John Capon spells out exactly what it is that makes the “Wedge” floats his boat.
Imagine a young lad of ten. The year is 1975. The place Exeter (Summerland Street to be precise) and the time…an ordinary Saturday afternoon out shopping with parents. Yes, that was me of course.
Across the road, there it was. I had never seen anything so modern. It was as if a space ship had landed in the centre of town. It was dark red in colour with beige interior and looked light years ahead of my Dad’s MK 1 Cortina. As anybody from a not such rich background can tell you, seeing a brand new model of a brand new car which you know your family could never afford is a to experience a feeling of seeing something which is quite unobtainable but you look on in awe and wonder anyway. It is a bit like looking at the best offerings from the most exotic manufacturers when you grow up. marvelous, but out of reach for most of us. And if anybody reading this does not understand what I mean, well you were what I would have seen as a rich kid! But I was not. This WAS my Aston Martin!
As I grew up into my teenage years Princesses were, of course, a common sight on our roads and when I was 19 in 1984 I bought my first one! A Morris 1800 wedge in dark metallic blue with pale beige interior. Long MOT and good nick, but with a missing windscreen and leaking coolant out the side of the head. A second hand screen and a tin of “Bars Leaks” later and she was all up and running again. I should point out that I was no longer “in love” with wedges by now, although I DID still like them. But this was transport…and good comfortable reliable transport, too!
|Across the road, there it was. I had never seen
anything so modern. It was as if a space ship had
landed in the centre of town.
I had sevaral more wedges throught the 80’s. A Brooklands Green 2200HL manual and a Sandglow 2000HL I remember particularly and drove many more as I worked in the motor trade at the time. I always liked them and thought they were a lot of car for the money, which of course they were. With the early nineties came a career change completely unrelated to the car trade and being a little more prosperous I forgot about wedges for ten years or so.
And then in 2000 I saw one driving along. It was bright orange and in very good condition. I could not remember having seen one for a very long time and all of a sudden I was back to being ten again.
I wanted one!
My search did not take long. I kept my eyes open a little bit but the only time I looked at one was in March 2001 and I bought the first one I saw. My black 2200HLS auto which at the time of writing I still own . Now I find myself always on the lookout for Princess related literature or parts and indeed the cars themselves and made friends with other people with the same morbid interests! At the classic car shows in the summer the Princess draws more interest than most, probably because they are all but forgotten by many people but “Uncle Sid used to have one of those”. The Princess will always raise a smile.
I still keep a collection of various Leyland cars but it is “the exciting and up to the minute wedge shape” (quote the Haynes manual) which holds the most fascination for me.