1974 Daimler Double Six Series II 5.3 V12
(Featured on 25th May 2014)
Model: Double Six
Sellers original description:
A 1974, 1973 built so will be Road Tax exempt, Daimler Double Six L 5.3 V12 Automatic.
A very early Series 2 (car number 116) that was one of only a few factory built examples, now rare, that used some distinctive trim items carried over from the Series One.
One of just a handful of remaining pre fuel injection Series 2 Double Six's with, of course, the E Type's highly desirable four Zenith-Stromberg carburettors.
Effectively one owner and a genuine mileage of just 21,900 from new.
Totally original retaining factory fitted panels and glass.
Still with the vast majority of its original paint finish.
Always garaged, practically unused since 1980 - in fact less than one hundred miles travelled in the last thirty years and kept under covers in dry storage for that time.
Just re-commissioned for use by our Jaguar specialist.
VERY ORIGINAL, VERY CORRECT, VERY, VERY RARE INDEED. ULTIMATE PROVENANCE, JUST GORGEOUS AND A MUST FOR ANY JAGUAR COLLECTOR!
Series 1s and early Series 2s came equipped with 4 Stromberg carburettors, making way shortly into Series 2 production for fuel injection, which would continue through into Series 3 production. Most Series 3 By the mid to late 1960’s competition for the lucrative luxury car market was led by Jaguar with the successful Mk 10, MK 2, S-Type and 420 saloons. However, it had been clear for some time that if Jaguar were to remain at the top of this sector into the 1970’s and beyond there was a pressing need to develop just one saloon to replace all of the cars in the existing range.
To succeed the new car would need to be very special indeed. It was- the XJ6 made its debut in 1968 at London’s Earls Court Motor Show.
The car was an immediate success with the public, show goers were overwhelmed by this new large luxury Jaguar. However, perhaps of greater importance was the attention from the motoring press. It is doubtful that any car had ever received such unqualified praise from the press as the XJ did.
Almost overnight the XJ became and remained until production ended, the “must have” luxury car.
The car was an immediate success with the public, show goers were overwhelmed by this new large luxury Jaguar and the badge engineered virtually identical Daimler version, The Sovereign. However, perhaps of greater importance was the attention from the motoring press. It is doubtful that any car had ever received such unqualified praise from the press as the XJ6 did.
Almost overnight the XJ6 and Sovereign became, and remained until production ended, the “must have” luxury cars.
In 1972 the superb 5.3 V12, first used a year earlier in the series 3 E type, was available in the Series one Jaguar XJ12 saloon. The cars that had this V12 5.3 engine met with much acclaim. Jaguar had managed to create an even better car than the original XJ6. Just as there had been Daimler versions of the XJ6, so too would there be a Daimler V12, or 'Double Six' as it was known, re-kindling a model name that first appeared in the 1930s.
The Daimler came fitted with revised interior and exterior trimmings, and used an identical engine to the Jaguar variant. In 1974 The Double Six sold for 25% more than the less well equipped XJ12.
The world's fastest saloon of the day with a top speed of 140kmph. 0-60 in just over 7 seconds.
V12 series 2's have really shot up in desirability and value of late and are now highly sought after by Jaguar/Daimler collectors and enthusiasts alike.
1973 saw the introduction of the improved Series 2 range of the XJ12 with the Double Six name remaining in use for the Daimler version. The main external differences between the two cars being a raised front bumper, shallower fluted grille with chrome strip to the bonnet. Internally the Daimler included as standard many of the then luxury items that were ‘extra’ on the Jaguar version. Luxuriously appointed and with a ride quality unequalled in its day it is no wonder that it won the accolade “The Best Car in the World”.
The early series 2 cars are much sought after by collectors and enthusiasts alike. It is widely recognised that these are the cars that were the last properly built Jaguars and Daimlers, the way recently retired Sir William Lyons meant them to be, before the fall off in quality control and general unrest in the British Leyland workforce of the Mid seventies.
The very early Series 2 cars also differed from those built some months after the launch as they were unique in so much that they shared some trim features carried over from the Series One.
