2012 The Silverstone Classic Sale

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1968 Daimler Sovereign 420- Factory Press Car

Lot No.: 133

Registration: JNE 688F
Chassis Number: 1A32384-DN
Engine Number: 7A32627-9
Number of cylinders: 6
CC: 4235cc
Year of Manufacture: 1968
Sold for (£): 23,072

This unique car was built on 14 December 1967 and first registered on Jan 2 1968 andit has remained in the same family ownership for thirty-nine years having been meticulously maintained by its late garage proprietor owner and until 2010. It was dry-stored on supports for more than twenty years. Derived from the Jaguar MK.X and the S-Type, it was readily identified by the traditional Daimler fluted radiator surround and the interior was furnished with finest quality leather hide upholstery, polished figured walnut instrument panel and deep pile carpets that were sufficiently luxurious to satisfy Daimlers' established clientele.

At the time, this was the quickest Daimler to be offered by the company, and because of their reputation for luxury, four of these cars were chosen as rally support vehicles and press cars for the 1968 ‘Tour de France'. This was the fourth car, and accordingly, was incredibly highly specified to showcase what Daimler could do, although we're led to believe that this car was never actually called into action on the Rally. As well as the standard luxury fittings, this support car featured 10 audio speakers, both a Radiomobile radio (presumably to follow or participate in rally commentary) and the standard audio deck, heated front and rear windscreens as well as leather radiator grille mufflers and a stainless steel exhaust system. Rumour has it that the car offered here today was road tested by Lofty England himself before leaving the Jaguar factory at Browns Lane...

Now offered for sale from the home of a car collector well-known to Silverstone Auctions, this DS 420, as it is sometimes denoted, retains its original Old English White coachwork and immaculate blue leather interior and a manual gearbox with overdrive. The beautifully conserved interior is a credit to its past owners who fitted custom seat-covers shortly after delivery. Another interesting feature of this car is that the original wire wheels, which accompany the car, have reputedly only undertaken the Lofty England road test. The first owner opted instead to fit the car, before delivery, with specially crafted custom-made magnesium alloy Minilite wheels with gold pinstripe and knock on wheel-centres. This car further benefits from retaining the original roof rack which was reputedly created to adorn the four cars chosen for the Rally Support task, and in 1971, a set of five travel cases were ordered and bespoke crafted to fit the boot space and are still present now. Perhaps the final enhancement to this car was the additional Supertrol underseal coating which the car received at just 97 miles.

There has been no accident damage or repairs carried out to the body with only minor cosmetic and stone chip paintwork carried out. Such is the quality of this car that it won a ‘Highly Commended' award at the 2007 Jaguar Drivers Club Concourse d'Elegance held at The Classic Car Show, NEC . This was remarkable as this totally original and unrestored car was competing against cars that had undergone major restorations costing thousands of pounds. Though this cataloguer regrets he has been unable to source a copy, the Jaguar Driver's Club magazine, issue No. 570 carries a two page article on the car entitled "One of the most amazing Daimler Sovereigns you're ever likely to see..."

This interesting and timeless car has covered around 50,000 miles, and is sold with MoT test certificate to March 2013, UK V5C registration certificate, original license plate and a healthy history file including handbooks, Heritage Certificate and some early correspondence between Daimler and the first owner.

The Factory fitted options include:-
1. One of only 200 cars built with manual gearbox
2. The Laycock de Normanville overdrive unit
3. E-Type gas-flowed cylinder head
4. 9:1 compression ratio
5. 2.5" twin carburettors
6. E-type adjustable steering column with integral steering lock
7. Kingsbury Radiator grill Muffler jacket
8. Oversize Header tank with return pipe, and quick release cap
9. A full set of 5 chrome wire wheels, with tyres
10. Long range fuel tanks with the additional 10 gallon fuel tank, filler cap on top of nearside rear wing. Offside saddle tank filler cap blanked off to enable 17 gallon total fill
11. Electrically heated front and rear windscreen
12. George Bray & Co engine heater, (Mains operated 240volt)
13. Alarm system
14. Immobiliser system
15. Schrader Spark plug Air Pump for inflating tyres
16. Hero Fire Extinguisher