Daimler DS420 Magazine articles (English) 1968-1993



This web page shows various magazine articles in the English language, that appeared about the DS420 from 1968 to 1993. They are shown in chronological order. Note that there are parallel web pages with articles from 1994-2012 and articles from 2013-present. Also, there are other pages with non-English language articles 1968-1993, 1994-2012 and 2013-present.

These articles have several interesting properties. First they provide a contemporary view on the car. This reveals details (and sometimes gossip) that no other source provides. Second, they express the view of an author who is neither involved in the marketing of the car, nor is deeply involved in Daimlers in general, e.g. as the author of a book would be. Instead, the articles give a fresh view of somebody who is (usually) very impressed by the car, but also critical on the weak points.

Click on a page to obtain a large, readable view.

Autocar p1. Autocar p2.   Autocar, 13 June 1968
The new Daimler Limousine
Autocar p3. Autocar p4.  

This is the earliest article. published only a few days after the introduction of the DS420 model (which was on June 11th, 1968). Near the end, the article lists the UK dealers appointed as limousine distributors in the UK:
Stratstone (London), Kennings (Manchester), Henlys Western (Bristol), Central Garage (Bradford), Reeve and Stedeford (Birmingham), Rossleigh (Edinburgh), and Thompson-Reid (Belfast).
Elsewhere on this web site we show a 1988 dealer list, which has only one of these names left after 20 years.

The "books" section of this web site shows the book Daimler Digest by Daniel Young. This book is a compilation of articles, road tests etc., including this article from Autocar.

The Autocar magazine was famous for its cutaway drawings. These drawings have been republished separately in various ways. One of these can be seen on the page with various technical illustrations of this web site.

New Daimler Limousine
Week ending June 15, 1968

Every technical writer mentions the fact that the DS420 was built with many steel pressings taken from the Jaguar 420G, most notably the bottom plate to which only an extra section was added.
This article has this 420G heritage in picture.

Car MDU808F, shown in the previous article and in this one, was the second car from the production line, and was used as a Company Car within Jaguar. More on this car is on the "Press Photographs" page.

Motor p1. Motor p2.
Motor p3. Motor p4.
CountryLife p1.    A traditional luxury
The Daimler Limousine
J. Eason Gibson
Country Life, July 4, 1968

This article is mainly based on the introductory press release. Note that the picture is taken during the same photo session as the one in the article Sweet Luxury for Eight below (compare the trees in the background). There are more photographs from that session on this web site, e.g. on the press photographs page, and on the earliest page with sales brochures.

Motor Sport July 1968    A twin-cam limousine
Motor Sport, July 1968

The author describes his visit to the presentation of the new limousine model, in the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London. He expresses his admiration for the design as a whole, but is disappointed that this car will not be equipped with the larger 4.5 litre engine that was used in the Daimler Majestic Major.

Daimler Limousine
Cyril Posthumus
Road & Track, August 1968 (Vol 10, No. 12)

The American Road & Track magazine devoted this small article to the introduction of the Daimler Limousine. This is remarkable, since the initial cars were not up to US specs, and thus could not be sold on the US market. This article is mainly based on the introductory press release.

   Road&Track 1968
Daimler Limousine
Road Test, November 1968 (Volume Four, Number Ten)

Again an American magazine, and again building upon the press release for the introduction of the car.
The author of this article made up a nice story without too much verbatim cutting and pasting. A very strange point is the mentioning that the front compartment can be covered either in leather or in Ambla. None of the original texts or price/options lists mentions this Ambla, and in reality it became only available at least ten years later.

Note that the photo is slightly different from the photos in the previous articles.

   Road Test 1968 Road Test 1968
Wheels p1. Wheels p2.    Fit for a queen
Daimler's Limousine - Big and Briddish
Wheels, July, 1969

The Australian Wheels magazine published this article when the Commonwealth government had bought five limousines for Queen Elizabeth's visit to Australia in 1970.

Most of the article is a description of "standard" details of a DS420 limo. Little is said about the specific cars of this special purchase batch. But the author has probably not been close to the real cars: according to his article the chauffeur of these 1969 models enjoys the comfort of a "fully-adjustable driving seat".

The article mentions that the passengers in the rear compartment have "fluorescent lighting": a rare option consisting of two small "camping-style" fluorescent lamps fitted above the division window.

  protecting VIPs    Protecting VIPs while motoring
Edward Turner
Magazine: unknown
Year of publication: 1969 or 1970

This article describes how armour plating was added to DS420 cars, "as a result of customer enquiries".

The pictures show a left hand drive limo, with the pre-1972 rear bench arm rest shape. During the first two years after the introduction of the DS420, the British Ministry of Defence bought almost 10 left hand drive cars, which was half the total LHD production. Their very first LHD was car No. 1M20005, in October 1969, for the Military Governor of Berlin. So, in all probability, the Ministry of Defence was "the customer" as referred to in this article.

