1979 AUSTIN PRINCESS 2200 HL for sale £4,995

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Title 1979 AUSTIN PRINCESS 2200 HL
Price GBP £4,995 Or near offer
Refcode DIY1181148
Mileage (Miles) 74,000
Mileage (KM) 119,091
Colour White
Gearbox type Automatic

One of the last badged HL and fitted as per HLS when new. Must be seen.

First registered on St Valentines Day 1979, this rare Princess 2 was delivered to its first owner in South London passing to the current lady owner (my partner) in 1985 as her everyday car. She liked it so much that she had it restored in the mid-1990s at substantial expense. This included removal of any rust, a full mechanical overhaul and an expensive respray in Toyota White Pearl with contrasting Everflex roof (a colour she thought long and hard about in preference to the original Sienna Brown paintwork). It retains its immaculate interior with plush beige velour seats with armrests and power steering, the same as fitted to the HLS at the time. Even the clock works perfectly.

This high-spec model sports its original BMC E-series, 6-cyl, 2227cc SOHC engine with twin SU carbs that delivered 110 BHP. This is mated to a Borg-Warner 3-speed automatic gearbox. Its remarkably smooth and quiet with good performance and plenty of room inside. Less than 74,000 miles have been covered from new.

The Princess was laid up in a dry garage from 2004 until 2016 when a 2-year recommissioning was started at a cost of some £2,500. The bodywork still remained in excellent condition, so the work mainly included fitting a new battery, rebuilding the brakes, flushing the cooling system, replacing the water pump and hoses, stripping and tuning the carbs, work on the Hydragas suspension, new plugs, points and coil, general greasing and changing all the oils and filters. It has since been MOTd twice with no issues and the current MOT runs until May 2020. It will become tax and MOT-free from 1st January 2020.

These are rare cars now and from what I can see this is the only 1979 Princess 2200 HL Auto left and there are 9 overall, the others being different model years and all on SORN (the DVLA lists 32 cars in total carrying the 2200 badge plus several more of the 4-cylinder model, but the 2200 is widely regarded as the pick of the crop). Built from 1975 to 1981, initially marketed as the 18-22 series, then renamed the Princess, the AD071 design by Harris Mann with Italian styling became known as the Wedge. Its production coincided with a low-point in British car manufacturing (remember the winter of discontent and Maggie Thatcher becoming PM in 1979) when quality and reliability left a lot to be desired! The survivors are therefore all the more surprising and to some they represent icons of that era.

In March 1978 it was reported After testing 118 cars over the past two years, Autocar have still not been able to find a British car they rate higher than the Princess 2200 HLS. We advertised the Princess in 2018 and Classic Car Weekly came to appraise the car for an article in which they said such things as: performance proves brisk for such a large car, the exterior finish remains excellent and rare, keenly priced and far more attractive than we remember, with hindsight. We were asking £5,995 at the time.

The history file is substantial with many manuals, sales literature, tax discs and MOT certificates back to 1985, invoices and restoration photos. It also comes with its original toolkit, handbook and a wide selection of NOS spares.

One point to mention is that the respray did not include the engine bay (see photo), so although this is quite well detailed, it remains in the original brown as does the internal boot area. The brown and cream do however complement each other rather well.

A rare car in excellent condition, this must be one of the best in existence and a cheap route into classic car motoring. With advancing years, the current long-term owner wishes it to go to a good home where it will be looked after and used more than is currently the case.

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Pulborough, West Sussex
United Kingdom

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