Daimler DS420 Press photographs


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This page shows various press photographs by Jaguar Cars. All photos can be enlarged by clicking.
Note that the book Daimler Days by Brian Smith contains a wealth of photographs, of which many were published as original press photographs too.

Press release pg.1    Invitation

The DS420 was introduced on June 5th, 1968. An invitation card for the happening is shown to the left (click to enlarge). Car MDU808F was taken to an outdoor photo session, and a press release was given out.

The first page of the press release is shown to the left. Click on it to enlarge the image, and to get access to the subsequent pages (11 pages total). With the press release came two photos: DCN175 (right, top) and DCN174 (right, bottom).

The photos of the outdoor session were heavily used in all kinds of promotional material such as sales brochures and magazine articles. While browsing though this web site, the tree pattern with the earthen wall in the background will show up at many more places.

Photos 189656 (below, left) and 190726 (below, right) were also taken at this photo session.

photo DCN175 - 1968

photo DCN174 - 1968

photo 189656 - 1968 (13kB) photo 190726 - 1968 (13kB)   

Photo 189656 (left) had the "royal blue lamp" from the roof edited away. In this form it was used in all Owner's Manuals.

The b&w brochure "Daimler of Coventry" has photo 190726 (right), plus the interior photo shown above, plus still another one taken at this same occasion.

Also this picture 190726 was used in colour, and with visible license plate MDU808F, on the first and on the last page of the 1969/1970 brochures.

DS420 photo 1968 DS420 photo 1968    These photos, unnumbered, again are from the same photo session as the ones above. Especially the leftmost one is extremely rare and was never published in books or articles. The one on the right appeared in Brian Long's book "Daimler and Lanchester" (pg. 291).
photo 199239 - 1968 (15kB)    Press photo 199239 is with the same car MDU808F as the above photos, but at an entirely different location.
MDU808F was the second DS420; it had body number 1M1002 and its recorded production date was April 17, 1968. It was kept at the factory as a "company car".
Almost 25 years later this photo would serve as the inspiration for one of the famous calendar airbrush drawings, although a different car was inserted there (see both illustrations together).

It is taken in London, looking West from Piccadilly Circus. More information is available under the above-mentioned link.

The leftmost photo shows VandenPlas at an Earls Court exposition. Comparison with photos in Brian Smith's "VandenPlas Coachbuilders" book (top photo on pg. 292) suggests that it is from the International Motor Exhibition of October 16-26, 1968, i.e. immediately after the introduction of the DS420.

The photo to the right is from an Earls Court exhibition as well; the pillar of the building (top-middle) clearly has the same style as the pillars on the other photo. Surprisingly, the Daimler brand had its own presence on this show, apart from the Jaguar stand. The year is uncertain, but most probably it's 1968. The DS420 was introduced in June 1968. The V8-250 model was phased out for the model year 1970, so it is unlikely that the exhibition in October 1969 would put so much emphasis on that model.

   VandenPlas at Earls Court, 1968    Daimler stand at Earls Court, 1968 or 1969
photo 206248 - 1969 (12kB)   photo 206221 - 1969 (13kB)
   Photos 206221 (right) and 206248 (left) probably date from 1969 (license year letter H in BMC868H). The leftmost photo shows, barely visible on the right side behind the car, the street name Sackville Street. This means that it is taken very close to the place where the above "Piccadilly" photo was shot.
Photo Z700 dates from early 1970 (license year letter H). It shows the limo of the Mayor of Coventry with license plate 1COV, parked in front of The Council House, Earl Street, in the centre of Coventry. This is car 1M1380, was delivered in February 1970, and used until its successor 1M2683 was delivered in March 1974.    photo Z700 - 1969 (14kB)
I had never seen this press photo in any publication before I came across this copy for my own collection. The back bears a stamp from British Leyland (Austin-Morris) Ltd, Cowley Division, identifying it as press photo 208813. Comparing this number with other BL press photos indicates that it dates from late 1970, early 1971. There are no visible details on the car to contradict this. Being that early it must have been shot at the Vanden Plas works in Kingsbury, London.    photo 208813 - 1970/1971)
photo unnumbered - 1972 (12kB)    photo car EWK1L - 1972   