Photocopy contributed by Bryan Peebles, archivist of the VandenPlas Owners' Club.


Sweet Luxury for Eight
A remarkable Daimler for the man who wants a limousine
Robert Glenton
Sunday Express, 11th January 1970

This reprinted article comes with a large photo, which is "identical" to one that appeared in a 1970 sales brochure. However, this one is unretouched, which reveals a nice insight in how a car photo was "beautified" for sales purposes. Click here for a "spot the differences" experience.

SundayExpress p1. SundayExpress p3.
SundayExpress p2. SundayExpress p4.
Back-seat channel changers    Back-seat channel changers
Magazine: unknown (probably The British Leyland Mirror)
Year of publication: late 1970 or early 1971 (estimated)

This article is from an internal publication for British Leyland employees. It describes a limousine equipped with an exceptionally rich interior, which included (probably) the very first cocktail cabinet for the DS420. Brian Smith's "Daimler Days" book shows this cocktail cabinet photo on pg. 877.

The license number 1CGO identifies this car as vehicle 1M1655, produced in fall 1970. The article (and the license number) explain that is was built for the Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (renamed Zaire in 1971) in London.

Photocopy contributed by Bryan Peebles, archivist of the VandenPlas Owners' Club.

Vanden Plas p1. Vanden Plas p2.
Vanden Plas p3. Vanden Plas p4.
Luxury Line
Philp Turner
Week ending February 10, 1973

This article describes production of three luxury car lines at the Vanden Plas works in Kingsbury, N. London. Specific coverage of the DS420 is limited to the text on the last page.
A few press photos exist showing the same collection (but with VandenPlas 1300 changed to 1500).

An interesting photograph is on page 3: the insertion of a bullet-proof shield in the door of a limousine.

BLMirror  March 13, 1974.    Enter the £15,100 car!
British Leyland Mirror, No. 10, March 13, 1974

This article describes the two factory built landaulette cars; one for the Governor of Jamaica (photo), and the other "for use in Africa". They cost GB£15,000.- (est.). A standard limousine was £6900.-

This web site has an entire page devoted to the landaulette pictured in these articles. The text of this article (and the one here-below) is a fairly straightforward copy of the press release issued by the factory.

This copy was contributed by Bill Eltringham, fellow DS420 owner.

Daimler Landaulette
Strictly for State occasions
Autocar, week ending 30 March 1974

In the same magazine a Rolls Royce Corniche was listed for £15,000.- and the cheapest Ford Escort for £994.-

   Autocar 1974 p1.
Meet the men (and the women!) who make cars fit for kings.
British Leyland Mirror, issue 13 pg. 15, May 15, 1974.

This article gives a rare insight into the VandenPlas factory and its workers, including the man who made the first generation of cocktail cabinets!

The "British Leyland Mirror" magazine was published for the employees of the British Leyland Motor Corp. The article mentions the price of the Limousine to be £6400,-, which was the case between August 1973 and February 1974. It also mentions that the VdP 1300 was "soon to be replaced" by a 1500 model, which happened in September 1974.

Photocopy contributed by Bryan Peebles, archivist of the VandenPlas Owners' Club. Exact date of publication researched by Bill Eltringham, fellow DS420 owner.

   British Leyland Mirror 15
Daimler Limousine
Cars of Today / Daimler
David Burgess Wise
Magazine: On Four Wheels -
  The encyclopedia of motoring in weekly parts.
Year of publication: 1974, Volume 2 Part 25.

This article shows a picture taken at the same location
as a picture in a 1972 sales brochure (car EWK1L,
which was a September 1972 car registered for Jaguar Cars Ltd).

The same article, even with the same page lay out, was published in:
The World of Automobiles, an Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Motor Car, Volume 5.

   CarsOfToday p1.
   KingForADay p1. KingForADay p2.
KingForADay p3. KingForADay p4.
   King for a day
Autocar, week ending 16 October 1976

The article features car SHP292N. This was a 1974 car, property of Jaguar Inc, and in their books described as Royal Household Demonstrator. The same car (with the same remarks) was used for an extensive Dutch language magazine article.


Specialist Car, August/September 1979

The "Specialist Car" magazine presented itself as: "The magazine for people who work in Jaguar Rover Triumph Ltd. & Land-Rover Ltd." Its August/September 1979 issue contained this article on the transfer of the limo production from VandenPlas in Kingsbury/London to the Browns Lane factory.

Specialist Car 1979

Autocar, February 21, 1981 (left)
Motor, week ending February 21, 1981 (right)

These two articles appeared after Daimler distributed a Press Release, in which the introduction of a "Group Assembly Technique" was described. The press release text itself, and photos C345 and DA1286 that came with it, can be seen on our "Press photographs" page.

Autocar   Motor
Nothing like a Daimler...
Motor, week ending February 28, 1981
Motor p1.   Motor p2.
Autocar '84 p1.
   Daimler's Executive Limousine
Autocar, 28 January 1984.