Fuel injection was introduced to the V12 engine on the saloons shortly after the launch of the Series 2. Forty years on and hardly any Double Six's are left now from the very limited pre fuel injection production run that still had the four desirable Zenith-Stromberg carburettor set up of the E Type.
You would be hard pushed today to find a Jaguar XJ12 Series 2 that was not injection let alone a Double Six. Far less Double Six's were made, consequently they are the models that are much rarer and, therefore, more sought after. You really will have your work cut out to find a Series 2 Daimler Double Six without fuel injection at all.
So if it's incredibly hard to find a non injection Series 2 Double Six it will be neigh on impossible to find an original condition un-restored one.
To find an original condition un-restored one with just 21,000 miles and one owner from new - surely that can't be possible at all. If there was one though it would almost certainly be the only one left anywhere worldwide and, of course, be the sort of find collectors and enthusiasts dream of- wouldn't it?.......
............Well actually - yes it would!
The first, and effectively only owner, of PHL 444M was a Jaguar man through and through.
Chairman of a public works company he had for many years owned a Jaguar. However, thinking that some in his industry may be rubbed up the wrong way by Jaguars he always ran a less ostentatious second car to go about his daily business based in Yorkshire.
The owner changed his Jaguar's each January. He had previously had two Series One XJ's, a 4.2 bought new in January 1972 and a Jaguar XJ12 bought the following January. Whereas he absolutely loved his V12, it was a SWB, he did find the rear legroom a little restrictive.
In the autumn of 1973 with the introduction of the Series 2 cars and with his retirement approaching the owner decided to change his XJ12 SWB for a long wheel base (L) Series 2. Knowing that it would most likely be the car that would see him through his retirement he set his mind on the Top of the Jaguar/Daimler range the flagship model 5.3 V12 Daimler Double Six L.
There was a problem though. Jaguar/Daimler had a two and a half year order book and the right cars were reaching up to a thousand pounds over list price!
In the early winter of 1973 the owner of PHL 444M approached his local dealer who had supplied his previous cars. He wanted to place an order for a new Series 2 Double Six for January delivery. The dealer would dearly have loved to be able to oblige. However he couldn't. The dealer went on to explain that out of 240 odd Daimler Dealers less than half had seen a physical Double Six since its launch and that they were one of them.
In fact they were not due one on factory allocation for several months - even then that one was already sold and paid for. They also informed him that they could not get one from another dealer on wholesale transfer as any dealer who had one knew that he could sell it at full retail money, if not more, and so would not in effect 'trade it'. They would see what they could do though.
In an absolute stroke of luck the owners local dealer came up trumps!
They had found a car. It was 70 miles away in Lincoln with Daimler dealers J.R.J Mansbridge.
Although J.R.J Mansbridge were not prepared to do a wholesale transfer to the owners local dealer, most likely for the reasons above, they were prepared to sell it direct to the owner, in fact it would rather suit them to sell it out of their Area.
The owners son relates the story.
The problem that Mansbridge had was that there was such a demand and waiting list for the Double Six L. They had taken orders from two local farmers, who both knew each other and were both good customers. The 1973 oil crisis started in October 1973 and was just a few weeks old, this had led to a cancelled order for a sold Double Six. The dilemma was that if the car was offered to one of the farmers it would undoubtedly upset the other. Far better they thought to say nothing, sell the car out of the area and fulfill both farmers orders as scheduled - everyone's happy!
So then, on 31st December 1973 PHL 444M was delivered to its new owner although not registered, in his company's name, until the first of January 1974.
PHL 444M was the one hundred and sixteenth Daimler Double six off the production line. It was, in fact still is, standard factory specification, not even a door mirror, and the only dealer fitted extra was a Radiomobile stereo 8 tape player top of the range model 108SR which included a MW & LW Radio, fitted before the car left Lincoln and still there today.
This Double six has the early style door cards and very unusually the original beige carpets only available in the Series 2 on very early cars. It is, of course pre fuel injection and has the four Zenith-Stromberg carburettors.
PHL 444M was the car of its new owners dreams and his absolute pride and Joy. He always kept it in one of the two garages attached to his house when not in use.
The Double Six was indeed to see him through to his pending retirement and beyond as intended. In 1976 when he retired the owner transferred ownership from his company name into his own.
