My Car Quest

May 27, 2024

Project Car Dreams (While Sheltering In Place…)

Hey, what else do I need?

by Wallace Wyss –

Like a lot of car buffs, my idle time is spent thinking about what car I would build if I had the money.

But the fantasies change, one time it was blonde, I mean at one time is was swoopy doopy sports cars, sort Ferrari-ish or better yet Bizzarrini.

Now in these dark times when it looks like civilization is crumbling I am back to another old fantasy, a four wheel drive limo, sort of vaguely Rolls Royce.

Why four wheel drive? Because there might be times when you have to get away, and having been chased twice (I didn’t stop to ask them what was their beef) I realized you are at a distinct disadvantage having to stick to the pavement.

Austin Princess III DS5

Austin Princess III DS5

And I remember fondly 40 some years ago driving a Vic Hickey modifier Blazer across the desert. No roads, Just me and the cactus.

So why Rolls Royce Silver Cloud? I have always thought of it and the same era Bentleys as sort of elegant statements, particularly the coachbuilt ones by James Young.

Originally I thought convertible. The better to commune with nature, y’know. But now I realize that a body style completely open is too vulnerable to weather or even more injury potential in a rollover but a Sedanca de Ville gives you some open air plus about two thirds of a roof.

Austin Princess III DS5

The Lower Price Alternative – The Austin Princess III DS5

I have priced Rolls Royces for years even got offered a ’50s Wraith for $3000 in the early ’70s. Turned them all down (except a SCIII for $35K I resold and a Bentley S2 DHC which I bought for a customer in NYC) but now even a dented rusty Silver Cloud is $10,000. Excuse me I am still quoting the pre-plague prices, I have a feeling nothing is worth what it was only a few weeks ago in January when Whuhan was just another city in China.

So I am vaguely aware that there are two or three classes of British car that, in the ’50s, aped the Rolls Royce/Bentley style but were much cheaper. You’ve seen them at weddings. A Rolls grille on the Austin and nobody is the wiser.

The brand most favored in this bride foolery is the Austin Princess. I found it there are many models but I’m leaning toward the A135 Laundaulet. Or maybe the one with the dividing window in the middle and I’d do my own convertible top from that window back.

Austin Princess III DS5

Now about the other stuff, a coupla spares at least, an outside jerry can (though I admit that’s gonna detract from the elegance a tad, lots of LED spotlamps, two batteries…knobby truck tires. Air horns. Steel bumper bars. Comp seat belts and harnesses.

Machine gun mounts, (oh sorry I thought this was Guns & Ammo…)

Any suggestions?

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR/ARTIST: For a list of Wallace Wyss’ art prints and URLs to see his work, write


Austin Princess III DS5

Photos compliments of the Vanden Plas Auto Club.

Project Car Dreams (While Sheltering In Place...)
Article Name
Project Car Dreams (While Sheltering In Place...)
So I am vaguely aware that there are two or three classes of British car that, in the '50s, aped the Rolls Royce/Bentley style but were much cheaper. A Rolls grille on the Austin and you have the Austin Princess III DS5.


  1. morris glasser says

    Modern day Alvis.s with Park Ward coachwork looked very much like baby Bentleys at a cheaper cost as well

  2. Reading this has reminded me about a number of Grey Poupon mustard ads I have seen on YouTube, recently. There was the one with what looked like 2 Silver Shadows from the windscreen back, but fakes further forward. One of them even produced what looked like a Gatling gun on the bonnet to shower the car in front with champagne corks. And in another there was a bright white Austin Princess – like you describe in your narrative, – but looking very like those in your pics except for a Rolls-Royce grill on the front.
    So please when you’re equipping your Rolls – why not a Cullinan? – don’t forget your picnic chairs, your picnic basket and your tartan rug, and of course a set of suitable Grey Poupon mustards and sauces.

  3. imwithstoopid says

    This reminded me of some contacts that I’ve had over the years. I always liked the RR SC I (single headlights) for sheer elegance and stateliness, a Cadillac has never come close.
    The 450,500 and 600 series MB sedans were very stately.
    But how many remember the Jaguar Mark XI. I almost got one back in the ’60s. What a wonderful car to sit in as well as drive. It too had the RR styling of the day.
    I believe that when it comes to elegance and creature comforts these cars were the real thing, even without all of the creature comforts of the modern era.
    To own any one of these (and your Princess example) is hard on the ego when you are driving one.
    And thanks for showing the Austin, you are right about it as well as some of the smaller ones.

  4. Wally, take it from me: these cars are horrible to drive (Not just to look at) you’d be better off with a Tiger I tank. I would suggest building something that actually handles on the road.

  5. Maurice, I wasn’t sure if Wally was planning to do much of the driving…..

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