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Vanden Plas

Filed under:  Companies
 
Comment(s): 2
 
 

Vanden Plas is the name of a company of coachbuilders for specialist and up-market automobile manufacturers. It originated in Belgium in 1870 as Carrosserie Vanden Plas.


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The company first appeared in the United Kingdom in 1906 when Metallurgique cars were imported with Vanden Plas coachwork. These were generally admired and in about 1910 Warwick Wright, a British motor company, purchased the United Kingdom rights to the Vanden Plas name and established Vanden Plas (England) Ltd.

During World War I the company became involved in aircraft production and was bought by the Aircraft Manufacturing Company based at Hendon, London. In 1917 a new company, Vanden Plas (1917) Ltd., was formed. The company seems to have struggled to get back into coachbuilding and in 1922 went into receivership. The exclusive UK rights purchase seems also to have gone as in the early 1920s the Belgian firm was exhibiting at the London Motor Show alongside the British company.

The rights to the name and the goodwill were purchased by the Fox brothers who moved the company from Hendon to Kingsbury and built on the contacts with Bentley that had been made. Between 1924 and 1931, when Bentley failed, Vanden Plas built the bodies for over 700 of their chassis.

In the 1930s the company became less dependant on one car maker and supplied coachwork to such as Alvis, Armstrong-Siddeley, Bentley, Daimler, Lagonda and Rolls-Royce. The company also updated its production methods and took to making small batches of similar bodies.

With the outbreak of war in 1939 the company went back into aircraft work and coachbuilding stopped. With peace in 1945 the company looked to restart its old business, but a surprising new customer came along. Austin wanted to produce a luxury car and approached Vanden Plas.

In 1946 Vanden Plas became a subsidiary of the Austin Motor Company and produced its A135 Princess model. From 1958 this also started to involve chassis assembly and the Austin (by now British Motor Corporation or BMC) board recognised Vanden Plas as a motor manufacturer in its own right and in 1960 the Austin Princess became the Vanden Plas Princess.

Following the demise of the BMC Conglomerate, which at one point encompassed over 40 British marques, the Vanden Plas name was acquired by Jaguar Cars. The North American rights to the name were also sold on and reside with the Jaguar division of Ford.
Introduced by Jaguar cars in 1968 (Jaguar had acquired Daimler in 1960), the Daimler DS420 Limousine was a replacement for the aging Austin Princess.

Placed on Jaguar models the Vanden Plas label still signifies Jaguar's most luxurious variant.


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vandenplas princess valve cover

Vanden Plas Princess valve cover.

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COMMENTS
Baxter Wilson2520 days ago

Can you help or point me in the right direction.

PAINT INFORMATION NEEDED
Sorry to intrude, I have a 1960 Vanden Plas Princess (essentially the same as the Sheerline 135 and I would like to know the following colors of the listed item. I have one in relatively good condition and I would like to do as neat a restoration as I can. Parenthesis indicate the appearance of my car.
What color is the block?
What color is the valve cover?
What color is the tappet adjustment cover? (unpainted aluminum)
What color is the intake manifold? (Unpainted aluminum)
What color is the exhaust manifold? (unpainted cast iron)
What color is the generator?
What color is the oil filter mount? (mine was gold painted over light green)
What color is the oil filter cartage? (mine was painted “Seafoam Green”)
What color is the generator pulley?
What color is the harmonic balance?
What color is the crankshaft pulley?
What color is the timing chain cover?
What color is the water pump?
What color is the thermostat housing?
What color is the water pump pulley?
What color is the water pump fan blade? (unpainted aluminum)

PAGE 2 – PARTS I AM LOOKING FOR.
1960 VANDEN PLAS PRINCESS
4.0 L, SIX CYLINDER, DM4 SERIES, A-135 ENGINE
Heater valve
Battery box
Red stop light lens
SERVICE MANUAL
Oil filter
Distributer cap
Spark plugs – Champion N 21
Points
Rotor
Left hand front mirror
Rubber hose from air cleaner to valve cover
Chrome carriage bolts for bumpers
(2) 6 volt batteries
Muffler
Screw in fittings for distributor cap
6 volt electric fuel pump
Front grill
The emblem that goes on the trunk lid
(4) Hupcap centers (Vanden Plas)
Complete air conditioning system
Head gasket set
Is the exhaust manifold painted or “bare”?
Is the intake manifold painted or “bare”?
Any idea where I might locate a exhaust manifold thermostat (connects to carburetor).
I need one of the long studs that fasten to the valve cover. (4.5 inches long)
I need three rubber block mounts for the exhaust (one has two stud on one side, the other two blocks only one)

Any help would be truly appreciated.
Baxter Wilson
8150 Howard Dr., Houston, Tx 77017

bill strunk 2243 days ago

did you ever find an oil filter for the 135 if so, what works

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