‘Landcrab’ prototype to feature at British car show

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Wolseley 1800 didn't go into production | Motor show photo

In 1971, a Wolseley 18/85 was transformed into a one-off prototype or concept vehicle, an elegant four-window sedan its creators hoped would become the next Vanden Plas model.

Nicknamed the “Landcrab,” the car wasn’t approved for production by the management of British Leyland. But it was pressed into service as a service vehicle used at the factory and thus escaped the fate of so many such vehicles, scrappage.

From November 10-12, the Landcrab will be the centerpiece of the Vanden Plas Owners’ Club display at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show at the Birmingham NEC in England.

Officially known as the Vanden Plas 1800, the car will travel from its garage in Scotland for the show, where it will be joined by four other vehicles on the owners’ club stand.

Those other cars include a late ‘50s Richmond Red Austin A105, a 1960 Pininfarina-designed 3-liter Princess, a 1978 1500 sedan and a 1989 Rover 216.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

1 COMMENT

  1. The Vanden Plas prototype shown in fact was the BMC Australia designed and built 6 cylinder Austin Tasman. British BMC simply imported several examples and grafted on Austin 1800 wings along with new bonnet and Vanden Plas styled front panel. How can it be called a "prototype" when in reality it was an existing production vehicle simply fitted with modified front sheet metal.

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