Austin Princess A135, Vanden Plas
|1952 to 1968|
|Production||1952-1968 200 made|
|Engine||3995 cc 6-cylinder overhead-valve|
|Wheelbase||132 in (3,353 mm)(long-wheelbase)|
|Length||215 in (5,461 mm)(long-wheelbase)|
|Width||73 in (1,854 mm)|
|Height||70 in (1,778 mm)|
The Austin A135 Princess Long Wheelbase Saloon (DS6) and Limousine (DM4) were introduced in 1952. The automatic transmission and power steering from Princess IV were fitted from 1956. The marque name was changed from Austin to Princess in August 1957, and then to Vanden Plas from July 1960. The long wheelbase models continued to be built by hand in limited numbers as the Vanden Plas 4-Litre Princess Limousine, until 1968. All now being parts of British Leyland, the Jaguar Mark X-based Daimler DS420 was initially produced at the Vanden Plas works in Kingsbury, North London then replaced the Vanden Plas Princess within the new, slightly rationalised range. This had been foreseen in 1966 when British Motor Holdings (BMH) had brought BMC and Jaguar together, and stopped development at Vanden Plas of the potential successor car. The limousine was luxuriously appointed with lots of polished wood, optional Mohair rugs and radio with controls in the armrest. Among the long list of available extras were monograms and a flagstaff. The driving compartment was separated from the rear of the car by a division with an optional telephone for the passengers to communicate with the driver. The driving seat was finished in leather but the rear seats were trimmed in cloth, the usual arrangement on many luxury cars of the time. Though not as durable as leather, cloth was considered kinder to passengers' clothes. To increase seating capacity two occasional seats could be folded out of the floor.
The car had independent coil suspension at the front with semi elliptic leaf springs and anti roll bar at the rear. The cam and peg type steering gear had optional power assistance.
An Austin A135 Princess Long-wheelbase Limousine tested by The Motor magazine in 1953 had a top speed of 79 mph (127 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 23.3 seconds. A fuel consumption of 15.1 miles per imperial gallon (18.7 L/100 km; 12.6 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £2480 including taxes.
An automatic Limousine was tested by the British magazine The Motor in 1962 and had a top speed of 86.2 mph (138.7 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 23.5 seconds. A fuel consumption of 15.8 miles per imperial gallon (17.9 L/100 km; 13.2 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £3473 including taxes.