Classic Cars / Vanden Plas

Vanden Plas History


This is the history of the brand Vanden Plas since the establishment of the company and up to the most modern of vehicles produced under this brand.

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Vanden Plas

At 1880, the blacksmith Guillaume van den Plas had inherited from his uncle's company for production of wheels and axles for horse-drawn transport in Brussels, 4 years later, he moved his business to Antwerp. Soon, his three sons, Antoine, Henri and Willy joined his cause. In the 1898m, Henri headed the firm in Antwerp, and his brothers opened offices in Brussels. Then the company began to manufacture car bodies, a company called La Carosseri Van den Plas, after 2 years is considered to be the best company in Belgium by making car bodies brands De Dion Bouton, Berliet, Germain and the American Packard.

At 1908m, the company employs about 400 workers who manually produced car bodies. The first cars with bodies Van den Plas came to the UK back in the 1906m, with the Belgian brand cars Métallurgique.

At 1912m, the company produces 750 bodies a year, but this is not enough to meet demand, while Theo Masui buys license for the manufacture of bodies of the company, establishing a body builder 1913m, the company Vanden Plas Ltd in England.
When the First World War the firm Vanden Plas Ltd buys aircraft manufacturer Aircraft Manufacturing Co, which is located in Hendon, after the war stopped production of the aircraft, as demand is falling, but not recovered from the financial difficulties firm put up for auction in the 1922m year. At 1923m, the Vanden Plas Ltd buys the former manager of the company - Edwin Fox, along with his brothers Alfred and Frank. Alferd became chairman of the company (apparently gave more dough), and Edwin as a technical director. Company settles in Kingsbury, in the capacity of the company Kingsbury Engineering Company, which went bankrupt in the 1921m. Soon, the company manages to sign lucrative contracts and it starts to supply the body firm Bentley.

Soon, the British firm supplying the body such grandees as Alvis, Armstrong Siddeley, Bentley, Daimler, Lagonda and Rolls-Royce. Belgian same company resumed operations at 1920m, the firm is now called Carrosseri Van den Plas and it also thrives in the 1924m it comes to work Sahnovskaya Count Alexis, and in France opens another company based younger brother, called Willy Van Den Plas et Salomon & Cie. At 1935m the year when the firm went bankrupt Minerva affairs at the Belgian offices are not important, and it covers the company, after it closes, and a subsidiary in France. After 4 years, the British firm ceases production of car bodies and switches for aviation products, particularly manufactures chassis and wings for De Havilland: DH 98 Mosquito

In 1945, after the war, and therefore a fall in demand for aircraft Vanden Plas Ltd wants to go back to the bodywork and other business, but a contract with Rolls Royce breaks down, the firm is in a desperate situation. In the 1946m head of the firm Austin - Leonard Lord Fox offers 90,000 pounds for the firm, the fact that the Lord wanted to release high-end car, and for that he needed manufacturing capacity for the body, and in his view Vanden Plas Ltd is ideally suited for this purpose. The Fox and Edwin Roland agree, I must say that Roland, the son of Edwin, came to 1932m in the company of his father, but was soon lured away by Alvis, but in the 1940m, he returned to his father's company, the agreement becomes the head of the firm Lord, but getting The Fox Directors of the subsidiary company "Austin".

At 1947m, the Austin-based A110 Sheerline, begins production of the Austin A120 Princess. Both cars have the same chassis and engines of 3.5L with a row of six. However, more powerful engine A120 at 10l / s and develops 135L / s thanks to 2m carburetors. If the body Shirlayna produced in Longbridge, ie, the same place where the frame to finish at Princes Kingburi, ie at the facilities "Vanden Plas." Depending on body type, they carried the additional indexes DS1 or DM1, was the first body of a limousine, ie with a glass partition in the cabin, the second with a sedan body, ie, without the partition behind the driver (in fact, the body design was the one and that one). At 1950m, the engine has been increased to 4 liters and the car received index A135 Princess

By the way, meanwhile Belgian Van Den Plas, who tried to recover from the war, having made several bodies since 1947 finally disposed of in the 1949m at it with all the Belgian company.

At 1952m, the firm Austin is a concern BMC, and in Kingsbury production starts long version of the Princess III, which is becoming popular among politicians. In 1954, in connection with the death of Edwin Fox, managing director of Vanden Plas Ltd becomes his son - Roland Fox. In 1956, the A135 gets a new car, and a year later the car starts to be called Princess Mk IV, the name Austin exclude that would distance himself this expensive model in the principle of accessible and affordable brand Austin. In the same year Lord decides why not produce top-end version of the production model Austin A105 Westminster factory Vanden Plas in the 1958m 500 first cars were shipped to the plant in Kingsbury.

This machine is different from the serial Westminsters first interior trim, leather-trimmed interior was Connolly expensive woolen carpets and walnut tree from the root. Externally the car different from the basic two-tone coloring and nameplates Vanden Plas.

In the 1959m, Ronald Fox, directed by the Lord creates a design based on the new Austin A99 Westminster for the brand Princess, grille design is similar to that between a Bentley grille and Alvis. In October 1959, the machine starts up for sale as Princess 3-litre, but people called Princess firmly associated with a cheap brand to stay, so in May 1960 appears in the catalogs of automotive brand Vanden Plas.

Under this brand sold two models: Vanden Plas Princess 3-litre Saloon and classic chlenovoz Vanden Plas Princess 4 Litre Saloon. If the other was going to bare chassis shipped from Longbridge, the first came from the factory in Kingsbury in the form of semi-assembled cars, and Vanden Plas has finally collected the car, setting the trim of the best grades of leather, wool and wood.

