Fancy owning a left-hand drive version of the recently-featured Torcars Princess Estate? Well, now you can, and it could be yours for around €4000 (£3560 at current exchange rates). There are a lot of miles on it, but it’s been meticulously looked after, has an interesting history and was the first car to have its Hydragas displacers recharged by our own Deputy Editor, Alexander Boucke. It’s currently located in Utrecht in Holland, so if you’re going to buy it, why not roll it into a Dutch mini break?
The car is owned by Cees van Hees, a Dutch gentleman with a passion for his Princess. For years he’s been known as ‘Mr Princess’ in the Netherlands, because he’s such a mover in the club scene there. As well as being the driving force behind Holland’s only club supporting the Princess, he was responsible for selling the regalia and club stand at events (below). He did this from the 1990s until the late 2000s.
Cees’ friend, Christiaan Linford says, ‘his Torcars Princess Estate was the ideal vehicle for this role, with its large hatchback. With the rear seats folded down, everything fitted – folding chairs, tables, club promotion, flags, model Princesses, leaflets and banners. The car transported it all!’
Christiaan continues, ‘of course, Mr van Hees was used to selling articles from the back of his Princess, as this is why he bought it in the first place. He travelled all over the country supplying pharmacies and dentists, and this was his company car. When he bought this Princess in 1977, he’d had several British company cars before and they were all white, so the new Princess needed to be white too. Sadly, BL Netherlands did not have a white Princess available within a reasonable time, so it was agreed that a blue car would be painted white at no cost.
‘Soon after delivery, Mr van Hees drove his Princess to Torcars in Devon for its hatchback conversion, and then it was ready for work. Between 1977-1990, the car covered more than 400,000km as his company car. At 260,000km, a Gold Seal engine was fitted – and that is still in the car and running well. After 1990, the Princess led an easier life and was repainted again. Most recently the car received its regassed Hydrolastic displacers, and the body received some welding repairs.’
These days, Mr van Hees is unable to drive the car as much as he would like to and has decided the car needs to go to a new home. It will come with a boot full of documentation as well as some spare parts including one or two new displacers. It’s not perfect, and we’ll forgive it for that given its mileage, and it’s described as needing some attention. But it’s a runner, and will he getting a new MoT (well, the Dutch equivalent) very soon…
The car is in the Netherlands, near Utrecht.
Christiaan adds, ‘Mr van Hees doesn’t have a computer and doesn’t speak much English, so he has asked me to be his contact, but if you come to inspect the car, make sure you have plenty of time to hear all about the white Princess and maybe drive it home too.’
If you’re interested, drop Christiaan an email, and let him know we sent you. His email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.