Standard Vanguard

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Standard Vanguard

1947 - 1958
United Kingdom
4 cyl.
2088 cc
3 spd. man
Top Speed:
79 mph
Number Built:
303,067 (all models)
2 star
There is little known today about the Standard Vanguard - a car that seems to have been forgotten by just about everyone. Nonetheless many Australians owned one - it just seems not many can remember much about them!

Standard was quickly to gain success, and went on to take over Triumph in 1945 - with many of the later Triumph models being fitted with Vanguard engines and transmissions. But it was in 1947 that the Standard Motor Company launched its most famous and successful post-war model - the Vanguard.

The Vanguard was a completely new design, its exterior styling being reminiscent of many contemporary US saloons. The bold four door body featured a distinctive, sloping rear boot lid and an attractive "wrap-around" grille.

Although the Vanguard still had a separate chassis the mechanical specification thoroughly modern and included all-synchromesh gears, front coil suspension and hydraulic brakes. Beneath the Vanguards bonnet sat an all new four cylinder engine of 2088cc complete with overhead valves.

The Vanguard was an instant success and sold well at home and abroad in the all important export markets. Production of the initial Phase I Vanguard ceased in 1952 after 184,799 units had been sold.

Standard launched a revised Vanguard "Phase II" in 1952 to replace its original design. The new model had revised styling which looked more congenital thanks to a "notchback" boot lid and cut-away rear wheel spats.

Apart from having a revised gearchange and hydraulic clutch little else had changed on the Phase II and so the model continued to sell well both in the UK and Australia.

Vanguard Phase II body-styles included two door and four door estate options in addition to the regular Four door saloon style. In saloon format the model gained extra interior space and a larger luggage area, making the car an even more practical choice for post-war motorists. 81074 Vanguard Phase II were manufactured.

The new Phase III Vanguard of 1955 (pictured left) finally broke away from the old "separate" chassis engineering layout of the two previous Vanguard models. The new chassis arrangement also allowed the engine to sit further forward in the body, thus allowing improved interior space.

The Vanguard III also featured revised, modern styling which benefited from a much lower roofline than the older car. The lower roof and unitary construction all helped save weight and improve the cars performance and fuel consumption. The 2088cc Vanguard engine carried over from the earlier model along with the gearbox (although with higher ratios) but was now offered with an optional overdrive unit. 37194 phase III Vanguards were manufactured.

As for the name Standard, well the name was eventually dropped some 60 years after the company was founded.

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