Tuesday, November 06, 2007

"The most exciting piece of British styling since the war"

Wow. Quite a bold claim for a new car eh? But according to the brochure, that's exactly what The Daily Express newspaper said about this:

The Austin Princess 2. Exciting, apparently.

Yes. The Austin Princess. And here's the proof:


Now, see, whilst I am sure I can reel a list off of british motors that are better looking and all that, they may have had a point about it being "exciting". Back on March 26th 1975 when the original Princess was launched there wasn't really anything quite like it in the same market sector. Look at the shape, ignoring all the usual "it's BL so it must be bad" prejudices. It's crisp, clean and wedgey. There's minimal fussiness - no chrome at all on the grille (I'll ignore the badge-engineered Wolseley and other variants) and that rising waistline gives a really dynamic feel.

Harris Mann got it right. If it had been launched as an Alfa, it'd have been much more widely applauded. Give it two doors, a lower stance and some more aggressive touches and it's better balanced than the GTV6, for example.

Shame about the engines though eh? Wonder if a V6 out of an 800 would fit in there...


Anonymous said...

My mate in High Wycombe had one of these with the doors welded shut and the roof chopped off, painted bright pink with yellow flashes at the front. Shame I've got no pictures. When he bought it, it was advertised as a Maserati lookalike!

Bryan said...

The 1800 might have been a boat anchor, but the 6-cylinder 2200 was silky smooth, and some 40lbs lighter (check your Kimberley story for the details). Just add a turbo... :-)