September 2012 Magazine.







WEDGE WORLD is the magazine of the
Princess & Ambassador Owners Club.

Secretary: Harry Parker, 20 Maxstoke Close, Dosthill,
Tamworth, Staffordshire. B77 1NP

 If you have a general query /enquiry please send an SAE.
Editor :
Open Position �all copy to

Web site:
Club Email:
Member�s area access. User name: member, Password.  screwdriver

Club Phone:
07801 445189. (Please respect Harry�s time when calling
s he is responsible for many aspects of running the club).

Spares: The Club hold a nominal selection of popular spares, if this does
not fullefil your requirement contact Terry Miller on
01775 767999. If Terry
can not meet your needs then try the internet, you like us may be surprised 
 as to the strange things that come up for offer especially on Ebay.


This club and its officers reserve the right to edit or not print Articles
submitted to the magazine, and website forum. Content of articles is not
necessarily endorsed by the club and officers but is the license of the article authors.

              Next Rally: To be arranged





Contents for Edition 52           September 2012.  

       3.  Editorial.

       5. Exhausts.

       9.  Visit to Dr Moulton�s Home.

      15.  Ebay Wedges.

      17. Rally Report - Peterborough.

      23. Wedge Mart.


A Warm Welcome to the following new members.

 Colin Gould                      Princess 1.8 HL                  Swindon.
Ian Foster     Princess 1.7 HL      Limavady, Co. Londonderry

Front Cover image:
Dr Alex Moulton explaining Hydrogas Suspension

 Rear Cover Image:
Wedges at the recent BMC/BL Day Peterborough.






To date, 2012 has been a very uneventful for Princess and Ambassador Owners.  This now seems to have changed.  In this issue, we report on the very recent BMC/BL Peterborough Rally held last Sunday � 5th August, and, thanks to member David Wicks, who attended the Dr Moulton rally on July 29th at Dr Moultons home close by Bradford on Avon, Nr Bath, and let us have his interesting report with photographs.

One concern is that exhausts for our cars a no longer available from motor spares suppliers. Please read the report in this issue, and if you have any information or advice that might help to resolve this problem, please let us know as soon as possible.  I am presently trying to arrange a visit to MIJ Performance Exhausts, Walsall, to see if they can help. 

The turnout of members to the BL/BMC rally at Peterborough last Sunday was far less than usual for this very popular event - probably due to a combination of wet weather and high petrol prices.  I clearly recall we had 13 Wedges at this rally in 2011.  Must say I felt sorry for Derek Pearson and his wife � who had driven 220 miles, and must have spent over �100 on petrol, only to find three other wedges present.  Many thanks to Derek, Keith Wilson, Harold Richardson, and Dan Nichols for attending and getting wet.

May I suggest we again arrange a late season get together at Coventry Transport Museum � late October / early November time. The museum is situated mid country, and (to keep costs down) admission is free. If your Wedge will be sorned for the winter, then come in whatever vehicle you have on the road.  Again, please let us know if you would be interested in attending, we will them make the necessary booking, and report in the next magazine

We are please to tell you that at this date, we have two additional members compared to the same date last year. Membership total to date � 62, and there are still a small number who are almost certain to re-join.  We thank you for your continuing support as we enter the club�s sixteenth year and hopefully we will exceed last years final total of seventy.

To maintain the privacy of the website members area, we have again changed to entry password to screwdriver. Username remains member. This change will be published on page one of all future club magazines






A few weeks ago, and at the request of Dr. Moulton�s event organisers, we tried to locate an Ambassador to attend the event on July 29th without success.  This begs the question � Where have they all gone?  So, this morning I opened up the How Many Left websites for Austin Ambassador and Princess. Results for early 2012 are shown below with the same for the end of 2007.



1.7 L
1.7 HL
1.7 HL Auto
2.0 HL
2.0HL Auto
2.0HLS Auto
VDP Auto










HL Auto
HLS Auto







At the end of 2007 the results were





So now we know how many are left.  Probably many Wedges met their end with the scrapage scheme a few years ago. Great shame.




