The Virtualgaz tribute to the British Leyland Princess and other wedges...
Clive French update: "Hi Gaz, Still enjoy your page. Am waiting for some extra pics on that 1-mile-per-year Princess! Can you amend my email to email@example.com . I found an ex-Kiwi Princess located south of Perth (Aus). Bought it as a running wreck and have transferred the power steering to my black one. What a difference. I have now laid up the Princess in my shed. It's under covers and jacked up. I am now restoring a Rover V8 Coupe. I have also bought a Rover P6B which I use as my daily transport. It's in mint condition. Thankfully, petrol is still half the price as it is in the UK. Hear soon Ta, Clive" (Aug '04)
Clive's superb 1800HLS in Western Australia. The original hoses and transmission are still intact!
The story of how Clive came by a new righthand drive Prinny in Germany is to come - as are the accounts of the 7,000km across-Australia treks he's made in it.
There's certainly no 'rust bucket' status for this one which just goes to show how much of a hostile environment the cold northern hemisphere can be. The short runs have also helped in killing off classics like these pdq. Watch this space for updates or contact Clive direct - firstname.lastname@example.org. Are there any more Aussie Prinnies? Let us know!
Another great Wedgepage full of Prinnies & Ambassadors
JC's 1978 black beauty in Axminster, Devon. It's part of a collection of BL cars and its original keeper had it as his company car while working at a Leyland garage. He used it for about 3 years and covered 47,000 miles. After the death of his wife, it covered only 1 mile per year to the MOT station. Always being garaged, the condition of this wedge is absolutely amazing - combined with the total service history from day one. It is much admired at the shows and of all the cars that JC owns, turns the most heads by far. More pix when the weather improves in Devon!
Q.What do get if you cross a Princess with a mad Swede?
A. A 'convertible' wedge like no other - click to enlarge Fredrik Ekefjard's Prinniolet: "This is what you can do if you live in a climate with short summers and want to make the best of all the sun you can get. Here are some pictures of my 1800HL, made for cruising the Lapland midnight sun!"
too late now....
bolt on some 70's driving lamps and headlight wipers (a Swedish 'must-have')...
...and whitewall tyres...
...and there you have it - Prinny world's scariest beast!
This absolute gem is in Dorset and Peter has only owned the car for 8 months. Prior to this it was owned by the father of a girl who worked at the garage where the car was supplied from and duly became hers when dad gave up driving. email Peter
Has there ever been a more wedgy car design than the Prinny? I don't think so :-
GLY 348T started life as an early Princess2 in June 1979. After 4 years, it became the workhorse of a caravanning gent in Coventry,UK who's careful and loving ownership is the main reason it survived and is on this page. The old boy became ill in 1991 and after his demise in 1999, the Wedge which had stood in the garage for the last 8 years, was rolled out for an MOT by his grandson. The clutch was stuck, the brakes were seized, ball joints dried out and most of the rubber parts were scrapped (or they should've been).....
With a few new bits and pieces, the BL beaut hit the road in August 1999. Within a week the top hose had exploded and the cambelt had disintegrated doing bad things to the engine. Very, very bad things. Unpreturbed, the new owner changed the 3 valves which had been bent, whacked the 'head back on and .nothing .absolutely dead. He lost the loving feeling and gave up on the family heirloom in February 2000 after 99 miles of ownership. Enter VIRTUALGAZ. Some said "It'll never run again" but after a week of grovelling in the dirt and hunching over that incredibly spacious engine bay, the Austin Princess2 1700 HL (finished in envelope brown) finally burst into life with the help of a curious ex-Toyota guru who had taken an unhealthy interest in the Wedge, as well as an extra line of credit to cover the repairs.. The main reason it was very nearly scrapped was that those magnificent new valves had no clearance when using the same old shims (BL's tolerance guide is incredibly vague - the manual says that if the clearances are within 0.008-0.016" then leave well alone!).
Harris Mann's British Leyland Princess is not a car ..it's a way of life. One arm on the window ledge and the other resting on that massive steering wheel, I was in cruise mode as that cam rattled away. Thoughts of Cornwall flashed by .ahh the luxury of it all. Just being in one of these things is like going to a wedding .every day. The dreams lasted 41.6 miles. KER-PING ! The dashboard lights appeared, the steering went all hard, the clock stopped and there was a nasty whiff of hot metal. Dipping the clutch as a reflex action with a flick of the hazard lights switch (as prescribed in the owner's manual of all BL cars), I managed to coast off the motorway and take a tow from Toyota engine guru Bob who was putting his money on bent valves after the woodruff key shearing on the crankshaft pulley - while I was plumping for the slightly more catastrophic crankshaft breakage. On stripdown it was obvious that the camshaft bearings had become clogged by the grandson's liberal use of silicone sealant....
......causing the camshaft to seize (and bend some more valves) due to oil starvation of its end bearing......and main journal - DOH!
GLY is now cruising the streets and motorways once again thanks to a Morris Marina cylinder head courtesy of our friends at CEMA Engineering
Saved from the scrapper, this 2000 GLS will be a nice project........for someone else!
nice back end...
...but the bonnet is going through a reptile stage.
Another Harris Mann classic. Designed to look like the mid-engined rivals of the time such as the Fiat X1/9
This is the rare 'soft-bottom' version. It's a 1977 Speke built basket-case
The Cosmic alloys and 2-litre engine last ran in 1991
What a beauty - 2200 6 cyl. Automatic. Details soon??...
A total restoration in New Zealand - what a guy! And have a look at his wet black one!
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