In 1960, Daimler was acquired by a fellow Coventry based company, Jaguar. At that time, Daimler was one of Britain’s oldest automobile manufacturers, and Jaguar one of the newer. It can be easy to dismiss any Daimler built after this point as simply rebadged Jaguars, but Daimler cars often used their own drivetrain and were significantly reengineered to suit their more discerning clientele. Tradition dictated that Daimler have a limousine in their lineup. Jaguar’s takeover meant most Daimler-designed models were gradually discontinued, but the Majestic Major and its new long wheelbase sibling, the DR450, remained in production until well after BMC took control of parent company Jaguar. Daimler remained a popular choice for heads of state and royal families in Britain and around the world.
The Daimler DS420 appeared in 1968 as a replacement for the DR450 and BMC’s other luxury limousine, the Vanden Plas Princess. The DS420 was based on a modified Jaguar Mk 10/420G platform, and utilized the Jag’s 4.2L twin-cam inline six cylinder engine. The DS420 is an impressive beast with a sweeping, elegant body. The bodies were initially made by Vanden Plas, then production was moved to Jaguar’s facility, but throughout production run they remained largely hand built. The DS420 proved popular enough to sustain 24 years of production, and was very commonly used by funeral and wedding services as well as government officials. Over 4,000 units were built from 1968-1992 and the DS420 has the distinction of being the last production car to use Jaguar’s legendary “XK” six-cylinder engine.
This 1987 DS420 is a very well maintained example showing just 20,757 miles since new. It is finished in an elegant shade of dark blue, which perfectly suits the elegant sweeping lines, and is set off by a beautiful cream-beige leather interior. It is exceptionally straight and has been maintained in top condition since new, having always been a private car never used for commercial service. The XK six-cylinder is fuel injected for ease of use and is mated to a heavy duty GM TH400 automatic transmission, as opposed to the TH350 in a standard Jaguar. This is one of only 6 DS420s configured with jump seats and no central divider window. With no divider window, the driver’s seat can slide further back, making this an ideal choice for an enthusiast who enjoys driving as much as being driven. Aforementioned jump seats are upholstered in matching leather and fold out the way, allowing plenty of room to stretch out in the huge, 6-foot wide rear bench seat. A factory-installed television stand is fitted between the front seats. The dark burl wood dash and trim are in very good condition and provide a pleasing contrast to the beige leather. Privacy glass surrounds the passenger compartment as do a set of hand-stitched suede curtains, and Wilton wool carpets and a beautiful suede headlining round out the sumptuous cabin. Rear passengers have individual power window controls, as well as controls for heat air conditioning and the upgraded JVC stereo. The factory cast alloy wheels have been professionally polished and wrapped in whitewall tires, rounding out the classic looks. Whether you choose to drive or be driven, you are sure to arrive in style with this imposing and elegant DS420.
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