The Princess Brides!
Since I've owned my current Princess over the last one and a half years, it has done 3 weddings and one 40th Birthday Drive.
Prior to that the 'Old Green Hulk' my previous experience with this model was used for a member of the GCVC wedding.
This year the Princess has 2 weddings to do, one of which will be mine in early October, when I tie the knot with my lovely Fianc'ee Elaine.
So why the Princess?
Well, they never built that many of the old girls so they are quite rare old barges,
It was a joint venture between BMC and Rolls Royce, who at the time wanted a smaller entry level car to widen their market potential. And despite what many classic boffins will tell you, the FB60 straight six engine used in the Princess did not see service in any other vehicle! That was the B40 used in various military vehicles in the late 1940's
Well the project flopped and BMC decided to go it alone and Badge the car as a Princess 4Ltr 'R' (for Rolls Royce) and sell it as the top of the range model with coachwork by Vanden Plas.
The Big Austin was not a success; early cars were unreliable and expensive to buy!
My car was built in November 1964, but did not find a buyer until 6th April 1966, when it was purchased by a Reverend Louis Heston of Holy Cross Church in Harlow, it would seem it remained in his hands until 1983, after which it's history becomes a bit blurred, finally it was restored about 10 years ago and then put into storage.And finally fell into my evil clutches in January 2008, with just 31,000 miles on the clock!
The thing is, they are really nice cars to own and drive, it has real charm, and let's face it a bo'na fi'de Rolls Royce engine up front!
It has lashings of Walnut veneer inside and who alone knows how many moo cows gave up their skins to line the seats!
It has proper fold down picnic tables, rear under seat heating,sound proofing and bags of room in the back, and big padded arm chair style seats up front, sort of like driving around in a gentle mens club on wheels!
So what's wrong with the Silver Shadow?
The Silver Shadow was a fine car! The problem is that over the years their image has become tarnished! For a kick off they can rust with a vengeance, I went with a pal of mine to take a look at one for sale in Jersey, and boy was it rough! When you lifted the carpets there was nothing between you and the road beneath!
And you can pick up a tatty running one for as little as £2000 sums up really how far these old Rollers have sunk! And so many of this model have seen service as wedding hire cars in various states of disrepair that they are more likely to be associated with CHAV style coupling and hen nights, than ultimate luxury motors.
So if you want to turn up to your big day in a car with an interior that stinks of Vomit, Carpet Cleaner and cheap Champagne then the Silver Shadow it the car for you!
If you want to arrive in dignified style however
go for the Princess 4 litre 'R'