"The Vanden Plas Princess Hearse - 4 litre straight six"



Damien DeVille owned this Vanden Plas Princess hearse from February 1986 to December 1999.

I customised the interior by removing the bier and fitting thick underlay and carpets, wood panelling, an 8 speaker stereo system with pre-amp, 3 mahogany curtain rails and 8 custom made thick velvet curtains.

I blew the head gasket on 3 occasions. rebuilt the engine along with one of my neighbours (who had a lathe in his garden shed). I fitted a new water pump, 2 thermostats, 1 hydraulic ram, 3 windscreen wiper motors, 1 new piston and O ring and a starter motor spring. The cylinder head was skimmed at Sutton Rebore twice with new valve guides being fitted my me. I even gound in the 12 valves by hand using a lapping tool and grinding paste.

Gig-wise, we used it for the early Nosferatu UK Tours in 1991 & 1992 and even drove it through the night to Paris for a halloween concert in 1993. It was put into storage at a farm in Redhill in 1994 and used sporadically up until the engine seized in 1999. It was then sold to Introcar for spares when repairing the engine became uneconomically viable.