1:43 Vanguard VA10207 - Leyland Princess 2, 2.0 HL, Snapdragon Yellow, '40th Anniversary' Die-Cast Model £19.99
The radical looking Harris Mann designed 'wedge' was originally launched as the Austin, Morris and Wolseley 18/22 Series in March 1975 then quickly rechristened 'Princess by Leyland' when British Leyland rationalised their badges. Originally designed as a hatchback, it actually has a traditional boot because BL's planners worried that, with a tailgate, it would steal sales from the older Maxi. Its ride, handling and comfort were praised when launched but its gearbox, engines and build quality were criticised. The Princess 2 of July 1978 addressed some of these issues with new 1.7 or 2.0-litre O-Series OHC units. Almost 250,000 Princesses were produced before it was re-engineered in 1982 into the hatchback Austin Ambassador.
The 1980 Princess 2 automatic, modelled here, is one of a batch of Snapdragon Yellow Princesses made on the production line at Cowley in response to demand as, although the colour was available on most BL cars, it was never officially offered on the Princess' colour charts. It sat in a dealership in Ipswich for over 18 months after being produced but was eventually registered in September 1981 and has been owned since 2003 by Southampton-based Kevin Davis, the Chairman of www.leylandprincess.co.uk, an online club. He has re-sprayed the car as the paint had been polished through, and fitted the Leyland Special Tuning twin-carburettor conversion which has improved the performance. This 39,000 mile example remains in good original condition and has never been welded.
Engine: 1993cc 4IL SOHC
0-60mph: 14.6 seconds
Max Speed: 98mph