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Prototype Vanden Plas 'Landcrab' set for NEC show

Published 05 October 2017

A one-off Vanden Plas ‘Landcrab’ prototype will be on display at this year’s NEC classic motor show next month. The car, which will be on the Vanden Plas Owners’ Club stand on the weekend of 10-12 November, started life as a 1971 as a Wolseley 18/85.

It was then transformed into a luxurious four-door saloon – but the project was cancelled by the British Leyland management. As with many prototypes, it was destined for the scrap yard but was granted a stay of execution and spent its time working as a factory runabout. The Vanden Plas 1800 is now based in Scotland and is one of five cars on the club’s stand.

Oldest car on show is a Richmond Red Austin A105 - one of just 500 Westminster saloons that in 1958 and 1959 were sent to the Kingsbury Works to receive a luxurious new interior. The result was a car to compete with Rover and Jaguar and this example is one of three left.

The Austin will be joined by the Pininfarina-styled 1960 Vanden Plas 3 Litre Princess and a 1978 1500 saloon - a traditional walnut and leather-trimmed cabin in an Austin Allegro’s body. Youngest vehicle is a 1989 Rover 216 that has fewer than 10,000 miles on the clock.

The Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery, returns to Birmingham’s NEC from Friday 10 to Sunday 12 November. For more information and to buy tickets, visit


Christopher Baglin    on 2 November 2017

Probably an impractical proposition for series production, given the different roofline and frontal treatment, but I'd say the VP 'Landcrab' was a far more handsome vehicle than either the standard 1800 or Wolseley derivatives.

That said, it was still somewhat staid, and looked like a styling treatment more suited to the early 1960's than the decade after- so doubtful whether it would have sold.

And it really wouldn't have suited the early '70's hideous colour palette either- could you imagine this in Harvest Gold, or worse, Limeflower?

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