One of the most illustrious of Britain's coachbuilders, chiefly remembered for its sublime vintage Bentleys, the firm of Vanden Plas was acquired by BMC in 1946 and reinvented as a marque some years later. In the 1960s and '70s the name was applied to top-of-the-range versions of Austin-Morris models, most notably the 1100/1300. Vanden Plas in London re-equipped the car with the kind of luxurious interior long associated with the firm, using plentiful wood-veneer trim and leather upholstery, together with a distinctive grille and their own badging. The engine specified was the same twin-carburettor unit fitted to the MG 1100/1300, the 1.3-litre 65bhp version being good enough for a top speed of 90mph. Today the Vanden Plas is by far the most collectible of the 1100/1300 family and is highly sought after.
Finished in Mallard Green with beige interior, this exceptional example was purchased new from Brown's of Loughton by Williams & Glyn's Bank for the sole use of a Mr Jones, as confirmed by the original bills of sale and his son's letter on file. Kept garaged and serviced annually throughout its life, this accident-free vehicle has covered 83,800 miles from new, in recent years being driven for only a few hundred miles annually. 'WVX 292L' benefits from extensive renovation, the coachwork having been completely restored and repainted in 1987 and the underside Waxolyed in 2003 (invoices available).
This one-owner car was purchased by the current vendor at Bonhams' Harrogate sale in November 2012 (Lot 529) and since acquisition has been totally re-sprayed. In addition, the upholstery has been refurbished and any pitted chromed parts re-plated as necessary. Described as in 1st class order, 'WVX 292L' comes with its original handbook, sundry invoices, MoT to 2nd September 2013 and Swansea V5 document.