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Leyland Princess
Austin Princess

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Princess
Vehicle Model

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Wikipedia: Princess (car)

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Merchandise
A car manufactured by British Leyland and sold under its own marque (1975-1981) as well as under the Austin marque.

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Princess (car) page on 25 September 2018, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Princess is a family car which was produced in the United Kingdom by the Austin-Morris division of British Leyland from 1975 until 1981 (1982 in New Zealand.) The car inherited a front-wheel drive / transverse engine configuration from its predecessor, the BMC ADO17 range. This was still unusual in Europe for full-sized family cars and gave the Princess a cabin space advantage when compared with similarly sized cars from competing manufacturers.

The car, which was given the design code ADO71, was originally marketed as the Austin / Morris / Wolseley 18–22 series. In 1975 the range was renamed "Princess". This was a new marque created by British Leyland although it had previously been used as a model name on the Austin Princess limousine from 1947 to 1956, and the Vanden Plas Princess. The Princess is often referred to, incorrectly, as the Austin Princess. Although this name was not used in the UK market, it was used in New Zealand. The car later appeared in revamped form as the Austin Ambassador, which was produced from 1981 until 1984 and only ever sold in Britain and Ireland.

Princess sales, although initially strong, were tailing off by the end of the 1970s. Some of its competitors had gained a versatile fifth door which the Princess lacked, though Harris Mann originally designed the car with a hatch and the medium large-car sector fell victim to a poor economic climate further compounded by the OPEC oil crisis of the day. It was somewhere between the Ford Cortina and Ford Granada in terms of size, being designed to compete with more expensive versions of the Cortina as well as entry-level versions of the Granada. British Leyland restyled the Princess with a boot so that it would not compete with their existing SD1 and Maxi designs.

Total production amounted to 224,942 units.


Photographs

Leyland Princess 2000 Model Kit by Heller Leyland Princess 2000 Model Kit by Heller
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
View photo of Leyland Princess 2000 Model Kit by Heller - 2.6MB


Merchandise

Type & Item #NameDetails
Model Kit - Heller 180Leyland Princess 20001:43 scale


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