Daimler DS420 Production, prices and options


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Kingsbury factory  

Every publication about the DS420 lists slightly different production/sales figures, but the most comprehensive list comes from the book "Jaguar, a living legend", by Anders D. Clausager. At the time of publication, Mr. Clausager was an archivist to the British Motor Heritage Trust. In the table below, the column Production is taken from Mr. Clausager's book. Since the book was published in 1990, it does not have figures for 1989-1992. They were deduced from various other sources.

Left: very early cars at the VandenPlas works in Kingsbury (click to enlarge)

The DS420 was well known for its extensive list of optional accessories, which could increment the basic price of the car by 50%. This web page, and its attached sub-pages, show price information and option lists for each individual year. Also of interest are the prices for the Chassis only car, to be sold to hearse building companies.


The following table lists the basic price of the limousine, including taxes, in GB£ for the UK market. Some rows have two prices, if the given year had price increases (that I know of). The source of the information is given for every year where applicable. Where an entry says Show ... price list you can click through to a page showing the original price and option list (often multiple lists) for the given year. Every price list shows the available options, with their individual price figures. Please note that a given year may have had more price lists, and thus multiple price figures, than shown here.

Year Prices Price info source Production Cumulative Year
limochassis limochassistotal
1968 £ 4424.9.5  £ 4520.16.5Show 1968 price lists 186186241968
1969 £ 4520.16.5  £ 4874.12.6Show 1969 price lists 29133309393481969
1970 £ 4994.14.9  £ 5445.3.1Show 1970 price lists 428617371008371970
1971 £ 5500.62  Show 1971 price list 2365097315011231971
1972 £ 5665.63  £ 5922.40Show 1972 price lists 24443121719314101972
1973 £ 5839.16  £ 6401.64Show 1973 price lists 26331148022417041973
1974 £ 6899.75  £ 7643.61Show 1974 price lists 24346172327019931974
1975 £ 8393.58  £ 9210.24Show 1975 price lists 23564195833422921975
1976£ 9767.16 £ 11451.96Show 1976 price lists 14540210337424771976
1977£ 12597.39 £ 13572.-Show 1977 price lists 12351222642526511977
1978£ 14929.20 £ 17640.09Show 1978 price lists 13948236547328381978
1979£ 17640.09 £ 23546.25Show 1979 price lists 12944249451730111979
1980£ 24723.56 £ 25712.76Show 1980 price lists 10340259755731541980
1981£ 26998.46   Show 1981 price lists 16922276657933451981
1982£ 23588.60 £ 24768.41Show 1982 price lists 10216286859534631982
1983£ 25994.31  Show 1983 price lists 14622301461736311983
1984£ 25994.31 £ 27995.-Show 1984 price lists 14524315964138001984
1985£ 27995.- £ 29995.-Show 1985 price lists 17044332968540141985
1986£ 31950.-  Show 1986 price lists 13243346172841891986
1987£ 31950.- £ 36400.-Show 1987 price lists 13937360076543651987
1988 -  none published 12133372179845191988
1989£ 40000.-  Show 1989 price list 16133388283147131989
1990£ 43000.-  Show 1990 price list 14128402385948821990
1991£ 46500.- £ 47520.-Show 1991 price lists 9630411988950081991
1992£ 45692.32  Wilcox Limousines 2214 4141 903 5044 1992
Year Prices Show all price lists
limochassis limochassistotal Year
Production Cumulative
Over the 25 year life span of the model, the price slowly climbed to a tenfold of the introduction price. This is equivalent to a sustained inflation rate of almost 10% every year. Note how the price doubled from 1973 to 1976 (four years), and again doubled from then to 1979 (three years). Assembly at Vanden Plas

The 1992 price is taken from a set of hand written price quotations by Wilcox Limousines; they will be shown if you click on that table entry.

Around 1981 the limousine was again hit by the soaring inflation, because of its labour intensive production. A magazine article (shown on the page with English language articles) touches upon this subject and talks about price cuts together with reorganisations to fight the rising costs. The resulting 12.5% price cut was massive. However, the sales volume before the price cut went up 50% already.