In the early days the owner used the car occasionally for important company meetings. In the main though it was used to visit a large Country Estate near Banff in Aberdeenshire that belonged to an ex business partner.
From the owners home in Denby Dale it was a 400 mile trip to his friends Estate and the owners son recalls going there on many occasions in the Double six with his Father and the excitement and fond memories of making the journey in such style.
PHL 444M's owner was a meticulous man and he keep a detailed 'Captains log' of every mile travelled. The memo book of these journeys, that not only relate to the Double Six but also to the XJ12 and the XJ6 before it, is in the history file.
The log shows that the majority of the cars miles were covered by the end of the mid seventies on these journeys north.
In the middle section of the book it gives details of every trip - mileage covered, times taken between towns, traffic hold ups and even refreshment breaks. In the front of the book is recorded every gallon of petrol purchased alongside the date and mileage and filling station. At the back of the book service information is given including each pint of oil used again with written mileages against each.
The log is a priceless insight to the total vehicle history. It shows the journeys to Scotland ceasing in November 1975 following the death of the owners friend. It further records a steady decline in usage towards the end of the seventies as the owner himself aged.
The last entries in the log at the front of the book show that in the of 1979 the Daimler covered just 180 miles, in 1980 only 89 miles, and none at all in 1981. The final fuel log entry and only one for 1982 shows just 4 gallons added in that year with the mileage recorded at 21,847.
The final service entry was on St Georges day 1982 when Kwik Fit were apparently instructed to replace all 5 tyres under a recall notice with the correct Dunlop SP Sports as fitted at the factory. The owners son remembers his Father being amazed that even though the car was 8 years old they had managed to track him down and replace the tyres F.O.C. This entry on the 23 April 1982 was the last one ever to be made in the log the mileage was recorded at 21,868. The mileage today is 21,940 and those tyres still remain, four of them have covered just over 70 miles the fifth, the spare, has never been on the Road.
The journey back from Kwik Fit of Huddersfield in April 1982 was the last Journey that the owner would ever make in PHL 444M. After that he gave up driving the Daimler altogether. As it turned out his last journey was to be the penultimate journey that the car would ever make until we acquired it recently.
Although he was unable to use PHL 444M the owner would not contemplate selling it and it was confined to the garage until he sadly passed away in the mid nineties.
The Double Six was left to the owners daughter and title passed to her on the 16th August 1996. She never once drove the car which held so many memories for her.
In 1998 the Double Six was MOT'ed and taxed in preparation for sale but when it came to it the daughter just could not bear to part with the car and PHL 444M re-entered dry storage for the next 15 years.
This year the daughter decided that the time had finally come to let the car go and reconditioning work was carried to the fuel system and brakes before being MOT'ed by a family friend and garage proprietor. We collected PHL 444M from that garage in Pickering the day that the MOT was done.
Conformation of the history in addition to the log and service book is further provided in a letter from the owners son. He warrants the mileage as correct confirms the above history and the originality of the bodywork.
Today PHL 444M is presented in outstanding original condition it is unmolested and is not a restored Daimler made up from various bits from other old dilapidated cars or new bits made in china.
With the exception of the rear valance it retains all of its original panels and the majority of its Browns Lane paint finish. Since it left Coventry forty years ago, apart from service items and consumables, 99% of the parts that make up PHL 444M remain those fitted on the production line in the 1973. It will be tax exempt from next year.
XJ12 Series II Jaguars are becoming rare now. Double Six's more so especially as we say pre fuel injection examples and the very early trim models. They have really come into their own in the last year or so helped by the classic press proclaiming The Series 2 as the Jaguar XJ to have and the one most likely to be a wise investment for the future. Un-restored original Double Six's are very rare and exceptionally low mileage examples with one owner almost unheard of.
PHL 444M is certainly amongst the very best of the best, if not the best, lowest mileage, original condition examples of a pre injection Double Six Series 2 available anywhere.
The Sable paintwork suits the car so well and compliments the contrasting leather hide.
When we acquired PHL 444M all of its body panels were those fitted forty years ago when new and the owners son has confirmed this to us in the letter now in the history file.
