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
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.
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
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.