Early in its life, Vanden Plas was particularly linked with Bentley and built coachwork for these exclusive cars. In 1946 though, it was bought by Austin who used the firm to build its luxury Princess model. The cachet of the name prompted Austin – now part of the British Motor Corporation – to set Vanden Plas up as a separate marque in 1960.
A series of large and well-appointed machines followed, although the offshoot also produced some small machines based on BMC’s 1100/1300 range and British Leyland’s Allegro. The latter was not an aesthetic success. After its London plant closed in 1979, Vanden Plas merely became a trim level on certain Austins, Rovers and Jaguars.