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Austin A135 Hearse / Ambulance

Based upon the A135 long wheelbase Princess DM4 chassis and sharing the same mechanics, Vanden Plas supplied chassis for both ambulance and hearse coachbuilding specialists. The DA2 (Ambulance) and DH2 (Hearse) were made between 1955 and 1960 with the DA3 (Ambulance) and DH3 (Hearse) being made up to 1968.

The chassis was supplied to the coachbuilder in drive-away condition, engine/gearbox/clutch/brakes fitted; toe board and front floor; stepboard; scuttle, excluding windscreen and wipers but including heater and demister; bonnet and top sides, complete; front wings and blanking ends; radiator cowl with chromium plated grille, headlamps; spot lamps; trafficators (semaphore or flashing); front sidelamps; front bumpers complete with overriders; all front end wired complete with instruments, panel and controls.

Crated separately but dispatched with the ambulance chassis was the walnut facia board and fixings. Crated with the hearse in addition to the above was a pair of front doors, panelled, with window winders, locks, etc.

All chassis included the later Princess III type radiator grille introduced in 1953. The DA2 & DH2 chassis contained the Flying 'A' radiator mascot and Austin type hubcaps. The later DA3 & DH3 chassis contained the new Vanden Plas radiator coronet and 'P' hubcaps as seen on the DM4 Limousine.

Two of the companies that built ambulances on the Princess chassis were Herbert Lomas of Manchester and Thomas Startin of Birmingham.

Hearse coachbuilders included Alpe & Saunders, Kew; Arthur Mulliner, Northampton; Bristol Coachbuilders, Bristol; Dotteridge, London; K.W. Bodies, Blackpool; Reall Coachbuilders, Slough; Simpson & Slater, Nottingham; Thomas Startin, Birmingham; Wilcox, Northolt and Woodall Nicholson, Halifax.

The following chassis were produced:-

(DA2) 82; (DA3) 78; (DH2) 181; & (DH3) 433.