Austin Princess 4-litre Vanden Plas R
1964 to 1968
3.9 L Rolls-Royce IOE I6
86 in (2,184 mm)
187.75 in (4,769 mm)
68.5 in (1,740 mm)
59 in (1,499 mm)
The Vanden Plas Princess 4-litre R with its Rolls-Royce all-aluminium 175 bhp engine was announced in August 1964. With an unusually high power to weight ratio the car gave easy cruising at 90+ mph and was capable of 112 mph.
The Vanden Plas Princess 4 Liter R was a luxury four-door sedan of the British Motor Corporation (BMC) in the 1960s,This car was a result of a joint BMC / Rolls-Royce project for a smaller Bentley code-named Java. Rolls-Royce finally withdrew from the venture. A need had been perceived for a relatively compact, mass-produced Rolls-Royce. Prototypes were made using the Austin-engineered central portion of the Vanden Plas, with restyled Rolls Royce and Bentley panels front and rear. Neither of these models made it into production, partly due to the successful 1965 introduction of the much larger Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow.
The big change was under the bonnet where there was a result of more than two years technical collaboration between BMC and Rolls-Royce. The aluminium Rolls-Royce FB60 engine was a short-stroke version of the Rolls-Royce Military B: 4, 6 and 8 cylinder units of which more than 30,000 had already been produced The 6-cylinder engine weighed only 450 lb (204 kg). Its cubic capacity was 3.909 litres (239 cu in). Over-square: bore was 95.25 mm (3.8 in), stroke 91.44 mm (3.6 in); with a 7.8:1 compression ratio its output was 175 bhp (130 kW; 177 PS) @4,800 rpm. Twin SU carburettors were fitted. Both block and head were aluminium, tappets were hydraulic self-adjusting operating on overhead inlet and side exhaust valves. The counter-balanced crankshaft ran in seven bearings.
The Vanden Plas Princess 4 Liter R which brought them out in May 1964 as the successor to the Princess 3 Liter . The Pininfarina body was essentially taken over by its predecessor. There were some significant exterior alterations, horizontal taillights and the tail fins were omitted.
Completely new was the 6-cylinder in-line engine with aluminum block that weighed only 450 lb (204 kg) and 3909 cc (239 cu in), the Rolls-Royce FB60 engine had originally developed for a Rolls-Royce project. Its performance was significantly increased with Twin SU carburettors the powere was 129 kW (175 hp) compared to the 3 liter (88 kW / 120 hp), which was reflected not only in improved performance easy cruising, but also in significantly higher fuel consumption with of 15.9 m/imp gal. 13.2 m/US gal, 17.8 1 x 100 km and a max speed of 106 mph. 170.7 km/h with the new automatic transmission from Borg-Warner D8 automatic, hydraulic torque convertor and planetary gears with 3 ratios + reverse. inside quality leather hide upholstered seats with fully reclinable backs and polished walnut fascia , picnic tables for the rear passengers.
max power (SAE): 175 hp at 4,800 rpm
max torque (SAE): 218 1b ft, 30.1 kg m at 3,000 rpm
max engine rpm: 5,000
power-weight ratio: 20.1 lb/hp, 9.1kg/hp
acceleration: standing 1/4 mile 18.9 sec,
O-50 mph (O-80 km/h) 9.3 sec
max speeds: 51 mph, 82.1 km/h in 1st gear; 76 mph, 122.4 km/h in 2nd gear; 106 mph, 170.7 km/h in 3rd gear
The new car was priced on a par with a Jaguar Mark X, just 50% more than its apparent predecessor the 3-litre car. It was a major change of market positioning aimed at the growing prestige and executive market in Europe and the United States. The 4-litre R was replete with polished walnut fascia —padded top and bottom, hide upholstered seats with fully reclinable backs and polished picnic tables for the rear passengers. A new automatic transmission was provided, Borg-Warner model 8, its first use in a British car and Hydrosteer variable ratio power steering accompanied wider tyres. Externally the fog lamps were moved up by the grille, the hindquarters tidied extended and adjusted to look more substantial and the tailfins replaced by small corner-ridges.
- £1,346 (discontinued Vanden Plas Princess Mark II)
- £1,994 Vanden Plas Princess 4-litre R
- £2,022 Jaguar Mark X
- £5,517 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III
The total Vanden Plas Princess 4-litre R produced was around 7,000 and remained in production until 1968, the production was discontinued without successor model. After the merger of a large part of the British auto industry in the British Leyland Motor Corporation , it was decided to leave the luxury car class in future only to be served by Jaguar . There they had just introduced the new Jaguar XJ 6 , next to which there was no room for the Vanden Plas as separate models.