This Double Six is remarkably rust free for a car that is four decades old The only spot that warranted attention was around the off side exhaust cut out in the rear valance. This was by no means bad and was really just limited to the return flange round the hole - an easy repair for our body shop. However on such an original car that has never been welded or had any body filler applied in the past now was not the time to start doing so. For the sake of a couple of hundred pounds then we asked our body shop to do the right thing and replace the entire rear valance panel.
While in the body shop we also asked them to tidy up a few stone chips on one sill and an elongated scrape on the other. Both sills have been painted and for the sake of colour match the new paint has been faded into the lower rear arch slightly.
The vast majority of the paint finish would seem to be forty years old even all the coach lines are the brush hand painted as factory standard. Again the owners son has confirmed in writing that to the best of his knowledge no paint rectification was carried out on behalf of his father and categorically none has been done since in the care of his sister.
However there signs, that the untrained eye would be very hard pushed to spot, that some very old localised rectification has been carried out in some areas. These were most likely carried out by by the factory or supplying dealer when new, as was common place at the time, and would explain why the owners son would not have been aware of them.
The sides of the car are very straight with no parking dings or dents. There is a minuscule barely visible ding to the N/S headlight surround.
PHL 444M is remarkably rust free for a Double Six that is 4 decades old it has never had and does not now require any welding. This in itself is highly unusual with a Series 2 Jaguar/Daimlers as the majority of them have received extensive body and paint work over the years.
The boot, bonnet and door shuts are in excellent condition.
The bright work is in good 40 year original condition with the chrome lifting just a little on one end of the rear bumper and just starting to pit in a couple of places.
The floors are in fantastic condition and the underside is remarkable.
There is the odd stone chip and mark that has been touched in with a touch up brush.
Overall the paint finish is excellent and retains a wonderful lustre.
Exemplary would best describe the interior of PHL 444M and the finest original that we have seen on a forty year old series 2.
We just love the interior of this car, it is so original and 100% correct.
The front seats have minimal aged creasing and are in superb original condition they are not ripped or worn the leather seat facings have never been re-dyed. The material on the front seat backs on Daimlers was leathercloth as opposed to brushed nylon on Jaguars, which often sagged over the years.
We love the seats in these Series 2 Daimlers with the wider pleating than the Jaguars, they are so comfortable they seem to hug you as you waft along.
The headlining amazingly is also the factory fitted original and does not sag and as it has never been replaced matches the side panels and rear window trim, both of which so often have deteriorated but in this case are excellent.
The veneer and finish on the dash is totally unmarked, original and excellent. Items that you could never replace such as the early Series 2 instruments with silver painted external rims, as opposed to all black on later cars, are in lovely condition.
The door cards which set the interior off so well with their exclusive black Daimler top sections are unmarked. They are the correct early Series 2 styled type without the later factory speakers.
The centre consul, rear parcel shelf and the rest of the trim are all excellent and unmarked.
The Beige velvet pile carpets, only available in early series 2 cars before they went to brown with the all the lighter trim colours, are in excellent original condition. There is no wear, stains or loss of tufting. The sides of the footwells are carpeted as they were in series one's and again exclusive to earlier series 2 cars before moulded plastic was used.
There is absolutely no trace of there ever having been any damp in the foot wells and the moulded foam under the carpets are excellent.
The 8 track player with radio remains. The aerial is manual lift.
The steering wheel is unmarked showing none of the common signs of being worn away by rings on fingers or being chipped.
The centre consul is unmarked.
All in all - just fabulous and a very nice place to be indeed.
UNDER THE BONNET:
Correct early bonnet stay.
Under the bonnet the engine bay is gleaming.
Original stickers remain.
The original spare key still held in place by a screw and washer as it has been for the last forty years.
Presents as only a low mileage example can.
All the numbers match.
Early servo, not black painted
IN THE BOOT:
All the black velvet pile carpet side panels are virtually unmarked. We removed them to check for rust behind and found absolutely none.
Steel spare wheel with unused Dunlop tyre SP Sport tyre.
The boot carpet has had what looks like battery acid spilt on it and really could do with replacing.
Jack in its original Hardura bag.
Tool case complete.
The spare wheel well is all original.