A club member from Co. Durham has asked where he can get a rear section exhaust for his Princess2, as his local stockist is no longer able to supply.  It seems that the days have now gone when we could take our Wedges down to Kwik Fit or Halfords and get a full new exhaust system fitted for �49.  My first idea was � contact the supplier I had used for the past 25 years, to see if they could help. Unfortunately, their search only produced a blank screen.  Next idea � contact the local Rover dealer.  No luck, had gone, (now selling carpets).  Next, ask Terry Miller, who confirmed the above to be the current situation. However, Terry suggested trying Earlpart, as they are able to supply the complete range for all Princess and Ambassador models. Five minutes on Google produced the following

EARLPART Ltd - The Classic Car Specialists.
Austin 1800 HL  (18-22 ser Wedge) 1975
Front Pipe                                         �79.03
Tailpipe & 2 boxes                            �209.03

Austin Princess 2200 HL, HLS Manual only, 1975-78 (18-22 Ser Wedge)
Front pipe �connecting pipe              �99.19
Front pipe (RH Short)                        �33.68
Tailpipe and 2 boxes                       �209.03

Austin Princess 2200 HL, HLS Auto only, 1975-78 (18-22 Ser Wedge)
Front pipe �connecting pipe             �99.19
Front pipe (RH Short)                       �33.68
Tailpipe and 2 boxes                      �209.03

Austin Princess MK2,  2200 HL, HLS Manual only, 1978-81 (18-22 Ser Wedge)
Front pipe �connecting pipe            �99.19
Front pipe (RH Short)                      �33.68
Tailpipe and 2 boxes                     �209.03

Austin Ambassador 1.7L, 1.7HL, 2.0L, 2.0HLS, VDP 2.0, Manual & Auto, March 1982-84
Front pipe, twin pipes                    �150.80
Rear tailpipe & box (2 boxes)         �209.03








Earlpart continued,
We manufacture exhausts to original specifications, we still use imperial measurements, which we believe makes our exhausts 'fit' and sound better. Whilst we keep a stock of more popular models other exhausts we manufacture to order, whilst trying to keep production times to a minimum this maybe up to two weeks at busy times. We can also offer a fitting service at our Heanor premises. The exhausts below are those we have patterns for, we can make other models if you can supply an old exhaust we can use as a pattern, in many cases we will give you a discount for supplying the pattern.
All the prices below are for mild steel exhausts, we can also supply these products in stainless steel normally at a 60% premium to the quoted price.
All prices quoted include VAT but do not include Postage & Packaging. International and National mail order serviced, where possible same day dispatch.

Please also note, Earlpart prices are for mild steel exhausts.  If you want Stainless Steel, prices up by 60%. It seems that they supply the same rear section for all models � with the front pipes being different.

A further internet search came up with an offer from MIJ Performance Exhausts, Walsall, West Midlands. as follows.

Subject: RE: Website Enquiry
Dear Mr Parker.
Thank you for your enquiry about our services.  This is Jay from MIJ
Performance, Walsall. Based on your initial enquiry I am pleased to provide the following quotation to you:-

The downpipe-back stainless steel exhaust system (mid & rear section) you've requested for your Austin Ambassador will cost �294.99 this is fully inclusive of fuel discount (�25), VAT & fitting. I have included a round tailpipe in the quotation.  Should you wish you can choose an alternative or upgrade (various twin tailpipes etc.) from our extensive range of over 40 tailpipes

We carry all the necessary parts needed to build your exhaust system in
stock and as a guide it should take no longer than 2 - 3 hrs to build & fit the system to your vehicle






If you choose to wait with your car, we have a customer lounge with refreshments, SKY TV/DVD as well as internet access. We are also only a few minutes walk from the city centre should you decide to go shopping etc. whilst we work on your car

The benefit of having a custom-built exhaust system is that you can tell us
how you would like the new exhaust to sound.  Your exhaust can be fabricated to sound from quiet to full sport. Our most popular choice is a mid sport setup, this gives the best of both worlds, non-intrusive but achieves the sporty sound you want from your car upon applying the throttle

If you do have any further queries with the details I've provided or you
would like to go ahead and make a booking, then please call me on 01922 645 646 or reply back by email. I look forward to hearing from you and would like to thank you again for your enquiry.