The background to the pricing was that from April 1961 tax relief on company cars was allowed only up to £2,000.
Joint production capacity of 12,000 cars a year was provided, final assembly and hand finishing was at the Vanden Plas works in Kingsbury London.
The Vanden Plas Princess 4-litre R remained in production until 1968, just ahead of BMC's merge into British Leyland. About 6,555 were built. It was the only mass-produced civilian vehicle from another manufacturer ever to use a Rolls-Royce engine.
Vanden Plas Princess 4 Liter R Technical details and specifications (1964-1968)
front, 4 stroke
cylinders: 6, vertical, in line
bore and stroke: 3.75 x 3.60 in, 95.2 x 91.4 mm
engine capacity: 238.53 cu in, 3,909 cu cm
compression ratio: 7.8
cylinder block: light alloy, dry liners
cylinder head: light alloy
crankshaft bearings: 7
valves: 2 per cylinder, overhead inlet, push-rods and rockers, side exhaust, hydraulic tappets
camshafts: I, side; lubrication: gear pump, full flow filter
lubricating system capacity: 16 imp pt, 19.24 1-JS pt, 9.1 1
carburation: 2 SU type HS 8 horizontal carburettors
fuel feed: 2 electric pumps
cooling system: liquid, sealed circuit
driving wheels: rear
gearbox: Borg-Warner D8 automatic, hydraulic torque convertor and planetary gears with 3 ratios + reverse
gearbox ratios: I 2.400, II 1.467, III I, rev 2
gearbox selector lever: steering column
final drive: hypoid bevel
axle ratio: 3.15.
front suspension: independent, wishbones, coil springs, anti-roll bar, lever dampers
rear suspension: rigid axle, semi-elliptic leafsprings, telescopic dampers.
cam and peg, servo
turns of steering wheel lock to lock: 2.60.
turning circle (between walls): 44.3 ft. 13.5 m
front disc, rear drum, servo; area rubbed by linings: front 201 sq in, 1,296.45 sq cm, rear 188.50 sq in
voltage: 12 V
battery: 67 Ah
generator type: dynamo 360 W
ignition distributor: Lucas
DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT
wheel base: 110 in, 2,794 mm
front track 54.90 in, 1,394 mm
rear track: 53.25 in, 1,353 mm
overall length: 188 in, 4,775 mm
overall width: 68.50 in, 1,740 mm
overall height: 59 in, 1,499 mm
ground clearance: 6.75 in, 171 mm
dry weight: 3,506 1b, 1,590 kg
distribution of weight: 53% front axle, 47% rear axle
© Motor car History
Vanden Plas Princess 4 Liter R Service Guide (1964-1968)
fuel type: 98 oct petrol
engine sump oil: 14.50 imp pt. 17.33 US pt, 8.2 1, SAE 1OW-30, change every 6.000 miles, 9,700 km
gearbox oil: 16 imp pt. 19.24 US pt. 9.1 1, automatic transmission fluid, no change recommended
final drive oil: 3 imp pt. 3.59 CIS pt. 1, SAE 80-90, no change recommended
greasing: every 3,000 miles, 4,800 km, 10 points
cooling system capacity: 24.50 imp pt, 29.38 US pt, 13.9 1.
valve timing: inlet opens 27° before tdc and closes 55° after bdc exhaust opens 70° before bdc and closes 14° after tdc,
normal tyre pressure: front 30 psi, 2.1 atm, rear 31 psi, 2.2 atm.
width of rims: 5"
tyres: 7.50 x 13
fuel tank capacity: 16 imp gal, 19.3 US gal, 73 1.
carrying capacity: 1,058 1b, 480 kg
© Motor car History
Maintenance Advanced Data
Members Only ! >> Register here. <<
Models and years covered 1910 to around 2020 all make and years. Car and Commercial vehicles Worldwide including basic to advanced.
Including Below on request for members..
- Engine rebuilds
- Manufacturer recall checks
- Known problems
- Trouble shooting
- Wiring diagrams
- Transmission rebuilds
- Wheel alignment data
- Dimensions and sizes
- Torque wrench settings
- Injection systems
- Cooling system
- Serial number locations