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Sold 1981 Austin Princess HL

1981 Austin Princess HL




This Nelson assembled wedge car has to be one of the BEST KEPT SECRETS in New Zealand. It was not owned - it was treasured.

The Princess is a family car that was produced in the United Kingdom by British Leyland from 1975 until 1981. The car inherited a front wheel drive / transverse engine configuration from its predecessor, the BMC ADO17 range. This was still unusual in Europe for full-sized family cars and gave the Princess a cabin space advantage when compared with similarly sized cars from competing manufacturers.

The car was originally marketed as the Austin / Wolseley / Morris 18–22 series. In 1975 the range was renamed "Princess". This was a new marque created by British Leyland although it had previously been used as a model name on the Austin Princess limousine from 1947 to 1956. The Princess is often referred to as the Austin Princess, but this name was not used in the UK market.

It was, however, used in New Zealand. NZ assembly stopped in 1982 after 1908 of the 2Ltr model (mixed auto and manual) had been assembled. The car later appeared in revamped form as the Austin Ambassador, which was produced from 1982 until 1984 and only ever sold in Britain.

In July 1978, the Princess was given a revamp and renamed the Princess 2. The main change was the replacement of the old 1800 cc B Series engine with the new O Series engine. This car has a single SU carburettor; Brakes are four pot discs at front and drum at rear.  ‘HL’ denotes ‘highline’ with vinyl roof and higher specifications.


  • This ORIGINAL and now RARE car literally drives just like it did when it was brand new. It will be close to impossible to find a better example.
  • A wonderful surviving "Austin Princess" 2 2.0HL in New Zealand. The Princess was assembled in New Zealand (as 1800 and later Princess 2 2000) and (unlike the UK) was officially marketed and badged as "an Austin" (badge photo in comments). This car counts as "manufactured in the UK and exported in kit form for overseas assembly" but many components and items of trim were sourced in New Zealand, such as glass, electrics, fabrics and vinyl. Assembly continued a little longer than UK production, with the Ambassador never being introduced in NZ.
  • In previous years, suspension fluid was replaced, the cooling system was fully serviced and all hoses replaced and the lower coolant pipe under the radiator and the thermo fan switch are new. Rear suspension rubber check straps are new.  An oil and filter change brought all up to date (even used a genuine dealer "Frontline" service label).
  • Body is pretty much perfect. Factory Paint is VERY GOOD. Engine bay looks like the car has never worked. Interior is LIKE NEW.

If you’re looking for a piece of Kiwiana; a British Leyland ’70s kitsch, now is the time to buy, as there are few good ones left. They are distinctive cars with looks you cannot escape, whether you like it or not. I’m unsure as to what kind of statement you would be making owning and driving an Austin Princess, but you would be making a big statement of some sort.


Will be sold WOF'd and Registered if sold in New Zealand.


This vehicle has been sold

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DISCLAIMER (Please Read)


Waimak Classic Cars accepts that the vehicle being sold must be of “acceptable quality” in terms of section 7 of the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 (the Act) having regard to “the nature of the goods”.

Waimak Classic Cars is not aware of any specific defects with the vehicle, however (a) such a vehicle being a classic vehicle may have mechanical breakdowns, electrical failures at inconvenient times and maintenance costs being part of and parcel of ownership of a classic car; (b) reliability is a combination of the particular nature of the classic vehicle, how it is being driven, how it has been maintained, and to a certain extent luck.

The Purchaser acknowledges that the vehicle is being sold as a classic car; that in terms of the Act and the nature of the goods, the vehicle, is an old car that may have faults, unlike a modern motor vehicle.

The Purchaser is encouraged to personally fully inspect the vehicle and/or to have the vehicle inspected, fully assessed and maintained by an experienced classic car mechanic.

The Purchaser acknowledges that they have read and fully understand this notification and the nature of a car which is many years old.

For more information about this vehicle, please contact us Monday to Friday between 9:00am and 6:00pm (New Zealand Standard Time) on +64 (0) 3 310-6485 / +64 (0) 274 990-020. Alternatively, you may email us at info@waimakclassiccars.co.nz anytime.

PLEASE NOTE: Waimak Classic Cars is Not a car yard dealer type of operation. As a result, we do not operate through fixed opening hours and viewing is By Appointment Only.