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What Features Distinguish a Vanden Plas?

What Features Distinguish a Vanden Plas?

Mark Moburg

VdP seats have contoured bolsters without pleats around front of base and top of backrest (sort of looks like a horseshoe), with pleated leather insets. Standard seats have pleats that run from front to back of seat bottom and top to bottom of seat back.

VdP supposedly used a higher-quality leather. In '85, according to the catalog, the only color the VdP interior came in was "Doeskin", a very light tan.

VdP seats are leather clear around sides and back, instead of vinyl for those areas not directly in contact with the occupants.

VdP has door pull/armrest separate from map pocket, on both front and back seats.

VdP door pull/armrest has "puddle lamp" with white bottom, red side lens, both front and back doors.

VdP center console is extended about 4 inches further in back seat, has rear cigarette lighter and single chrome-door ashtray (as in front console) set in console extension (right underneath and behind center vent, so ashes can get nicely blown about the rear cabin); rear door ashtrays deleted.

Not very likely you'll find them, but VdP came with goat-hair throw rugs (long, shaggy hair) in front passenger and rear footwells. They didn't last, the first time you got in the car with wet shoes, they were pretty well shot.

You really need to compare side-to-side or in the pictures in the catalog for this one, but VdP instruments are countersunk so that edges of bezels are almost flush with the wood, whereas standard models' instrument bezels stand quite a bit further above the wood. Even the catalog (at least for my '85) doesn't mention this, but when you see the car (or the pictures), you really notice it.

Jim Moody, Peter Rowland and Gregory Andrachuk

Luis Sanchez asks :

Here is a what I hope is not a dumb question: What exactly does "Vanden Plas" mean? What language is it from? I just bought a 1987 VDP.

It's Dutch.› It was the name of a coachmaker.› (And, by the way, the "s" is pronounced.)› At some point Jaguar bought the remains of the company and used the name to badge the US models of what it badged in the UK as Daimlers.› It can't badge them in the US as Daimlers because Mercedes (I think) owns the name here.

Correct me if I'm wrong someone, but I thought Daimler acquired Vanden ›› Plas (or was that Van Den Plas?) before Jaguar acquired Daimler? At ›› least I think there were Daimler cars with the Vanden Plas name before ›› any Jaguar?

Yes.› "bought" is too definite a word for what happened.› I think they came separately into the BL soup, were stirred around a bit, and the rights to the VDP name sort of stuck to Jaguar when it extricated itself from BL.› While I'm hedging, let me retreat a little from my confident assertion that Vanden Plas is Dutch.› After I sent the email, a little voice whispered to me that it may be Belgian.› I don't know if it still matters in these EU days, but at one time it was important to keep the Low Countries distinct.

Vanden Plas is (or was) a coachbuilder of some reputation,› I believe›› that they built Austin Limousines.› It was swallowed up into the British›› Leyland empire,› via BMC and Austin (I think that they were bought by›› Austin). The coachbuilding has long since ceased, and the name only lived›› on in England as a badge on upmarket bewooded versions of humdrum British›› Leyland cars such as the Austin Allegro, Maxi, Maestro etc.› The name was›› also used by Jaguar› in Germany and the USA as a replacement for the›› Daimler moniker, which in those countries is owned by Daimler Benz.› Now,›› Jaguar is the only user of the name, and then only in Germany and the US. I think that the information above is correct, if a little vague.› If›› anyone knows anything else, or can correct me (I am working from memory)›› I would be grateful

For Luis and others: "Vanden Plas" is the name of a very old and respected coachbuilder. They even made some cars under the name of "Vanden Plas Princess, using Rolls Royce engines, having very luxurious interiors, and based on the British Motors Corp. Farina styled saloons in the 60s. But they now are virtually a part of Jaguar, as Fisher Body in the US was part of GM. The name is of Dutch origen. The VDP models in the UK are the topline Daimlers. For export in certain markets where the name Daimler cann ot be used for copyright reasons,(Canada, the US, Germany....) the VDP cars are badged as Jaguars, but they are identical in every other respect. The equivalent Jaguar model in the UK during Series III production was the Sovereign, also exported to certain markets such as Switzerland, Canada, German y I think... The VDP in any case always represents the most luxurious version of the Jaguar and Daimler production, although mechanically they are the same as the other models. In the US the VDP was only a six cylinder car, while in Canada, Germany and the UK it was the 12 cylinder model. The VDP designation was dropped in the Daimler line as well in favour of the Double Six which became the flagship model. The VDP designation was then reserved for expo rt models. The last 1992 Series III Jaguar Vanden Plas 12 cylinder cars are simply gorgeous. At least the last 200 for the Canadian market had the trad ition "individual" style seats with contrasting piping, special paint, and a br as dash plaque giving the number of that particular car out of the 200. Can anyone tell me if this was done in other markets as well? Germany, for example?


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