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Phil's 1977 Princess 1.8 HL - Time to Say Goodbye


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Top purchase Sir.

I was watching this too only because it was just up the road in Herne Bay and was a bit shocked it finally made such strong money as it was stuck at a £360 for days.

In the early 80's my mates dad had a P reg I.8 Princess in a vivid yellow colour with black vinyl seats,it looked epic compared to 99% of family Saloon cars on offer at the time.

Alas at six years old it already looked scruffy,the front arches were rusted through but it was a nice thing to sit in.

I think the 1800 B series engine was far superior to the later wheezy 1700 O series unit.

Back in the 90's i had a customer with a 1700 Ambasador that was a horrid thing it was a slow,thirsty,lumpy running thing that would run weak or rich depending on what day of the week it was.

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Cheers, yes it was at the top end of what I was prepared to pay but I am hoping that once I have had my fun with it and made a few improvements it would do OK on resale - especially with a better ad & pictures.

I really liked the 2.0 O series I drove but haven't tried the 1.7.  Hopefully the 1.8 is not a complete boat anchor - I would love the idea of an engine swap for something more exciting but I suspect that is well beyond my limited abilities.  I did wonder if, given that it has O-series heritage, a 2.0 T-series turbo would fit but I suspect that would be a hideously complicated undertaking.  Likewise a K-series.

I stand corrected too, I think it's actually a HL, not a base model.

 

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I'd say the B engine would be an advantage. It's well known and tunable so you could have some fun hotting this up but keeping it period original. Lots of books on tuning the B.

Super old car - I saw it for sale so glad it has found a loving owner. Great colour - paint looks ok on the flanks.

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Cheers - realistically I will never actually change the engine, it was only ever a daft thought, I will settle for making sure the one it's got is in good health.

No idea about the Excel but I suspect you're right and it's probably a bit festive inside.

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BRAVE. Would subscribe if I knew how.

I think I agree about the engine. B is well proven and spares and knowledge are plentiful. You're going to have your hands full enough with the car, but I think being a B it's probably one less thing to worry about.

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Nice to see a series 1 car. My dad had a metallic green 1800 HL on a P plate in the mid 80s. It had a reconditioned engine within months of purchase due to oil consumption I think.  Despite that the B series is probably a good choice. Better parts supply as others have said. 

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BOOTIFUL

I reckon if I had one of these nowadays the first thing I'd do with it is get that Ian Kennedy guy off facebook to sort me out with a set of regassed displacers. I've had stacks of wedges back in the day and theyve all had wonderful ride quality but now I think that purely from their age at the time of owning, they probably all had markedly depleted gas pressure in the displacers. A refreshed set (something completely non-existent 10 yrs ago) would almost certainly take the ride comfort to new and previously unattained levels. I would LOVE to try one with that job done, I bet it would be a total revelation.

 

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10 minutes ago, The Mighty Quinn said:

A rubbish copy - maybe someone has the original?

 

 

 

 

IMG_9081.JPG

IMG_9082.JPG

Probably what it needed in the first place? Dear old British Leyland - a car called a Princess...and a Terry and June image - surely nothing can go wrong. I liked the badge engineered versions which IMHO are cooler (not that the car is not cool)

 

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Good buy. A riot of brown 1970's wedge-ness !

I think you've done the right thing getting a B Series instead of O series engined one. As others have said the B Series is uber tunable.

It's funny I didn't used to like the silver dash panel but now think it looks rather cool. I always like the big F*ck off radio speaker that the series 1's had.

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The 1700 works hard in the Princess, I'm told the 1800 B is a better engine and there are articles from back in the day questioning why the O series was developed since it was apparently not much of an improvement over the B in terms of performance.  Definitely a series 1 car, you can tell from the dashboard design, stubbier interior door arm rests, and the full width trim on the boot.  Get your suspension checked and regassed at your earliest convenience, I keep meaning to get mine done and things keep getting in the way of it happening.  Don't be surprised if the rear pivot shafts are totally seized in place when you try and remove the rear displacers, TADTS.

Happy to help in any way I can.  OKK did drive remarkably well given the high mileage and general condition of the thing and was surprisingly solid for the most part, a shame it ended up parted out after a couple of ownership changes.  It had extremely comfortable seats.

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Cracking cars. Had rides in quite a few 1800s -all went well- especially a friends who had one about 4 or 5 years old. He would drive it like  a maniac back in the day. He replaced it with an SD1 3500 which he ultimately blew up at 130 mph due to a leaking rad.

Uncle replaced his 1800 with a 2000. Nicer interior but the engine seemed harsher.

Another friends father had a 2200 HLS when said friend was 18. That went very well indeed and handles surprisingly well. I’d love a 2200 but Princesses are now demanding a well deserved premium.

steve

 

 

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Thanks guys, glad to hear it's a good motor, not sure where I'd got the notion that the 1.8 B wasn't a very good engine - probably that fake news I've heard so much about.  Nothing much will happen with this until the lockdown is relaxed and I can sort collection but I'll keep you posted once things start moving.

Thanks for the advice and offers of help, I'm sure there will be plenty of questions.  This is by far the oldest car I've ever purchased, in theory that should make things simpler in some ways though.  I'm not sure my ODBC scan tool is compatible with these cars.

 

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Yeah but come on it was still a stinker. Thrashy and gutless, specially in a wedge. At least you could stick the 1.8 B series in top at 15mph and then forget about gear changes for the rest of the day, and it was fine with that. 1.7 Ambassadors are dire.

I remember towing a BL1300 on a 2-wheel car trailer behind my Ambassador 1.7 when I was about 18. I set off up this hill near Hadrians wall, I didnt have much of a run-up, and got about 1/4 of the way up then just ran out of steam. It just could not pull the trailer up the hill. Even in 1st gear. i was completely stuck. I had to give up, leave the 'rig' half blocking the road up and and ask a local farmer to help me out of the shit.

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