ON THE ROAD:
Despite the work already done on re-commissioning of the brakes and fuel system we gave PHL 444M to our Jaguar Specialists and asked them check the work already done and to do anything else that may be required including an engine service and tune up of those four Zenith-Stromberg carburettors, of which they know a thing or two about having built Racing Jaguar V12 engines for many years.
Umm - they said we can see some work has been done but not enough.
The exhaust would seem to have been the original and had been patched for the MOT. Not good enough we said so they fitted a complete new stainless steel system.
The fuel system had been drained, the tanks flushed through, some new fuel lines fitted but the right hand fuel pump failed once on test and it would seem that it was this side most often used. The left hand (N/S) seemed little used at all. In any event they removed and cleaned them both and both now work. They renewed more petrol pipe that had been missed. They give good advice though that it's not a good idea to keep modern fuel over any period and they would just keep a small amount in the right hand tank for emergency use and keep the left hand tank in use as the main supply since they know the pump on that side to be perfect. Makes sense to us.
Whereas the brakes performed well enough to pass an MOT they were not up to our Jaguar specialist standards. So a new calliper and rear pads were fitted and a new servo valve.
A new gear box 'cotton reel' was fitted
Top and bottom ball joints were replaced one side and a top shock absorber bush.
The engine service included new oil & filter of course and 4 new diaphragms along with new K&N lifetime guarantee air filters.
A new battery was fitted by the garage in Pickering.
There is excellent oil pressure both from cold and at normal running temperature.
There are no undue noises or smoke.
The car starts on manual choke, with the automatic gearbox and manual choke it is advisable to let the car warm up a little and ease the choke off a notch or 2 before moving off.
On the road the car drives like a dream. We absolutely love it.
The gears change up and down just as they should with a silky smoothness and without noise.
The power steering is light and precise.
According to our Jaguar specialist the car performs and drives very well indeed and just how it should of speeds up 80mph.
Particularly noteworthy was the body underside of PHL 444M when fully inspected on the ramp our Jaguar specialists gave it an absolutely clean bill of health to the point of saying that it was as good an example as they had seen for many years.
All in all re-commissioning, service charges and exhaust circa £3,500 at trade prices.
1. Old V5 (logbook) in the name of the owners daughter showing the 2 previous keepers the owner and his company. The new owner would need to apply for an new style V5c in their name we will supply the form
2. Hand written 'Captains log, as described.
3. Daimler plastic wallet with Double Six handbook, fold out electrical diagrams and routine service and lubrication charts, Daimler dealers and service facilities book, all in as new condition.
4. Original Daimler Service book stamped by Jaguar dealer.
5. Spare Key still under bonnet
6. Letter from the owners Son confirming the history of the car, that no paint rectification and the mileage as correct.
7. Original PDI paperwork
8. Some old tax discs.
9. 8 track instructions.
10 MOT 9 August 2014
PHL 444M is an absolutely amazing and original example of these wonderfully capable cars the Daimler Double six and as good an original condition Series 2 as we have seen.
There are no modifications to the original specification, with some trim unique to early models and this is a car that has obviously been cherished by its 1 owner since new.
It is a very correct exceptionally low mileage original car. Consequentially the vast majority of it and the parts that make it up date back 40 years to 1973.
If you know your Jaguars/Daimlers you will already be aware that, above all else, the importance of finding a rare original and remarkably rust free example and just how rare this example is.
PHL 444M is not a car that was once a rusty wreck that has had a patch work of metal welded to it. It has not had hundreds of parts replaced with modern replicas or even genuine new parts. All of this cannot be said of the vast majority of Series II Double Six's that remain.
Apart from the minor bits we have just attended the majority of paint finish would seem to be original or to have been applied just post production. Certainly no other paint work has been carried in the last twenty years or so and this is confirmed by the owners son in writing.
It is presented in show condition and has been correctly re-commissioned by Jaguar experts.
Many enthusiasts and collectors search for years until they find that Holy Grail', that is the right car . If you have been looking for a Series 2 Double Six, or XJ12 for that matter, in all original condition especially one with exceptionally low mileage we think that you need look no further, your search is over.
Here is a rare opportunity indeed - don’t miss it because you almost certainly may never get another!
Kept in this condition PHL 444M should also prove an extremely sound investment for the future.