Even after 40 years, this Daimler Vanden Plas has lost not a bit of its class and elegance!
A mere 830 cars were built by Jaguar in the combination of long wheel base and the XK engine. This specimen was delivered on 9 November 1976 in Birmingham. Not only is the complete ownership history known, it is also a matching numbers vehicle.
While originally painted in morello cherry, the car now bears the colour scheme of the contemporaneous Vanden Plas sales brochure, aubergine with champagne-coloured leather interior. There’s no denying that this is a breathtakingly beautiful luxury sedan, with its walnut veneer dashboard and door panels, all in very good state of preservation, as well as the elegant vinyl roof. The leather interior is in good shape, only the driver’s seat displays more noticeable traces of use.
The current owner purchased the Vanden Plas in 1996 in England, where the car was subjected to a major overhaul and converted to left-hand drive. In 2007, the engine was reconditioned in Germany, and the gearbox one year later. In total, over € 27,000 have reportedly been spent on maintenance and repairs. The car has valid technical approval until 10/2017, German registration documents and historic plates. A recent Classic Data appraisal estimated the replacement value of this condition 2 Daimler at € 18,800.
“An immensely impressive motor car”, just like the brochure has it.
The XJ may be regarded as Sir William Lyons’ masterpiece. It was the last car the co-founder of the Jaguar company designed, and what he had created in 1968 turned out to be perennial: The luxury sedan was built over 24 years with only minor modifications regarding the bodywork.
The XJ effectively replaced not only the S series, but the 420 and Mk II along with it, becoming the sole Jaguar saloon and one of the best known British motorcars. At first, only the XJ6 was available, but in 1972, a 12-cylinder version was added, the XJ12, at that time the world’s only mass-produced 12-cylinder sedan.
The first major facelift for the 1974 model year brought raised front bumpers and, consequently, a flatter radiator grille which made the XJ appear even more slender and elegant.
In 1979 the XJ was facelifted once more, incorporating a mild redesign by Pininfarina while largely retaining Sir Lyons’ original lines. Over the whole production span, around 318,000 XJ6 and XJ12 were produced, among them a small proportion as the even more luxurious Daimler Vanden Plas variant, which was – apart from the radiator grille – both technically, as well as optically almost identical to its sibling models by Jaguar.
One of the pecularities of the XJ is that it is equipped with two separate fuel tanks positioned on each side of the boot, each with its own chrome filler cap and a changeover switch on the dash.