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The Daimler DS420, popularly known as the Daimler Limousine, is a large limousine produced by Daimler Motor Company between 1968 and 1992. The vehicles are used extensively as official state cars in several countries, including by the British and Danish Royal Families. The car is also commonly used in the funeral and hotel trades. The DS420 began production in 1968, replacing the DR450 which had been based on the Majestic Major. Unlike its predecessor, it had no Daimler engineering, but was entirely a Jaguar product, utilising the 4.2 litre version of the Jaguar XK straight-six engine. It also replaced the Vanden Plas 4-Litre Princess Limousine, and was initially produced at the Vanden Plas works in Kingsbury, North London.
It was based on the floorpan of Jaguar's 420G flagship, but with a wheelbase extended an extra 21 in (533.4 mm). The frontal styling was similar to the original Daimler Sovereign, with the Jaguar four-headlight treatment first seen on the Mark X mated to a Daimler radiator grill bearing the traditional fluting.
The passengers sat on a bench-seat behind the glass division in opulent comfort - the DS420's rear seat spanning over 6 feet (1.8 m) in width. The dimensions of the vehicle are the same as those of the Rolls-Royce Phantom VI with which the limousine was designed to compete, although the Daimler significantly undercut the Rolls-Royce on price.
The top speed available from this 245 bhp , three speed automatic, independently suspended, four wheel disc braked Daimler limousine was 110 mph. Undercutting the Phantom VI in price by 50% or more, the big Daimler was considered to be a fine vehicle for the cost with its Le Mans winning Jaguar engine, the last car to use it, and bespoke construction. The British Royal Mews is now in possession of three Daimler DS420s available for Royal use on state occasions and for visiting dignitaries. The late Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother had three DS420 models over the years (all registered NLT1 or NLT2), including one of the last three models to be produced in 1992 (one of the other two going to Queen Elizabeth II, although rarely used, and the other retained by Jaguar for use in Coventry, now in the possession of the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust). All of the cars delivered for royal use featured certain special features including cloth seats, removal of chrome around the doors, a bullet-shaped blue light and a mount on the roof for the Royal Standard and Coat of Arms. These cars were a reminder of the royal patronage that Daimler lost to Rolls-Royce in the early 1950s.
One of the Queen Mother's Daimler DS420s, painted in Royal Claret, is now in the Royal Mews, along with two other models already owned by HM The Queen. These are classed as state cars although, unlike the Royal Rolls-Royce and Bentley models in the royal fleet, these do have number plates as only the state vehicle (currently the Bentley State Limousine) is permitted to drive on British roads legally without registration plates.
One of the most famous late appearances of the DS420 was for the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales respectively, both the hearse and the mourning limousine following it were DS420s. A hearse version of the DS420 was used for the funerals of HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother and HRH Princess Margaret in 2002. The Royal Family of Denmark, in addition to many other prestigious vehicles, have three Daimler DS420s.
This very nicely restored example is one of the finest we have seen stateside. The exceptionally nice repaint in a subtle 2 toned Silver, (more visible in these highly washed out photos-sorry) is a very appropriate color combination for the flowing lines of this very big car. The rear seat upholstery asppears to have been redone as well in a nice Marroon fabric, the chaffeurs compartment appears original and is in fine condition. The car runs very well and sounds like a nice Jag should sound! These cars are expensive to restore so buy the best one you can find.