Best Regards, Jay. MIJ Perormance.Exhausts.


We have asked MIJ if they are able to quote for supply only, and at what cost.  We await their reply.
Another company offering stainless steel exhausts for Princess and Ambassador models is, CCW tools, based in Heighington, Lincoln found by a Google search for Austin Princess Stainless Steel Exhausts. Their cost for Princess 2 models - �335.95, Ambassador - �362.83. They also offer price match, so if you get a lower quote elsewhere, they will more than match.
They do not advertise exhaust systems for 2.2 models.

Pete's Advice-

Remember too, that all systems currently around (even the Unipart parts - N.O.S. parts), will be aftermarket, and not Original Equipment. As such, they'll be "compromised" in one or more aspects, against an original system.

Getting the "flanges" made to join the downpipes to the manifold, would require specialist machines - do they have these? I'd be interested to see a system they'd produced, and see how well (or not) it fitted a car, plus how the car drove/sounded!








New mild steel exhaust systems are no longer being manufactured by companies such as Bosal or Timax, for distribution through motor spares suppliers. However, there are still companies able to supply these items, but at greatly increased cost to the purchaser, for example, Earlpart or CCW � and no doubt there are others.

(We also bear in mind that these items presently being offered may in fact be old stock � purchased from larger manufacturers before ceasing production, in which case they may not be available for to long). Hopefully these systems are of good quality, and will last.

So, perhaps now would be a good time to change to a stainless steel exhaust system with a lifetime guarantee?  From what information I have gathered to date, these are manufactured by smallish local companies (such as MIJ Performance Exhausts � Walsall) who also fit them to your vehicle. If you are interested in this option, you will need to find and contact a local company who could manufacture and fit a custom-built exhaust system for you, and at what cost.  Also, ask what grade of stainless steel they would be supplying. Having spoken to MIJ, I gather they would supply and fit a three-section system, manufactured from 409 grade stainless steel for my Ambassador for �294.99 to replace the traditional two section mild steel set-up currently fitted.

My spare mild steel two section exhaust.

As there is little doubt that we will all need to replace our exhaust system within the coming few years, so (as a club) we need to be able to advise members on this subject.  With this in mind, it would be helpful if you have any knowledge of suppliers, please let us know, and any information � particularly on cost, performance, and quality would be most helpful.





Dr. Moulton Home Visit � 29th July 2012.

On Sunday 29th July, this very special event took place at the home of Dr. Alex Moulton � the highly talented engineer who designed and developed suspension systems for many cars produced in the second half of the last century, mainly by the British Motor Corporation, British Leyland, and later by Rover.  Dr. Moulton is also known worldwide for his innovative bicycle designs, and has a small factory producing Moulton bicycles close by his home in Wiltshire.  The Sunday meeting was organised by Spencer Hall, aided by his wife Jan. (Spencer is also Treasurer for the Landcrab Owners Club).  Members of other clubs were also to be seen with their cars, all of which have Moulton designed Hydrolastic suspension systems.

A gaggle of Moultons outside the museum.

Amongst others, The Princess and Ambassador Owners Club were asked to provide one Princess and Ambassador for display.  Unfortunately an Ambassador was not to be found in time, but the club was extremely well represented by David Wicks with his Princess 2.2 HLS, and another fine looking gold Princess, owned by a club member.  Our sincere thanks to both attending members, and to Dave, who provided the following photographs and words.

