Written by Nicole Ellan James
Queen Elizabeth II has made six official visits to Jamaica during her reign over the United Kingdom and 14 other Commonwealth realms. After its independence from Britain in 1962, Jamaica has remained a member of the Commonwealth. As Queen of Jamaica, she is represented in the country by a Governor-General.
In March 1966, Queen Elizabeth II visited Jamaica during her Caribbean tour, taking the most in-depth tour of the region for Her Royal Highness. It included 15 destinations, along with the lush island nation of Jamaica.
While in Jamaica, center points of her tour included a civic reception in Charles Square, Montego Bay, Doctor’s Cave Beach and Lucea Square. It is reported that during this visit, the Queen adopted a personal Jamaican flag in her role as Jamaica’s Queen to fly on all occasions when she is present on the island. She has used the flag on subsequent visits.
Commemorating Jamaica’s newfound independence from Britain, one of the Queen’s duties during the tour was attending the Jamaican State Opening of Parliament.
Typically, when the Queen travels, host countries provide appropriate transportation. However, just before Queen Elizabeth II’s arrival on the island, the country’s Crown Agents ordered delivery of this 1966 Vanden Plas Princess Limousine for the Royal Tour.
This Princess Limousine will be offered with No Reserve during the 2022 Las Vegas Auction, held June 30 – July 2 in the West Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Steeped in British Motor Car History, Vanden Plas has long been the automobile of choice for the Royal family. Of all the Vanden Plas Limousines made for them, 10 of the 11 built remain in the Royal Household today.
The limousine was manufactured in 1965 by Vanden Plas Works in Kingsbury, London. After the Queen’s visit, the car remained in Jamacia with the Governor-General Sir Clifford Campbell, to be used as the official State limousine for any subsequent royal visits.
According to the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust and the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace, this Vanden Plas is the only one built with a removable top and convertible section.
This Princess limo has been repainted with a high gloss black and royal grey. It was restored by vintage British motor car experts and is powered by the original 6-cylinder Austin engine with a new Ford carburetor coupled to a 4-speed manual transmission. One unique aspect is that the transmission has a speed specifically used for parades.
This car was restored with additional features, such as air conditioning with front and rear controls. New leather and wood finishings highlight the limousine’s interior. Other upgrades include mechanical and electrical renovations and the change from a 6-Volt to 12-Volt system.
To bring a dash of modern-day convenience, power steering was added along with new brakes and an electric fuel pump.
The car features air-jacks and new chrome throughout the vehicle. It retains the original gauges and is complete with a sliding partition from the driver.
The sale includes a copy of the British Motor Industries Heritage Trust production trace certificate, a letter from Buckingham Palace, the build sheet, and the Bill of Lading from Jamaica to the United States.
Royal pedigree and provenance make this 1966 Vanden Plas Princess Limousine an instantly recognizable State Car for any collection.
For up-to-date information on this vehicle, click HERE.