The custom-built Middlebridge Scimitar No 5 has gone on display at the Great British Car Journey in Ambergate.
Decorating the bonnet is an emblem of a silver female jockey on a horse, presented to the Princess Royal after her performance in the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games where she competed on the late Queen Elizabeth II’s horse ‘Goodwill’.
Still in remarkable condition, the dark green car has 114,000 miles on the clock and boasts the original exhaust system.
It was the last of eight Scimitars that the princess owned over 52 years and was stored at her Gatcombe Park estate until recently. Due to personal security reasons, she has been unable to drive the car for a number of years. Keen to preserve the classic car, she agreed to its purchase by a Middlebridge Scimitar enthusiast.
Mick Gaughran, chairman of the Middlebridge Enthusiasts Scimitar Set (MESS), said: “Princess Anne loved the car. She was incredibly sad to part with it, but agreed to it on condition that it would be sympathetically restored. The car had been incredibly well looked after and needed minimal work. It is simply stunning. The cars have galvanised steel chassis and fibreglass bodies, so they don’t rot.”
Following the conservation by marque specialists with all works agreed by Gatcombe Park, the Scimitar No 5 is now on display for the foreseeable future at the Great British Car Journey. The car displays the personalised number plate – 1420 H – in honour of a gift that the 1420 Hussars gave to the princess on her 20th birthday. The original number plate was returned to the regiment.
Mick added: “Both the car’s royal and British motoring heritage will be fully appreciated at Great British Car Journey. Scimitar No 5 can now be enjoyed and appreciated by everyone.”
The Scimitar No 5, which was hand built at a plant in Beeston, Nottinghamshire, joins Lord Baden Powell’s Rolls-Royce among 150 classic cars at the museum.
Richard Usher, who founded the museum, said: “I am incredibly grateful that Great British Car Journey has been chosen to display this historically significant car. Not only is it an eighties classic, the car also has an illustrious history and royal provenance and is a wonderful addition to our exhibition.
“It is an absolutely stunning example of a Middlebridge Scimitar and is testament to HRH the Princess Royal’s care for the vehicle that it is in such a good condition, after 114,000 miles of, no doubt, enthusiastic driving!
“I have no doubt it will be much admired by the thousands of visitors who come here each year.”
The former owner of Middlebridge Scimitar Kohji Nakauchi, a huge classic car enthusiast and collector, was there for the handover of the Scimitar No 5 to Great British Car Journey. He said he was “very honoured” to see the car on display in the museum.
To view opening times and purchase discounted entry tickets to the attraction, visit https://greatbritishcarjourney.com.