David writes as follows,
�Dr Moulton was on top form. He is a very likeable man and really does enjoy having visitors like this, although as you can see from the pictures, he is a very frail 92 year old now. Frail only in body though, I think, as he






is still very sharp of mind and is quite jolly. It was a great privilege to meet such an icon and there is a sense that you are in the presence of  living automotive history, comparable to meeting someone like Henry Ford or Alec Issigonis�.

Examples from the range of Moulton suspended cars were arranged in the driveway opposite the front door of the Hall and Dr Moulton came out and spoke to us and answered questions for about an Hour. As you can see, HTA was chosen to be amongst the select few of these cars and I am very proud of that.

Dr Moulton explains a Hydragas displacer.

Probably the real car of the show though, was Alex Moultons own Mini Cooper test vehicle, you can just see it tucked in beside the Austin 3 litre. This is the car in which Moulton tested various settings of the prototype hydrolastic suspension, it is equipped with only two seats one of which slides from front to rear and in which the tester can monitor the suspension performance over various road deformities. We were told that the car is valued at �250,000!





Display ready for Dr Moulton�s address.


Selection of cars at gatehouse





The Great Man poses between two iconic cars.

He is right you know!





Handy piece of kit when you are 92

The ultimate in bikes






Mint HL owned by a fellow PAOC member.

The day wasn�t just about cars and bikes though as we had the chance to visit the museum and the grounds of the Great Hall � the Cycle Factory was open for viewing and we all had a chance to ride a bike round the test track.

 Regards, Dave.



Ebay Cars.

Princess 2.2 HLS 1979.  Manual Transmission � 24, 950 recorded miles. Opening bid on June 16, �0.99 with hefty reserve. 12 months MOT from day of sale. Sold for �2000 after 28 bids on June 23


1977 Princess 2.2 HL in Reynard metallic with manual transmission.
31,000-recorded miles - Starting bid of �500 on June 16. MOT to May 2013. Sold 23 June for �1,750 after 18 bids.

Princess 2.2 HLS offered for sale again on July 13 without reserve. Manual Transmission, 48,500 recorded miles. Now in Penzance.
Sold for �1,320 after 28 bids.

Ambassador 2.0 HL  1982. with 12 months MOT, and 48,973 recorded miles. Gold metallic paintwork. Said to be in great original condition. Opening bid of �600.
Sold for �600 on July 31.





1971 Princess 2.2 HLS. From Frome � Somerset.  Requires restoration. Offered for sale on Aug 7. In need of full restoration.
Auction ended with no sale after 20 bids � reached �299 on August 7


Princess 2.0 HL. First listed on 5 Aug with buy it now price of �1,100. 114,500 recorded miles, and recent repaint. Location � Kircaldy, Fife.
Removed from sale on 5 Aug � item no longer available.


Classic Car Insurance.
In late April this year, we were contacted Mark Dunkley of Heritage Classic Car Insurance, Edgbaston, Birmingham � asking if their insurance services could be of interest our club members. As my Ambassador insurance renewal falls due on August 5th, I asked for a quotation, which they were unable to give at that time, but asked me to contact themselves for a quote nearer my renewal date.

The recent arrival of my renewal quote (�113.68) from Adrian Flux prompted me to contact Heritage for a quote, with which I was more than pleased to go.

 Might I suggest that you give Heritage a call when your renewal becomes due. They can be contacted on 0845 330 0660 - you will then have made contact with Holly Brown � a very pleasant and helpful lady. Or, go to  I am sure you will be pleased with the outcome, and will be offered a generous discount for your PAOC members.





19th Annual BMC/BL Gathering - Peterborough.

