The Duke of Gloucester Prince William was born in 1941 and in the sixties he became interested in cars. His first car was a Morris Minor Estate, after a while in 1962 he acquired a Sunbeam Harrington Le Mans among other cars for example a Lotus Elan, Aston Martin, Volvo P1800 and a Jaguar E-Type.

 sports cars and speed was interesting. The Prince went to USA where he learnt to fly and became a pilot. Unfortunately his interest in flying competitions killed him in a crash in 1972 just 30 years old.


A picture of the Harrington Le Mans is in the book about Sunbeams written by Graham Robson with the Prince standing beside. After some googling and hints from friends I got some more pics.

What happened to his Harrington? Andrew Yates was also wondering and writes:

My fascination began in 2010 when I discovered a picture of what I thought was quite possibly the most beautiful Sunbeam car ever created.

It was the Sunbeam Harrington Le Mans and the dapper gentleman standing by its side was HRH Prince William Duke of Gloucester. 

He was dressed in a double breasted suit standing next to a car which was a dark blue colour. In the background was one of the royal palaces.

The car was festooned with what I could only imagine was every optional extra the Harringtons coach works could offer - an egg box grill (not fitted as standard to the HLM), the later style headlamp rings you see on a Sunbeam Tiger II , an aerial for a radio (a substantial costing extra in 1961) and a registration number 626 DLO. If you look carefully at the photos you can see a silver mascot of a hunting dog just in front of the air vents in the front scuttle. I wonder if the mascot still survives?



 On checking with DVLA (the U.K. Department for car registrations, there is no record of the vehicle ever existing. And there is no record it still exists today in the records kept by www. I decided to write to Prince Williams brother Prince Richard to ask if he had an recollection of the car - any photos or any memory of where it ended up? I expected not to receive anything back but to my surprise I received two letters to with the royal coat of arms and a postmark "Buckingham Palace'!

Prince Richard remembered the car! He distinctly remembered William his older brother who he idolized - coming to his boarding school in the car to take him out for lunch. He remembers it was a distinctive blue metallic color but confirmed that was where his mementoes ended.






by Andrew Yates/Jan Iggbom


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