The leftmost photo (unnumbered) has a barely visible license year number L (1972). It shows the then new design of the last side window, which changed from a wind-down type (with vertical side-post) to a swivel/hinged type. Also, the fog lamps moved outward. The book Daimler Days shows this photo on page 884. The sales brochure "The Daimler Limousine is here, Your Excellency" has a colour picture taken at the same spot, at a slightly different angle. Other pictures in that brochure suggest that this is car EWK1L.

The rightmost photo shows the same car EWK1L. The above-mentioned brochure (same page) has a photo taken at the same location. This must have been part of a larger series of press photos, since a 1974 magazine article shows still another photo of the same car at the same location.

car BHP700L 1976? photo unnumbered - 1976?(12.5kB)   

These pictures show a car with direction lights on the door post, and on the side of the front wing. Much later the ones on the front wing became standard. Both these press photographs (unnumbered) are very rare; they are not even published in Daimler Days. They are taken in London SW1 around St. James's Square.

car BHP700L 1976? car BHP700L 1976?   

In 2001, the JDHT published a Jaguar Photo Library CD-ROM, with a collection of archive photographs. The CD contains one DS420 photo (left). It shows the license plate BHP700L, which suggests that this is a 1972/1973 car.

The rightmost one comes from Brian Long's book Daimler and Lanchester (pg.293). It must have been taken at the same occasion as the other ones.

Also from 1972/1973, and shown on page 877 of Daimler Days, are these pictures nr. 224051 (left) and 224049 (right). They show car MBY600L.    photo 224051 - 1972 (11kB)    photo 224049 - 1972 (14kB)
photo interior unnumbered - 1972 (11kB)    This photo (unnumbered) is most probably from 1980. It may be car DVC803V. The plastic turning handle for the door window shows that this is not an early car.
The photo shows the swivel-type last window, the modified side-armrest (since 1972) of the bench, which could be made more stretched because the turning handle for the last window had disappeared, and the modified wood trim just below that window where ashtray and cigar lighter now moved to. Also note how the wood trim above and between the side windows has disappeared since 1972. For a comparison with the previous situation, see the B&W picture near the top of this page, or the colour picture on page 3 of the 1970 sales brochure.

Photos 239834 (left) and 239836 (right) show the famous Landaulette for the Governor of Jamaica (one of the only two factory built Landaulettes, car 1M2488). The original picture bears the note: "Not to be published until 8 March 1974", but the book VandenPlas Coachbuilders lists the production of this car in July 1973.

Clicking on the rightmost picture will show two slightly different editions of that press photo (same negative number).

This web site has an entire page devoted to the factory produced landaulettes, showing more photographs and the corresponding press release.

photo 239834, Gov. Jamaica 1973 (12kB)   photo 239836, Gov. Jamaica.2 1973 (14kB)
photo 248711 - 1974 photo 248714 - 1974 photo 248708 - 1974
photo 248713 - 1974 photo 248710 - 1974 Blenheim VandenPlas

These photos above show the three VandenPlas cars in the British Leyland repertoire, on the forecourt of Blenheim Palace in Woodstock near Oxford. They were part of the September 1974 press release announcing the upgrade of the smallest VdP model from 1300 to 1500 specs. The limo shown has reg. HUB509N. This photoshoot took place on July 5th 1974, and the full range of photos published has numbers 248708-248714 (248709 and 248712 missing in my collection).
Photo 248711 (top left) was distributed in large quantities, Next to it is photo 248714, much rarer; it is almost identical to 248711 but taken from a slightly different angle. The (top) rightmost photo is nr. 248708, not very rare. You may compare the display on this photo to an earlier (1973) magazine article.