Having gassed up with �45.26 of Morrisons best fuel on the Saturday afternoon, Phil and me set off at 9.50 am for the longest trip of the year for my Ambassador. In fact this was the first time for a year the car had been out of our street. So, with a few tools, a jack, and a carton of transmission oil, we set off in quite fine dry weather.  Other than missing the turn off for the A605 from the A14, the journey was quite pleasant and event free.  Phil turned the sat nav on at the point where the A14 hits the A1M, and travelled the last 10 miles under sat nav guidance � arriving at Nene Park at 12 30.  Aided by site marshals, we quickly found the PAOC display area where we met up with Dan Nichols with his pre-production blue Princess, Derek Pearson, with his wife, and immaculate Princess 2.2HLS, who had again travelled from Co. Durham (220 each way), old friend Keith Wilson with his Ambassador, and as always, Harold Richardson in his smart princess. By this time, the rain had set in, and all visitors were sitting in their cars drinking tea from  flasks.  Within minutes, Dan Nichols (who had driven from Hyde, Cheshire, appeared outside our car, accompanied by another young gentleman.  Both promptly entered our rear seat area, where we all remained chatting for half an hour or so. See picture below!!

Windscreen view of three Maxis - next stand.

After half an hour sheltering, I got myself out to greet Harold, Derek and Keith, before attempting to get a few photos. Despite the heavy rain, quite a number of rally visitors � all with brollies,  were found venturing onto our patch  and admiring what they saw.






As the rain had given up for a for a while, I spent the next half an hour or so with camera both on our display area and the rest of the park. If you would care to view all, then go to -

Harold Richardson's Princess.

After an hour or so sitting watching the rain fall, Phil and I decided it was time to head towards home.  We left at around 2.0pm with sat nav ready and working, which directed us towards the A605 at the start of an un-eventful journey back to Tamworth.
My total distance for the day - 194 miles.




Keith Wilson's Ambassador.

Derek Pearson�s  Princess � 220 miles away from home.







Terry Miller - also trying to keep dry.





Dan Nichols Rescue Princess 1800 � 1974

On the day my Ambassador was in running well - my route was mainly motorway (M6/A1M), or dual carriageway (A14) allowing driving at near 70mph.  I have since calculated my fuel consumption � 25.46, with petrol at 5.91 per gallon - 7.66 gallons used.  Seems to be about right for a 2.0 litre �O� series. Thankfully my leaky automatic transmission presented no problems on the day.
Despite the poor weather, Phil and I enjoyed first day our day since Longbridge.






I�ve just replaced the tailgate struts on my Ambassador.

 It took 10 minutes and a small screwdriver.

Most of the time was spent in trying to find out where to put the screwdriver

Be very careful to support the tailgate throughout the job. It�s very heavy and can cause a lot of damage.

My existing struts have a small insert which has to be prized out. Then it was a case of brute strength to detach the strut, carefully supporting the tailgate. Both ends of the strut have identical fittings.

I changed one strut at a time.


 The new strut has a spring pin to hold it in position. Until you get used to it, it is a delicate job to insert. I dropped it three times on the first attempt. After that it went in very easily.




Make very sure that the new strut is firmly attached to the ball on the tailgate and body. Then insert the pin. I had to lift the tailgate to its fullest extent to fit the other end of the strut.

And that's about it.

Taking the old struts off seems to be the main problem. There may be different types of fitting.

The supplier is:
                        SGS Engineering (UK) Ltd
                        A6 Cranmer Road
                        West Meadows Estate
                        DE21 6JL

                         Tel:                  01332 226290
                        Web:               www.

Their invoice details are:
                      Austin Ambassador Tailgate / Boot Gas Strut
                      Subtotal �29.98
                      Delivery �5.30
                      VAT �7.06
                      Grand Total �42.34








Club Spares for sale.

Ambassador Front Disc Pads
Princess Front Disc Pads
Princess and Ambassador Rear Brake Shoes
Rear Cross tube Mountings
Front Suspension Lower Arm Rear Bushes
Cover Sills (RH Only)
Ambassador Rear Brake Cylinder Repair Kits.
Princess Rear Brake Cylinders (VECO)
Front Suspension Steering Ball Joints (QH)
Thermostats (O) Series 88 Degrees.
Ambassador Twin Carb Air Filter Elements
Cambelts for (O) Series Engines
Ambassador rear Brake Cylinders (VECO)
Front Brake Discs
Factory Recon Outer CV Joints
Lucas CB Points
Lucas Condensers