Charles Azanavour was known as the “French Frank Sinatra”. During his 70-year career he recorded more than 1200 songs and sold more than 180 million records, and was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of fame a year before his death in 2017. He was a true superstar. And he owned this 1966 Vanden Plas Princess 1100 from new… Incredibly it’s been stored in his sister’s chateau for decades, and the “carte grise” registration papers are signed by Charles Aznavourian–his real name–along with an autograph to the current (second) owner.
The owner has never driven the Princess, which means the last person at the wheel was Charles Aznavour himself. It’s still on the original registration plates, and the interior still features all the Vanden Plas luxuries, like the famous rear picnic tables. The Princess was based on the Issigonis-designed BMC 1100/1300, which were badged as Austin, Morris, Riley and Wolseley as well as Vanden Plas. It’s going to be offered at the Bonhams Grandes Marques du Grand Palais Sale in Paris on 7 February, during the Rétromobile show.