Princess/Ambassador

The cars : Princess/Ambassador development history

The cars : Princess/Ambassador development history

The Princess never actually started out as such – but a marque-confused midliner to replace the slow-selling Landcrab. However, BL’s wedge-shaped odyssey didn’t sell that well, either, although that was more down to the poor reputation of the company that built it – and early build niggles – than any weakness in the product itself. […]

Tested : Princess vs Granada vs Renault 20

Tested : Princess vs Granada vs Renault 20

After the Princess received its O-Series engine in 1978, it was finally capable of battling with the rest of the best of the full-sized European opposition. The main target was the base model Ford Granada, but the Europeans were strong in this sector, too. Keith Adams compares the Renault 20 and Ford Granada against the […]

By November 28, 2013 74 Comments Read More →
Technical : Hydragas explained

Technical : Hydragas explained

Hydragas suspension was one of the quiet achievements pioneered and refined by British Leyland – and yet, it never received the praise it deserved. KEITH ADAMS briefly explains how the system works. Pioneer that led nowhere… SINCE the introduction of the Mini in 1959, BL’s predecessor, the British Motor Corporation (BMC), had been right at […]

By December 11, 2012 13 Comments Read More →
Video : 18-22 Series development on video

Video : 18-22 Series development on video

Keith Adams It’s a shame that car manufacturers rarely release videos like this – ones that follow the design process and engineering development of a new car from its conception. Okay, so the Post-Ryder British Leyland Motor Corporation was doing its best to stay afloat in 1975, but this video clearly shows that the Princess […]

By September 18, 2012 21 Comments Read More →
Blog : New openings, 30 years on

Blog : New openings, 30 years on

Kevin Davis It may not be the most revered product from Austin-Morris, but this month the Austin Ambassador celebrates its 30th anniversary.  Back in 1980 the marketplace was changing. Vauxhall’s next Cavalier would be a hatchback and Ford’s Cortina replacement, the Sierra, would also be a five-door. Austin-Morris realised that the lack of a fifth […]

Blog : Clubbed to death

Blog : Clubbed to death

Kevin Davis The Princess Club 100 Special is surely the rarest of rare Princesses, rarer, even, than the much sought after Wolseley. The Club 100 was an internal Austin-Morris product brought about by the need to provide a car for their top 100 performing dealer principals, known as the ‘Club 100’. Rewards typically included holidays […]

By February 21, 2012 38 Comments Read More →
In memoriam : Austin 1800/2200HL

In memoriam : Austin 1800/2200HL

Keith Adams The continuing series of features about cars on the endangered list in the UK, according to data supplied by the brilliant How Many Left? website based on DVLA data. 10: Austin 1800/2200HL One of the most enjoyable aspects about researching the In Memoriam series of articles is searching through lists and lists of […]

By October 15, 2011 45 Comments Read More →
Engines : O-Series

Engines : O-Series

The O-Series was designed to act as the company’s mid-range engine mainstay for the late 1970s and beyond. If at first you don’t succeed… The formation of Austin-Morris from the ashes of BMC in 1969 allowed BLMC’s product planners to focus on the demands of the middle market, without worrying too much about the more […]

By August 26, 2011 4 Comments Read More →
The cars : Princess 1.8D missed opportunity?

The cars : Princess 1.8D missed opportunity?

BL’s most important mid-sized car for a decade was a mid-1970s technical tour de force, but what the Princess lacked was a diesel version. But 50 were built, and went out testing. The diesel Princess The Princess went on sale in March 1975, it wasn’t actually called a Princess at all. The wedge shaped saloon […]

Tech : Recharging Maxi spheres

Tech : Recharging Maxi spheres

The main problem with Hydragas is that over time, the sealed units would lose gas and become less effective. Alexander Boucke describes the steps involved in getting your Hydragas suspended car back into rude health From 1977/78, Maxis leaving Cowley no longer used the Hydrolastic suspension system, having been upgraded to the more advanced Hydragas […]

Timeline : Princess/Ambassador

The Princess saw many detailed changes during its life – and here, we catalogue them for your enjoyment. This timeline, compiled by Chris Bird, has put the car’s production history in the UK into factual order. Developing the beast Year Month Details 1975 March 18-22 Series 4-door saloon range introduced. Available as Austin 1800, 1800 […]

Woodall Nicholson Kirklees

In the mid-1970s, Woodall Nicholson bravely took on the Princess… IT has to be said that the Princess would not be the first car to spring to mind if considering a stretch-conversion, not least due to its rising shoulder-line, which would surely result in rather awkward lines. Well, coachbuilders Woodall Nicholson were not daunted: after […]

Torcars Princess Estate

The Torcars Princess was sold through the franchised BL dealer network, and was covered by the BL’s Supercover warranty. The text and pictures below have been taken from the Torcars brochures. A Torcars conversion designed to meet the growing demand for five-door saloons – and what a fifth door this is! The original sleek wedge […]

Crayford Princess Estate

And here is the car that the Princess should always have been: Crayford produced its own hatchback versions of the 18-22 series/Princess, but at a time when the five-door saloon was still a rarity, they announced their product as an estate car.

Princess Special Six

The Special Six version of the Princess was a perfect range-topper… And thanks to Stephen Harper, we have some new images of the design themes for its side graphics. The sleekest of the sleek The Princess had been on sale a mere two years when the Special Six Automatic made an appearance on the marketplace. […]

Concepts and prototypes : Triplex 10-20 Glassback

This car is an AROnline favourite, and this one still exists at the British Motor Heritage Centre at Gaydon, Warwickshire.

Gallery : Princess Countryman

If a hatcback would have improved the versatility of the Princess, just think what an estate version could have offered. Picture supplied by Chris Collin

Buying guide : Princess/Ambassador

The Princess is one of those iconic cars that was ahead of the opposition, but really only became recognised in the last few years, once it slipped under the classic car umbrella. KEITH ADAMS gives you a quick run-down on what you should look for when buying yourself a nice family-sized slice of wedge. Availability […]

Concepts and prototypes : Princess

Below are some pictures showing the development of ADO71 – or Diablo, as it was known in the early stages. Wedge development Slippery wedge… Three-box alternative Frontal treatments Interior designs

Crayford Princess Estate

Crayford Princess Estate

And here is the car that the Princess should always have been: Crayford produced its own hatchback versions of the 18-22 series/Princess, but at a time when the five-door saloon was still a rarity, they announced their product as an estate car. This car is based on a Morris 1800. The numberplate reads “1822 SERIES […]