Club 100 Special
This has to be the most special of all the special edition Princess models, as none of the ‘SP’ cars are known to have survived!
Back in the late 70s/early 80s, BL Cars ran a ‘100 Club’ for their top 100 performing dealer principals. Rewards typically included holidays abroad, etc.
At the end of 1980 the award was to be a top of the range car. At that time, the dealer network was still split very much between Austin Morris and Jaguar Rover Triumph and in the latter case it was a simple matter of awarding a Rover Vanden Plas SD1. However, it was felt that the Austin Morris guys deserved better than ‘just’ a Princess 2200 HLS, so the ‘100 Club’ special edition was created. It was based on the 2200HLS, with the following changes to standard specification:
· Automatic transmission.
· No vinyl on roof or rear quarters, instead the enamelled Princess crown endowed the rear quarter pillars.
· Two tone paintwork: Pewter metallic over Romano Purple (the latter was not a production colour at any time). The split was bordered with black coachline and was made below the car’s waistline, as can be seen in the pictures.
· Velour seat facings in Spanish Rose colour scheme with matching carpets (this colour ‘revived’ from the mid Seventies). The sides and backs of the seats, together with the door trims, however, were trimmed in black vinyl, and the seat backs did not have the usual HLS map pockets.
· Britax electric sliding sunroof with glass panel.
· Smiths ‘Servoglide’ electric window lifts on all four doors.
· Smaller 4-spoke steering wheel as normally fitted to Allegro and Metro HLS models.
· Radiomobile AM radio/stereo cassette player with Dolby noise reduction.
· Unique 14 inch ‘Rimbellishers’ fitted to the wheels (with a square profile, as opposed to the normal rounded items fitted to the HLS). Some cars were fitted with the optional alloy wheels.
There was no badging or script anywhere on the cars to identify them as a special edition.
No sales literature is known to have been published for these cars and only 87 Club 100 Specials were built (as, of course, some of the ‘members’ that year were likely to have received a Rover). There is however a reference to the car on the factory spare parts microfiche. Club 100 members also received a special tie and brief case.
The car pictured has been owned by Paul Vincent since 1994 and has only covered 49,500 miles since new. It originated from a Mann Egerton dealership in Cambridgeshire and is in good unrestored condition.
As only 87 of these versions were built and very few survive an immaculate example can be worth as much as a Wolseley.