 1913 'The Times' stated that 'Vanden Plas bodied cars had an air of distinction lacking in many of the products around them'.
On the 13th March 1913 the first company of Vanden Plas (England) Limited was formed, building bodies under license from Vanden Plas in Belgium. This was followed with the forming of Vanden Plas (England) 1917 Limited, and finally Vanden Plas (England) 1923 Limited with the move of the coach-works to Kingsbury, London. In 1946 Vanden Plas became a subsidiary of Austin Motors.
After the showing at Earls Court in October 1959, Vanden Plas was registered as car manufacturer. The luxurious Vanden Plas Princess 3 litre is mechanically identical to the Austin A99 and the Wolseley 6/99. The fully built cars are sent from Cowley without any trim to Vanden Plas' Kingsbury works. Here they are fitted with Vanden Plas' high quality of trim. Only the best materials are used, such as Wilton carpeting, Connolly leather and West of England headlining cloth. The finished cars are then sent directly to the dealers. Manual and automatic transmission versions are available, priced at £1396 and £1467 respectively. A 4-litre long-wheelbase saloon and a limousine are also available.
With the disappearance of the 'A' badge, its place is taken by a horizontally positioned coronet symbolising the marque. A black coronet is used on the long wheelbase 4 litre Princess and a red coronet on the smaller Princess cars.


Princess 3-Litre

wb: 9 ft. 2 in. R6 cyl.
108 bhp


With the replacement of the A 105 saloon by the Austin A 99 Westminster, the Vanden Plas 3 Litre Princess was introduced.
Vanden Plas become separate trademark for 1960.


Princess 4-Litre

wb: 11ft 3/8in. R6 cyl.
3993 cc
150 bhp