THE CAR FEATURED IN THIS WEBSITE HAS BEEN SOLD
Unfortunately, I had no choice but to sell the car. I've re-instated this web site for the benefit of enthusiasts and hope it will be of some help.
Hi, and thanks for visiting my web site.
NAVIGATING THE SITE
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A BIT ABOUT ME AND MY CAR
I live in Morecambe, Lancashire, in the United Kingdom. I was born in the area but lived in London for 15 years.
This site is mainly about my 1974 Series II Daimler Double-Six Vanden Plas. The Flagship of the Jaguar/Daimler fleet, it was quite exclusive in its time and rarely seen these days.
Even today, owners who have more than one car state that they still prefer to drive these older Jags/Daimlers to their modern equivalents.
The design came from the inspired mind of Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons - who was also responsible for other great cars like the Jaguar E-type. He was very proud of this model and regarded it as one of his finest.
I've always thought it one of the most attractive saloon cars ever. As someone once said, "The design is almost organic". Well, they really grow on you once you start driving them.
When the XJ saloons first came out, they were a revelation. They set new standards in performance, ride-comfort and handling... and are still better than many cars of today. So good, in fact, that there is at least one company (see my links page) who specialise in rebuilding and refurbishing them as new cars - but at quite a price!
When the 5.3 litre V12 version appeared, it held the record as the fastest four-door production car in the world at 147m.p.h. and a 0-60m.p.h. time of 7.8 seconds.
Okay, some modern 2.0 litre saloon cars can do similar but they are screaming to the redline in each (manual) gear. Daimlers just whoosh to 60m.p.h. and beyond without the hysterics!
My early carb engine is basically the same as the one fitted in the Series III V12 E-types - but I've got four comfortable seats without much loss in performance and it's a much rarer car!
From 1973 -1978, 1,219 right-hand drive Series 2 Daimler Double Six Vanden Plas were built and 354 left-hand drive. Personally, I know of 38 throughout the world and about 20 in the UK. These cars were built in the Jaguar factory and then sent to the Vanden Plas coachworks for hand-finished trim and paint. They were fitted with superior trim to the mainstream Daimlers and Jaguars. The paintwork was in specific Vanden Plas metallic colours. With those production numbers, there must be more still surviving. Contact me if you have one, or know of any tucked away in a garage or barn somewhere.
The Series 1 version of this car has recently increased in value - I saw someone asking £20,000 for an immaculate one recently (whether he sold it for that is doubtful!). There were around 877 of that model built.
The Series 2 is a much better car to drive, but strangely it doesn't carry quite the same classic car value as the Series 1- well, not yet! I say that because it has improved steering, brakes, air-conditioning, and more ergonomic switchgear. With the same vinyl roofs and special Vanden Plas colours, they look identical except the Series I has a lower bumper and taller grille. I prefer the look of the Series 2 front end. It makes the car look lower, sleeker, and wider. An immaculate 1979 with fuel injection on ebay was for sale at £9,000 recently.
When the Series 3 version came out with the Italian designed squarer, higher roofline, the Vanden Plas coach works had closed down. They had similar interior trim and fittings, but this was fitted at the Jaguar plant. The Series 3 Vanden Plas was not as externally distinctive from other Jaguars and Daimlers compared to the earlier versions. The vinyl roof had gone and the paint colours were the same as mainstream models. Personally, although the Series 3 is a great looking car, I prefer the lower and more rounded roofline of the Series 2.
For those who think the carb engine is too thirsty, my own car is now virtually on a par with the later fuel injected cars (better than some I've come across). Careful tuning as detailed on this web site has improved things considerably.
The photo above was taken shortly after I bought the car. Please note the colour, it’s called Silver Sand but the car had been repainted some years ago and was slightly more gingery than it should have been. The interior is Tuscan - an orangey-tan colour. (Didn’t care much for it at first, but have grown to like it).
I bought the car in May 1999 at a classic car show in Tatton Park. I had been looking for a large, powerful car which I could use at weekends.
When I saw the car I was smitten, especially as it was almost identical to a series 1 Jaguar 4.2 litre that I used to own. However, that car was a bit of a wreck and this was THE top model - the flagship of the range. Sir William Lyons (founder and designer of Jaguar cars) used to drive the same model and in the same colour!
It has five previous owners, four of which I have managed to contact. It had covered 61,000 miles and had documentation to cover most of its life. I've had several enjoyable weekends where I towed my caravan to a nearby site and spent one of the days at a car show.
Its first owner lived in Preston, Lancashire (25 miles from where I live). Other owners lived in Wales, Somerset, and Scotland. I managed to contact the first owner who is now quite advanced in years and rather infirm. It made his day to hear the car was still in existence.
Conversations with other previous owners have helped me to understand the history of the car far more than just looking at the receipts for work done. For example, the engine was rebuilt 2,500 miles prior to my purchase and the gearbox had been swapped.
Now I know the full reasons for the work and this has put my mind at ease with regards the mechanicals. I was a little concerned about a couple of rust bubbles on the sills but took this into account when buying the car... or so I thought. I didn't realise at the time that they had been replaced a few years previously and worse was lurking behind them. It was a cover up job!
In the Bodywork Gallery you'll see photos of the work that has been done since. Quite a lot more than I anticipated…. But worth it!
Continued: More about My Car
This site is for the benefit of enthusiasts. Much of the content is my own to use as you wish. However, some I have collected from various (forgotten) sources in the public domain. If you are the owner of any material used and wish it to be removed or so accredited, please contact me.
Web Site © Double Six Design