Monday, July 28, 2008

Down on the street-Boulder Edition

With apologies to the ongoing feature at the blog Jalopnik

A few days ago I was shopping at the Safeway near my house when what to my wondering eyes should appear but one of these motoring through the parking lot.

I have to say I frantically dug into my pockets in an attempt to activate the camera in my phone before it disappeared. No Luck. My head is full of a lot of old English cars and I recognized the DNA but for the life of me I couldn't come up with a name. Bugged the hell out of me to tell the truth. So imagine my surprise when I pulled into Costco for the weekly stockup and saw this at the pumps.

I quickly pulled to the curb to interrogate. Turns out there was a good reason I didn't recognize it. This was a true Vanden Plas Princess nee Austin A90. And there are less than 3400 of them in creation. Probably far less given that most of them stayed in the UK (the queen had one for a limo), sheet metal in the 50's and 60's had a shelf life of about 5 years and the activity of the tinworm in that clime is relentless.

This survivor has had the British lump of a six removed and replaced with the drivetrain from a Nissan 280Z thus making life a lot sunnier for all but the purists. My favorite part was the interior. With a real bench seat in front! I'm such a sucker for that.

Now it would be hard to advocate the use of obscure, low volume English cars as a green solution. Or even a reasonable transportation solution. But if you think about the amount of energy involved in making a new automobile you might make a case for automotive recycling of this sort. You can read more about this car at where there are a large number of strange transplants revealed in exquisite detail.


ClassicTraffic said...

Phillip - indeed a magnificent example of a 3 liter Vanden Plas Princess. Now you should look out for its successor, the Vanden Plas Princess 4L R. The 'R' stands for Rolls-Royce, it having a 4 liter R-R engine fitted. Only 6,500 were made, of which 4,500 were shipped to US and quite a few to Australia and South Africa, so not many left for the UK market. Fortunately, I have one!

pilypas said...

Thanks for adding in that information classictraffic. Please feel free to email me and let me know how you found the blog and just how smitten you are with things old and British.