Tuesday, September 28, 2010

1982 Daimler Sovereign - Maybe, Maybe Not

This is an interesting car.

The Daimler Sovereign is nothing more than a Jaguar XJ6 with a different grill, trim and badging. Cool enough, as the XJ6, especially the Series III, were very nice cars.

I've seen a couple of Daimler's at car shows over the years (and, 5 or 6 years ago, one very rusty one sitting at a low-end used car lot a few miles from where I live. I inquired about it and the seller went into this spiel about how rare it is and how the Queen drives one - really? - and that it was a "bargain" at $14,000.00. I still wonder what kind of mushrooms were in the salad he was eating), but they've all been right-hand-drive. This car is left-hand-drive. It's the first one I've seen in the US, but then again, it might not be...

This car was originally brown, but was repainted red. From the pictures, it appears to have been done well, as the inner fenders, underside of the trunk, etc., are red. The interior, according to the build plate (more on that in a bit), was at one time "Biscuit" in color. The current red and black interior goes better with the exterior color, but it's a little over the top for a Daimler. I'd dye it all black or maybe black and gray.

This car is not perfect. It has some rust and the dashboard veneer is cracking. If I bought it, I'd take a utility knife to the black "cloth" roof ASAP.

Ah, but it's the build plate that worries me... The VIN number of this car is SAJAV1345DC353754. That's not a Daimler VIN. The first 3 letters (SAJ) indicate that the car, or at least the plate, is from a Jaguar. Daimler's VINs start with SAD. After seeing that, I punched the VIN number into Carfax and it came up belonging to a brown 1983 Jaguar XJ6.

So what is this car? The speedometer reads in MPH, so at first I thought it was a North American spec Jaguar XJ6 with all the Daimler stuff in place. BUT, take a look at the side marker lights. They are not the Lucas side marker lights that came on the XJ6. They're some sort of aftermarket light, possibly used to get the car DOT certified (or they could be replacements for the original broken or missing Lucas lights). The front and rear bumpers are Euro-spec bumpers.

I have no idea what this car is.

As I said in the beginning of this post, the Series III XJ6 is a very, very nice car. If you can get this one cheap (it's a no reserve auction), it could be a nice winter restoration project. Having the Daimler pieces on it will make it a conversation starter at any car show.

Located in Silver Spring, MD, click here to see the eBay listing.

2 comments:

Richard said...

A mystery! It could be a Daimler, I believe with the VIN numbers on the later series III they were known as Jaguar Sovereign and not Daimler...could be wrong though, I think it was a way to get past some sort of import regs. Although runs through my mind Daimlers had a badge on the rocker cover..hmmmm

My father had a Double Six Daimler, smooth a silk and had more holes than swiss cheese, harsh Scottish climates just killed the bodywork. He loved it so much it was traded in for a 96 XJ12 which has has kept even till this day as his daily driver.

Anonymous said...

I think it must be a re-badged Jaguar XJ6. I've got SAJJCALP4CC349969 with heritage certificate, which is a very early Jaguar Sovereign. Unless the chassis numbers overlapped (which I'm pretty sure they didn't) then it can't possibly be a Daimler Sovereign.

Apply for a JDHT heritage certificate and that'll clear it up!

Chris Perkins