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Only Phase1 Vanguard Estate in the UK?

Hello Phil,

I hope you have received the photos I sent to you for scanning a week ago. Here is some info about the car which I promised:


My Vanguard Phase 1 estate was built 14 November 1951, according to British Motor Industry Heritage Trust. As Standard was on the point of changing over to production of the Phase 1A, this perhaps explains why the car has the less bulbous bonnet and the bonnet mascot of the 1A. Since 1983, the earliest one can get records back to from the DVLA, it has had the following registration numbers: LWD 290, ALJ 593A, EM 3000, APR 525A, 17 CRO, WNL 903A and currently KHC 550. Is this a record? If anyone recognises any of these numbers I would be pleased to hear from them.

On 10 October 1983 the car was sold by Michael Freeman Motors, The Camp, Stroud. This sounds as though there might be military connections with the car first being sold to the public; does anyone know anything about this dealer or the address? Vanguard estates were certainly used by by the RAF.

The car's claim to fame is its film career. In 1984 it was owned by The First Film Company in London. It was used in the film 'Dance With a Stranger', made in 1985 and set in 1955, about Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain. It belonged to her lover who she shot, and can be seen several times in the film.

I bought the Vanguard in November 1996 and since then I have rebuilt much of the engine, fitted an overdrive gearbox, flashing indicators, copper brake and petrol pipes and replaced most of the steering and suspension parts. Some chromework has been done (dismantling and reasssembling the Phase 1 grille is fun!) and I have had the front floor, sills and wing lower edges replaced. The interior is tatty and incomplete - I enjoy mechanical rather than cosmetic work.

A problem I have is that the doors are too large for their apertures: they are gradually being reduced in size by rubbing on the surrounding bodywork - not a good state of affairs.

If anyone knows any other history of the car I would be pleased to hear from them.

Tom Dolby

HI Tom,

Thanks for this insight into your rare vehicle. I think yours is the only Phase 1 Vanguard Estate in the UK, but that usually causes a rush of emails to prove me wrong. The only other I have featured is this in India.

If you can help Tom with any info about his Estate, please send it to me and I will pass it on. Tom is also still looking for advice to help him restore his Vanguard Ambulance

Kind regards,