The two photos on the lower row (248713 and 248710) are much rarer. The same illustration as photo 248710 (middle), but taken from a slightly different angle, was used as the cover photo of the Motor magazine of September 21, 1974.

Photo 248718 is from the same photoshoot at Blenheim Palace in 1974, but it was distributed explicitly for DS420 promotion, and used as such at least until late 1975. The photo shows the rear view of the Blenheim Palace. The book Daimler Days has it in a cut-out format on page 887. Similar photos were made of the other two VandenPlas cars.
In February 1974 (starting with car 1M2670) the door locks changed significantly. The keyholes now sit much higher than before. This photo clearly shows the new positions.
   photo 248718 - 1975 (11kB)
photo 269783 - 1976 photo 269782 - 1976   

Photo 269783 (left) is from 1976 (license year letter R in ORW800R). The book Daimler Days shows it on page 890. Note the -non standard- direction light high up on the door post behind the front door. There are publications of this picture in colour. Photo 269782 (right) is much rarer. Note that the insignia on the front air inlets are gone now.

In November/December of this year the bumper overriders would change from chrome ones to rubber blocks, as following pictures show.

Photo 274501 is a rare one from (probably) 1977. It has the following caption:

photo 274501 caption text
   photo 274501 - 1977   

License number 1PMG stands for "Patrick Motors Group", the parent company of Birmingham's Daimler distributor "Reeve and Stedeford". On the average, R&S bought a new demonstration car every one or two years, so many different cars have carried this plate.

Photo 277117 shows a car from the first half of 1977. Its rubber block bumpers were introduced in Nov/Dec. 1976, and the wing mirrors were replaced by door mirrors in the summer of 1977.

It is unbelievable that this photo was actually meant for publication, with the eye-striking cable hanging from the roof in the background. The photo was initially contributed from the archive of the VandenPlas Owners' Club. Since then I have found a copy for my own collection. It has the caption text: "International Motor Show" (but no year): an example of a Daimler limousine, the body panels of which are produced by Motor Panels. Issued by: Garnett Keeler Public Relations Ltd. Tel: 01-399 1184".

   photo 277117 (12kB)
cocktail cabinet photo open cocktail cabinet photo closed cocktail cabinet photo open   

The rightmost photo, from my own collection, has a stamp on the back from the British Leyland Motor Corp, Photographic Department, 17053/C, plus a hand-written note dating this in 1977. The one in the middle, contributed from the archive of the Vanden Plas Owners' Club, has number 17054/C. The photos are heavily discoloured since this car had, according to the JHT records, a "light blue velours" interior. Click here for a scan from the same picture, taken before the colour changed so much. The leftmost photo is nr. 279475.

The magazine article below is from an unknown source. Brian Smith's book Vanden Plas Coachbuilders, page 295, shows the same illustration. Note that this is the same cabinet as on the above colour pictures: same veneer pattern. The cocktail cabinet was introduced in late 1973, initially on request of one wealthy customer. More cocktail cabinet information: click here.
According to the book, this cabinet was mounted in car UAC51R, of which we have several photos. Three of these photos are contributed from the archive of the VPOC. Despite its UK license number, this car (1M20146; May 1977) was meant for the French market, as can be seen from the yellow head light bulbs, and its left hand steering wheel. The photoshoot of car UAC51R and its cabinet interior most probably was in July and/or August 1977. The 6 photos shown below have the following numbers: top row left to right: unknown, 279494, unknown; bottom row: 279476, 279505, unknown.

Export car UAC51R article Export car UAC51R, press photo nr. unknown Export car UAC51R on press photo 279494 Export car UAC51R, press photo nr. unknown
Export car 279476 on press photo 279476 Export car UAC51R on press photo 279505 Export car UAC51R, press photo nr. unknown

Photo 282027 (no caption) shows the DS420 at the Motorfair Exhibition at Earls Court in London, 19-30 October 1977. The position of the separation between the two colors is exceptional, especially near the headlamps. No other sales publication in my collection has it located as shown on this photo. And, albeit small: white wall tyres!

