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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:07 am 
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The Torcars Princess Estate was sold through the franchised BL dealer network, and was covered by the BL’s Supercover warranty.
The Princess and Leyland 18-22 series before it were crying out for a hatchback rear end. The shape implied that Harris Mann’s design team wanted one – and he pretty much said as much: ‘That was conceived as a five door,’ he said back in a 2004 interview. ‘If you look at the rear, it’s the ideal shape for a hatchback. But we were told that would take away the major selling point of the Maxi. In today’s climate, you just can’t understand a decision like that. It was a boo-boo. By the time the Ambassador came along with a hatchback, it was all just far too late.’
Luckily for Princess fans who wanted a hatchback version from 1976, they were able to get in touch with either Crayford in Kent or Torcars of Devon, who were able to retrofit that opening rear end they so desired to their own Princess:-
https://www.aronline.co.uk/the-converte ... -estate-2/

Austin Princess 2200 HLS Torcars estate:-
https://www.autoscout24.nl/aanbod/austi ... cldtidx=15

A contemporary road test:-
(If you read the first page, the next pages can be found by clicking links on the bottom of the page).
https://www.flickriver.com/photos/trigg ... 164188774/

Crayford Princess Estate
Crayford produced its own hatchback versions of the 18-22 series/Princess, but at a time when the five-door saloon was still a rarity, it announced its product as an estate car. Here’s what we know about the Crayford Princess Estate…
https://www.aronline.co.uk/the-converte ... ss-estate/


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:15 pm 
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I think it was also Crayford who produced the hatchback version of the landcrab 1800. I remember seeing a couple of those running around locally back in the day. The shape of the landcrab didn't lend itself to the conversion as well as the Princess did unfortunately.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:19 pm 
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Crayford also did a neat 1100 hatchback conversion (see photo) and a company called Mystique did an even cooler one on a 2 door shell using an MGB GT tailgate


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:28 pm 
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I think Creech Motors, a BL dealer used to make a 1300 with a MGB GT Tailgate. A man G Fry I think was his name. I own his MGC GT that he restored in the early 1970s!


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:37 pm 
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Someone I used to know had a black Torcars Princess 2200 and used it to tow his racing Mini with it. Such a great tow car - the Princess was so underrated. Never fast or exciting, it had the most fabulous ride and seats.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:12 am 
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BMC missed a trick, never been a massive fan of 1100/1300 shape but this MG tailgate gate changes things......turns it into a fast back, GT type design....
Still find it a bit baffling BMC didnt introduce hatchbacks earlier, other people had obviously spotted how well it could work on some of their cars..
Attachment:
A9413BE2-0E80-4685-8EDA-DED27451A89E.jpeg


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:54 am 
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Exminiman wrote:
BMC missed a trick, never been a massive fan of 1100/1300 shape but this MG tailgate gate changes things......turns it into a fast back, GT type design....
Still find it a bit baffling BMC didnt introduce hatchbacks earlier, other people had obviously spotted how well it could work on some of their cars..
Attachment:
A9413BE2-0E80-4685-8EDA-DED27451A89E.jpeg


I wonder how much it might have had to do with the cost of re-engineering to overcome the resulting loss of structural rigidity?????

Cheers, Ian


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:24 am 
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1071 S wrote:
Exminiman wrote:
BMC missed a trick, never been a massive fan of 1100/1300 shape but this MG tailgate gate changes things......turns it into a fast back, GT type design....
Still find it a bit baffling BMC didnt introduce hatchbacks earlier, other people had obviously spotted how well it could work on some of their cars..
Attachment:
A9413BE2-0E80-4685-8EDA-DED27451A89E.jpeg


I wonder how much it might have had to do with the cost of re-engineering to overcome the resulting loss of structural rigidity?????

Cheers, Ian


Yes, but thats development.........in theory, maybe, better looking, more versatile car would sell more units, making more profit and paying for development.

Take your point, though, investing in the product did not seem to be BMCs priority.......its a shame they didnt follow, or have the opportunity to follow the German and French manufactures.......


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:46 am 
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They DID make an estate version lets not forget. AND the Maxi of course.........So they did have a fairly comprehensive range of cars really. Ultimately it was their build quality rather than the range of models which put me off BL cars for my modern motoring :cry:


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