1963 Standard Vanguard Phase III

1963 Standard Vanguard Phase III

Following the end of World War ll many British car manufacturers rehashed one or more of their pre-war models so they could get back into business as soon as possible. One of the first of the completely new models to go into production post-war was the Standard Vanguard which was introduced in 1947. Pre-war Standard produced a range of models but all this changed when a new one-model policy was initiated with the Vanguard.

The car was an instant success both internationally and in the UK as it offered both spaciousness and a rugged construction at a competitive price. A Phase ll version was introduced from 1953 with a restyled body and bigger doors providing more space for the rear passengers together with a larger capacity boot. This was accomplished by increasing the overall length by 100mm, but retaining the same wheelbase. All Vanguards up to this time had a substantial chassis.

The Phase lll Vanguard was introduced in 1955. It retained the extremely reliable four-cylinder 2088cc wet-liner engine with one small internal change being the fitting of larger inlet valves borrowed from the TR2 engine to improve breathing and resulting in improved power output. As part of the evolution major body changes where introduced. Integral body construction was used with the layout of load carrying members to obtain structural rigidity being almost identical with that of the former Standard Eight and Ten models, both of which had very desirable road-holding qualities.

In earlier Vanguards the rear wheel arches intruded almost to the front edge of the seat, making entry rather difficult. By increasing the wheelbase by 200mm and altering the body dimensions slightly inter-axle seating was accomplished making for a more comfortable cabin with unrestricted entry. For the size of the car the boot was quite large and although of less cubic capacity than the previous models the revised dimensions made it more useful because of its much greater depth. It also had a flat floor as the spare wheel was located underneath and lowered with a hoist, operated by the jack handle.

The Vanguard lll was noteworthy for three major achievements. The integral type of chassis construction, with weight savings on the doors and other body components, resulted in a sizeable reduction in overall weight. The increased wheelbase was well conceived to lower the passenger seating and overall height, bringing about a lowering of the centre of gravity. The net result of both these changes made for a much smoother ride, free from pitch.

Better vision, particularly at the front, which was the result of the use of a curved windscreen and slimmer panels was quite noticeable to all drivers. All this was achieved in an attractive body style which did not have to rely on flashy chromium for effect.

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