Friday, August 9, 2013

Mint Ministerial Motor is a Prime Lot

The Charterhouse classic car auction on Monday 9th September includes a classic Vanden Plas motor car which was used by Prime Minister Harold Wilson in the early 1970’s.

“This Vanden Plas Princess 4 litre was first registered to The Ministry of Public Buildings and Works in 1967. However, it is the vehicles’ association with Harold Wilson in the early 1970’s which makes most interesting.” Commented Matthew Whitney. “As a ministerial car, it was more like something out of Q Department for James Bond, as it was fitted with numerous special tricks such as an automatic gearbox which was fitted with a quick start in case of emergencies!”

The Vanden Plas Princess 4 litre was also fitted with other refinements such as folding rear picnic tables for the PM, rear safety belts, power assisted steering, a radio and wing mirrors. Today, whilst we may not have picnic tables, certainly all the other options put on this car are what we would expect to be standard fittings today, but back in the late 1960’s would all have been costly extras.

Having lived a much pampered life, this Princess has only covered 7,500 miles in 46 years. Finished in Ministry black livery with gold coach lines and a grey leather interior, the car also saw active service in Margaret Thatcher’s campaign in 1978. With such important associations and provenance, combined with being in fabulous condition, it would be a worthy addition to any classic car collection or museum and is estimated at £15,000-20,000 when it goes under the Charterhouse hammer.

Charterhouse is now accepting further entries into this auction of classic car and motorcycles being held at The Royal Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, on Monday 9th September.

To enter a vehicle into this specialist auction, contact Matthew Whitney, Associate Partner, at Charterhouse, The Long Street Salerooms, Sherborne 01935 812277, via email or log on to

Mint Ministerial Motor – a 1967 Vanden Plas Princess 4 litre being sold by Charterhouse Auctioneers on Monday 9th September £15,000-20,000
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For further information regarding this article, please contact Richard Bromell, Partner