1964 Vanden Plas Princess 4 Litre R, loads of history, V5C, tax exempt, runs well.
This dignified 4 Litre R
The indicated mileage is 67465, which may be correct but cannot be 100% confirmed ( VDP was dry stored for about 20 years
on the Isle of Wight at some point in its life). The old MOTs suggest it could be right though.
This model was introduced in August 1964, my car was first registered on 14 December 1964. The V5C is present, as is the first (green) card logbook describing its early owners. A copy of the build details from the VDP Owners’ Club confirms that this Sherwood Green car was transported to the VDP works on 25/11/1964 for fitting out, returning to the factory on 30/11/1964 before being despatched to Anstey’s of Maidstone - the supplying dealer - on 2 December 1964.
In addition to the logbooks, the paperwork also includes a few old tax discs, old MOTs (back to 1982, mileage was 53, 305 then), various receipts from the 1980s, and also club magazines from the same era. A book of period roadtests for the 3 Litre & 4 Litre R VDPs is also included, as are two copies of the factory workshop manual. An article from the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club sheds an interesting light on the development of the six-cylinder engine, a unit that was built alongside the R-R V8 at the Crewe factory.
The R-R all-aluminium engine runs very nicely (the fuel is a little stale though), it doesn’t overheat, it holds good oil pressure from cold and once warmed through, plus there are no rattles, smoke, or other apparent issues. I’ve only driven it up and down the drive, but enough to confirm that all the gears select, the brakes and servo work well (don’t stick on), as does the power steering. The battery was u/s so I had to borrow one to run it up, therefore it will need one. Even on the driveway, it’s evident that the engine has a useful amount of poke - when new, this uber-smooth unit produced around 175bhp, making it a surprisingly lively machine.
The gearbox fluid is clean, and doesn’t smell burnt. The air cleaner assembly is with the car (I removed it to check the carburettors).
The interior is usable and presentable, although there are areas that could be improved. The seats would benefit from leather food (but are still very comfortable), and the wood veneer/lacquer is split in places. The headlining for the most part is ok, although the separate 4” strip that goes over the rear screen needs re-fitting (but is included). The original radio still works, and the tool roll and jack are in the boot. The boot carpet and battery covers are present.
All the doors lock, and the keys are with it.
Body & paint.
The bodywork is very sound for the most part, there are a few minor blemishes but for its age, it’s surprisingly solid. The arches are solid, as are the wings, door posts, inner wings and so on. Looking underneath, I can see evidence of older repairs here and there, which are still holding up ok. A small patch, about 2” square, is needed at the rear of the n/s sill for the MOT. The rest of the underside looks fine. The floors beneath the interior carpets are good.