The 1984 "Executive Limousine", nicknamed "the office car", was a good publicity generator. Here is the first of several articles on this well equipped car.
Note that we have an entire web site page devoted to it.


Keeping in with the Old Lady
Roger Bell
Car, February 1984

This article has many interesting details, directly from Mr. Keith Cambage, the manager in charge of the limousine operations. Quality, inflation and price are discussed in an exceptionally open way. The car features limousine 1PMG. This stands for Patrick Motors Group which was the parent company of Birmingham's Daimler distributor Reeve&Stedeford.

Note that, near the end, the author mentions a demonstration video on the Office Car limo. Has anybody ever seen it? The photographs in the German "Zeit ist Geld" article may be related to this video.

Car-1984 p1.   Car-1984 p3.
Car-1984 p2.   Car-1984 p4.
Motor-1984 p1.    Motor-1984 p2.    Motor-1984 p3.      Lap of luxury...
Philip R. Turner
Motor, week ending April 14, 1984

An article with stories and photographs of car A930KHP (the "office car") and of the production at the limousine shop at Browns Lane.

Travelling at 100 Mph
Fred Grattidge, Lord Mayor of Birmingham
Russell Bray
Me and my car
Autocar, 26 August 1987
   Autocar p1.
Jag_Enth-1987 p1. Jag_Enth-1987 p2.
Jag_Enth-1987 p4. Jag_Enth-1987 p5.

Daimler DS420 Limousine
A Touch of History
Jaguar Enthusiast, November 1987

The car A601KDV is also shown on a press photograph, and was the much described "office car". The car EHJ428, with a grille badge of the "Jaguar Enthusiasts' Club", must be a club member's car.

Jaguar winds up the limo p1.    Jaguar winds up the limo
Philip Porter
Autocar & Motor, 26 April 1989
No Limo: Jaguar will drop Daimler in 1991    No Limo: Jaguar will drop Daimler in 1991
Daniel Ward
Automotive News, May 29, 1989

Interestingly, this articles mentions that Hooper had offered to buy the limousine business;
an offer that was declined by Jaguar because they wanted to keep the craftsmen for other Jaguar production tasks.

A dying breed
Jim Henderson
Autocar, 28 November 1990
Autocar 1990 p1.    Autocar 1990 p2.
Daimlers at the Regent Hotel Hong Kong    Understated Elegance
by: Ian Scott
The Driving Member, July 1991

This article from 1991 describes the DS420 fleet of the Regent Hotel in Hong Kong, "one of the best five hotels in the world", and owner of the largest DS420 fleet outside Britain.
The illustration is Jaguar's press photo 321563, unrelated to the hotel's cars.

The Daimler DS420 Limousine
An Insider's View, 1980-1991
Keith Cambage
The Driving Member, September 1991

In this article, nobody less than Keith Cambage gives "an insider's view" on the limousine production at Browns Lane, Coventry. Mr. Cambage was the head of this production facility since the assembly at VandenPlas in Kingsbury closed in 1979. This article was written after it was decided to discontinue the model one year later, and almost immediately after his retirement.

The Driving Member is the magazine of the Daimler and Lanchester Owners' Club. The club has always enjoyed a very close relationship with Jaguar Cars Ltd, and with the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust.

Driving Member 1991 p1 Driving Member 1991 p2
Driving Member 1991 p3 Driving Member 1991 p4
End of a long reign
Andrew Pastouna
Classic & Sportscar, July 1992

This web site has an entire page devoted
to the landaulette pictured in this article.

Classic-Sportscar p1. Classic-Sportscar p2.
Car 1993, p1. Car 1993, p2.       
At the end of the Daimler
Georg Kacher
Car, January 1993

An article where a caricatural owner of a Daimler is depicted the same way as his car: a relict from the past.

Sometimes funny, sometimes too exaggerated: "the glistening wood, from ancient maple and walnut trees, was felled by eunuchs and polished by virgins....". And the author found out that the DS420 has a "ridiculously small boot".

The article also talks about this specific car being "divisionless". That is indeed the case, but what the article does not tell is that this car, D800FHP is a very special one. It once was a company car for Sir John Egan, Jaguar's CEO, and therefore was fitted with a very luxurious, tailor-made interior. Until 2009 this car was part of the collection of the JDHT. We have an entire gallery of images available on this car.

Two month later, the same author and photographer produced an article on the same theme for the Austrian Auto Revue magazine. See it here.

The Specialist
Lining up the limos
Richard Thorley
Jaguar Enthusiast, November 1993

Worksop Limousines in Worksop, Notts. was
a large limousine specialist garage.
The author of this article is a son
of well known Jaguar writer Nigel Thorley.

     Jag.Enthusiast 1993, p1. Jag.Enthusiast 1993, p2.

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