This was car 1M3506BW, manufacturing date Sept. 2, 1977. Its body was light green over dark metallic green, very handsome. The interior was in green dralon, velours lookalike. Photos of its green interior were used in many sales brochures, for several years to come.

In January 2015 this car was offered for sale on eBay, but it was in a sad state. The small color photo was taken around that time. Click on it for a more extensive photo collection. Sic transit gloria mundi.

   photo 282027 Earls Court 1977    Earls Court 1977 showcar in 2015

Photo C345, with the interior trimmers at work, is shown in many books. It was part of a press release in early 1981, when Daimler had introduced a "group assembly" system for the limousine production, shortly after it was moved from VandenPlas Kingsbury to Jaguar at Browns Lane. The Motor magazine of February 21, 1981 published an article, based on this press release text. The Autocar magazine, also of February 21, 1981, distilled a smaller article.

   photo C345 (14kB)    press release press release
photo DA1286 - 1980 (12kB)    Photo DA1286 (left) was part of the same press release as the above one. It shows the redesigned (rectangular) air inlets and direction lights, as fitted from 1980. The revision also did away with the flying D on the bonnet and replaced it with a D-medaillon, as had previously only been fitted on cars to be exported to countries forbidding these pedestrian-killing devices on the front of a car (i.e. most European mainland countries). Also the new square overriders with rubber block inlay are clearly visible.
Note that this limo is still with chrome rimbellishers (wheel rings), which accurately dates this photo in 1980.
1984 photo (13kB)

Photo 321563 (left) is from 1984 (license year letter A). This photo was part of the January 1984 press release that described the office car. More info on this office car (including the press release text) is Here.

Note the absence of the chrome rimbellishers, but the wheels are still of the steel type.

The same photo was re-issued again two years later as photo DA1302 (right). But this required of course an update to the license number: it changed from A601KDV to C801KDV, to position the car in 1986. The book Daimler Days shows these photos on pages 910 and 915. Click on either one to compare them in enlarged form.

   photo 321563 - 1984 (12kB) photo DA1302 - 1986 (9kB)
Office Car Interior 321567 - 1984 Office Car Interior 321574 - 1984 Office Car Interior 321572 - 1984    These photos were part of the 1984 press release that described the office car. They have been published many times, as can be seen both on the pages with magazine articles, and on the office car page. But here are original press photos, including their neg. numbers (from left to right) 321567, 321574 and 321572. The nr. 321574 (middle) is not hard to find, but the other two are rare.
This press text was released in March 1986.    1986 Press release pg.1    1985 had a slight boost in limo sales figures, as this text mentions. The success did not last; production in 1986 stayed far below the 250 units announced here..
This picture is from a 1989 Press Release by Jaguar France, although it is obviously shot in the English Cotswolds area (Broadway Hotel, Broadway, Cotswolds), as the typical yellow stones show. It is also printed in a 1987 sales brochure.    French Press Release 89 - 1989
88/89 Press release pg.1    photo DA1311 - 1989 (10kB)    This photo DA1311 (car F401JAQ) was part of a press release for the 1989 model year (October 1988). It came together with the text pages displayed next to it.

Note that this photo was shot at exactly the same spot as the colour photo above, and as the 1987 (!!) sales brochure.

The text pages announce the introduction of the cast alloy wheels, replacing the pressed steel ones. But the car shown still has the pressed steel wheels (latest version, silver grey paint, without chrome rimbellishers).

Photo DA1321 shows a very late model. Here at last are the alloy wheels on display.
It is later than 1989, but the exact year is hard to determine.
Daimler Days shows it (on page 922) for the year 1991. A different version of this photo exists with the tower (left) visible up to its top.
Next to it is (part of) the same picture in colour, as used in a December 1990 magazine article. The location is Eastnor Castle near Ledbury, Herefordshire, England.
   photo DA1321a - 1991 (7kB)    photo DA1321 - 1991 (10kB)

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