Assembly at Vanden Plas in Kingsbury.
First half of the seventies.
Photos from the archive of the Vanden Plas Owners' Club.

Assembly at Vanden Plas

Below: 1985 body shells at Browns Lane (click to enlarge).
More photos taken at this location were published in a 2008 magazine article.

bodies at Browns Lane bodies at Browns Lane  

The best way to deduce the year of construction from the chassis number is with the PDF-file that is available on the web site of the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust.

The following scheme roughly applies:

1968-1978  RHD: 1M1001-1M3616;LHD: 1M20001-1M20151
1978-1979  all models: 10001-10209
1979-1992  limo: 200001-201631;hearse: 400001-400425

In 1979 the automobile industry adopted the international VIN number format, which had a 6-digit number field. Jaguar followed in March 1981. A detailed explanation of this VIN number format is on my webpage with various technical illustrations.

production at Browns Lane production at Browns Lane production at Browns Lane

To find the Vehicle Identification Number on the DS420 the bonnet must be opened. An identification plaquette is riveted in the engine bay, on the right wheel well, showing vehicle number, and chassis, engine and gearbox numbers. Note that vehicle number and chassis number are not the same. But this plaquette is damaged easily, and the rivets can be removed. Starting somewhere between mid-1970 and mid-1971 the vehicle number was then also stamped on the horizontal surface where the bonnet catch/lock drops in. These numbers always have the format 1M followed by a four-digit number (starting at 1001) for RHD cars, or five digits (starting at 20001) for LHD. Cars from 1978 on have the number in front of the rightmost screen wiper: lift the bonnet and look in the small 'trench' where the upper edge of the bonnet drops in. Cars built at Vanden Plas in London (until 1979) also carry a "VandenPlas job number". This is located in front of the radiator, at the bottom, and visible through the grille.


Right: Late eighties body shells being assembled at Park Sheet Metal (click to enlarge)
Click here for an extensive Park Sheet Metal brochure.


232 of the 4141 limousines were LHD. There were no LHD chassis sales.

As an aside: some confusion is caused by the fact that the first edition of the Parts Catalogue (publ. No. JC53) states that chassis numbers for LHD vehicles start from 1M2001 onward; so a 0 digit is missing here. The next edition (publ.No. RTC9183A) corrects this mistake.

Editions thereafter (publ. No. RTC9887CC and RTC9887CD) explicitly state "actual commencing date of manufacture 4.7.80" for numbers from 200038 (hearse 400041) on.

Another remark aside: until the end of 1978 the DS420 was assembled at the VandenPlas works in Kingsbury, London. Vanden Plas gave each car a Job Number and the book Vanden Plas Coach Builders by Brian Smith gives more details about these numbers. They started at 12000 and eventually climbed up to around 14500. This number is on a plate attached to the chassis behind the bottom of the grille (facing forward).

From the above table it can be deduced that the majority of the DS420 production has come from VandenPlas. Over the total production period, the average production was less than one car per day.

Parts Catalogues give information about certain changes on the car, and often give both a RHD-number and a LHD-number where the change started. This suggests that these pairs can be used as rough synchronisation points between RHD and LHD numbers. Some of these pairs are: 1M1154/1M20003, 1M1663/1M20028, 1M1833/1M20034, 1M1938/1M20047, 1M1941/1M20046, 1M2181/1M20072, 1M2366/1M20082, 1M2408/1M20087, 1M2566/1M20093, 1M2662/1M20096, 1M2669/1M20099, 1M2744/1M20103, 1M2828/1M20110, 1M2951/1M20115, 1M3082/1M20120, 1M3217/1M20132, 1M3382/1M20139, 1M3455/1M20145, 1M3469/1M20147. But keep in mind that the car with the LHD-number may have been built quite long after the corresponding RHD-one.

lastlimo 39Kb   

The very last batch of limos built (Oct/Nov. 1992) was for the Royal family, and for the Jaguar Heritage Trust. This is the JHT car, L420YAC, VIN SAJDWATL3AA201631; it is (as most JHT cars are) for hire.

You may notice that, although manufactured in 1992, this car has an "L" registration, which is from 1994.

The 1996 Jaguar/Daimler calendar had an airbrush drawing of this car.

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