By the way the machines as a logo image was on the crown, with a large model, it was black, and the younger - red.
A year later, 3 liter model has been redesigned, its chassis has increased at the base of 5cm, the car has received other brakes and suspension, throughout the interior appeared folding tables built into the front seats. The motor has been boosted by 12 forces, it now develops 120 l / s, the machine is called Vanden Plas Princess 3-litre Mk II Saloon.

In the 1963m, commissioned by the Royal Court for Queen Elizabeth built version of the station wagon, all of these vehicles will be built 5.

Then in a series launched the smallest model of the company - Princess 1100, it was the top-end version of the draft ADO16 (Ausin / Morris 1100). The machine was equipped with a 1.1L engine capacity of 55l / s, while the core developed a total of 48 horses. Interior of the car was different from the base, and even the more expensive Riley and Wolseley even more, it reigned Connolly leather trim, walnut root and Wilton carpets, as well as all other Vanden Plas had this little picnic tables built into the seat backs.

In January 1962 Vanden Plas and Rolls Royce signed a cooperation agreement, Vanden Plas will have to supply the load-bearing frame for the new model Bentley and RR will deliver 6ti cylinder inline engines of 4.0l capacity of 175l / s, as well as automatic transmissions of its production and although the project was stillborn with bodies, but the Navy was getting engines Rolls-Royce FB60.

In June 1964, removed from the production of 3-liter model, and two months later there is a new machine Vanden Plas Princess 4-litre R, which is set to 4-liter engine Rolls-Royce.

The car was like a 3-liter model, but the body has been thoroughly redesigned, the windows were larger, fenders, lights, etc. have changed, as an option there power steering and air conditioning.

At 1967m, the model 1100 is replaced by the model 1300, in fact she only got bigger 1275 cc engine capacity of 58L / s, external changes were limited to the larger rear optics. At 1967m the same company ceased to be a subsidiary of the Navy, as part of the group.

But even in the 1966m, the Jaguar-Daimler entered the Union Navy, along with Vanden Plas begins designing a new model of Daimler DS420. The machine is built on the basis of Jaguar MkX should not only replace the last real Daimler DR450 with V8 under the hood, as well as replace the actual Vanden Plas Princesse 4-litre, and at once both models (and limo and engine from Rolls Royce). At 1968m, the plant in Kingsbury begins assembling Daimler DS420, which continued until the closure of the plant in 1979, after which the model began to gather in Coventry, the home of "Jaguar").

At 1968m, the only model which is produced under the brand name remains Vanden Plas Princess 1300 that now also available as an option and can be fitted with an automatic gearbox.

At 1972m, the market appears brainchild Lofty England and Ronald Fox - Daimler Double Six Vanden Plas.

This equipment was built on an extended basis, almost finished car from Coventry was delivered in Kingsbury, where he was gorgeous trims firm Vanden Plas, this car was eventually more chlenovoz DS420, with this machine department Jaguar - Daimler could not only compete with top-end Mercedes, but and wipe the niche which was ruled by Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow. Soon (at 1975m year) and in-line sixes began to have a complete set Vanden Plas, the truth, and they had lengthened chassis.

In the 1974m, Roland Fox is retiring, and his place is taken by Mistra Peel, who worked for the company since 1947, and in the production program of the same changes occur - Vanden Plas Princess 1300 is replaced by a new model built on the basis of Austin Allegro, though the name of Princess goes down in history, the new model is simply called 1500.

To say that it was a smartly decorated car probably does not make sense in a year version appeared with a big motor, respectively, and a new model - 1750.
In the same 1975m, planned to build a top-end model based on the Austin 1800/2200, calling it a Vanden Plas Princess 1800/2200, but BLMC has decided to withdraw the name of Princess, as a separate brand, as it was in the late 50s, as a result of a September 1975 car were sold under the brand Princess 1800/2200, with the funeral of a friend came with an old brand of concern - Wolseley.

In short two models are identical externally released until November 1979 in Kingsbury, after which the plant was closed, but the production of Vanden Plas continued for another year in the factories of the company MG in Abingdon, after which it had been minimized.

However, the plate Vanden Plas from cars has not disappeared, even in the 1967m, the Jaguar company started supplying the U.S. market its top cars of Daimler, as the Jaguar Vanden Plas, which would avoid confusion with the products of the German company Daimler-Benz. At the same time, the UK market has produced top Daimler same bedzhikom, soon appeared in the 1982m, the top Rover SD-1 with 8-cylinder engines, which are expensive configuration called Rover 3500 Vanden Plas

At 1984m, the company Jaguar Cars became independent of the concern in this regard in the local market cars that company ceased to have badges Vanden Plas in their bodies, but the Americans just as well known products of the company Daimler, a member of the Jaguar Cars, while the guys from Coventry maksovali concern penalties for the use of the trademark owned BLMC.

Since 1985, the company cars Austin Rover, which is now owned the rights to the trademark, begins to name Vanden Plas version of its top-end models Metro, Maestro and Montego, and even a little one meter in this case there was the finish of the expensive varieties of leather and wood, as well as as other additional equipment that is what sets these machines from competitors.

However, in the 1988m, the brand Austin also goes into the archive to historians. Took over the baton to the Rover 213/216, which is their top models meant another year of the same name, followed by the European markets it disappeared. But in the spring of 2002, Rover announced that its top-end version 75go it will be called a legendary name in the result is a Rover 75 Vanden Plas, the body of this long by 20cm machines supplied by S MacNeillie & Son.

However, in 2005, Ford sells everything related to the Rover company of the Chinese company Nanjing Automobile, retaining only the right to brand Rover, and Vanden Plas, as well as other legendary British brand, entering once the concern BLMC now belongs to the children of the East.

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