Stop dreaming and start driving! C&SC tests the classics you can buy. Click here for the full listing – and see below for our expert’s conclusion.
This high-spec Phase 3, originally a Berkshire car though it’s since lost its ‘JB’ registration, presents well in its older paint finished with good chrome.
Up close, the paint has a few sink and water marks, there are some bubbles near the door bottoms and there’s one ding in the right headlight rim, plus a small crease in the bootlid, but the overall appearance is good.
Plugs in the sills suggest rust protection from new, and the floors look never to have been welded, with all original pressings still evident and the spring hangers in good shape.
The wheeltrims are good, and behind the Atlas whitewalls the tyres are newish Hankook Centums with plenty of tread. The exhaust looks sound.
Inside, the carpets were new in 2017, the headlining and dash top are original and smart, and some of the seat vinyl is recent.
There are a few water and age-related marks in the C-post trims, but it is 57 years old.
The parcel shelf wears an aftermarket rear window demister and there’s a useful USB/power connector in the glovebox.
The engine sports two Solex carburettors and twin electric fans. The fluid levels are good, the oil cleanish, and the plugs, coil and fuel filter are new.
It starts easily enough and the 2-litre ‘six’ soon settles down to a creamy idle. It drives like a more modern car, with silky power delivery (it could handle an overdrive, optional on these), a fairly taut ride with no wallowing, and no slop or wander in the fluid-feeling steering.
The all-drum brakes have good bite and pull slightly to the left.
The floor gearchange has decent synchros on second and third, but oddly it’s a bit baulky into top.
Everything works, with warm oil pressure showing just under 50psi at tickover and up to 70psi on the move, the ammeter well in credit and temperature sitting under the ‘normal’ range.
If you stop for a minute or two, the fans cut in as soon as the needle reaches the ‘8’ of ‘85’ (ºC).
It has an MoT, though it doesn’t need one, current until the end of August and will be sold with spare keys, jack and tools, sundry bills, plus a handbook, workshop manual and spare parts catalogue.
OUR EXPERT’S SUMMARY
EXTERIOR Solid; decent paint and chrome
INTERIOR Good; some original, some new
MECHANICALS Well sorted and a good drive
SHOULD I BUY IT?
Why not? It’s a good-quality alternative to a Ford Zephyr or Zodiac at less money, plus drives surprisingly well and is very usable
For Unusual, drives sweetly and is strangely stylish in a Studebaker sort of way
Against Needs a new battery
Standard Vanguard Luxury 6 factfile
- Year 1961
- Recorded mileage 79,340
- Asking price £7950
- Vendor Pioneer Automobiles, near Newbury; tel: 07711 509600/01635 248158
When it was new
- Price £1021
- Max power 80bhp
- Max torque 113lb ft
- 0-60mph 17 secs
- Top speed 87mph
- Mpg 25