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Indian Vanguard Feature

Phase 1 Vanguard in India

Hello Phil,

It's been quite some time since I last contributed any news about Standard cars in India for your site......!

This time I've come up with some info./pics. on what seems to me as a Standard Vanguard Phase I in the city of Visakhapatnam (a.k.a Vizag) in Southern India (pics. attached).

It's been sitting outside an apartment building in a locality (just 15 min. walking distance from our home!) for an apparently long time, as even the regn. number has been washed away by the rains!

I got to know about this car from a gent named Mr. Parkinson, who's a local repair garage owner and very much a vintage/classic car enthusiast.

He told me that he got to know about it some time before from it's caretaker, who had bought a WWII Jeep with his help. It turns out that the car belonged to a friend of his who went away abroad, leaving the car in his care.

And when he was first shown this car, Mr. Parkinson, despite not having been into Standards until then, was very desirous of buying it on the spot!

He was willing to pay an amount of 18,000 rupees, considering that the car is entirely original, right down to the fuel tank filler cap!

However, a friend of his, who saw the car alongwith him, advised Mr. Parkinson against it as considering the state of the body, he would have to spend nearly triple the amount in restoring just the body! And so he ultimately (& unfortunately) gave up on it!

Nevertheless, it's a real pity to see such an original & complete car junking away unnecessarily because of a negligent owner!

That too when Vanguards are by & large a rare sight in India today (this is the first time in my life I ever saw one 'in the flesh'!).....

I'm told by Mr. Parkinson that this car has had the carburettor changed and is fitted with a 6-cyl. engine! when the Phase I were certainly 4-cyl. and besides, no 6-cyl. Vanguard ever made it to India!

Also if you notice the bonnet side, it has a 'Standard' badge fitted.......I thought Phase I & IIs had a 'Vanguard' badge on either bonnet sides?

I couldn't get a pic. of the front as it has been parked too close to the barbed wire fence at the front but I could see it had a newer, non-original pair of orange lens indicators.

I reckon it's too late to save this car now but nevertheless if it still makes for interesting viewing, do feel free to upload these pics./info. in your site! All the pics. were taken by myself (only today!).

Any further inputs/comments welcome!

Regards, Shyam

Hi Shyam,

Many thanks for the excellent photos of the Vanguard,  it is indeed a Phase 1 and an early export model, probably pre 1950 -  if you can get the commission number, I can confirm exactly when.  Its what we call a long-door model, i.e. the doors overlap the sills which was a feature only on early cars, I cant see  the front but as you say it has separate indicators/sidelights  then it isn't one of the very earliest, which had sidelights in the headlights.   Cars in your country deteriorate much differently to here, rust is the problem here, but sun is your problem! The bodywork on yours is really excellent and easily restorable, its rare to see such good sills in the UK because they are exposed to so much rain and salt in winter here. However, the sun seems to have damaged the inside of the  car much more than ours, and I guess because of that it means someone appears to have covered the dashboard in a fabric. Even that has become very faded. over time!

Its by no means to late to save this car - look at this recent restoration of a Phase 1

Its a shame that you can't find someone to take the car on, it would make interesting transport for someone!

I will feature it on the website soon. Kind regards and keep up the Standard hunting!


Phil Homer

Ian Leggett adds the following comment on badges:;

"Standard" script were used on all Phase 1/1a and the first batch of Series 2 before the word "Vanguard" was used. 

I am aware that there are other cars and information that could be added to this site to make it more comprehensive, so if you have material and photographs, please let me know.  Please send me, Phil Homer, a message at: Phil Homer