Daimler DS420 Various sales illustrations


  logo (1.7kB)

This web page shows various illustrated sales materials, e.g. magazine advertisements, in arbitrary sequence. All illustrations can be viewed in a larger format by clicking on them.

Dec.1998 calendar (43kB)    The beautiful black limo illustration (J11DOV) is from the Jaguar calendar of December 1998.

The 1996 calendar was entirely devoted to the Daimler marque, celebrating the 1896-1996 jubilee. Its November illustration (red limo) shows the last DS420 ever built (L420YAC). The JHT added it to its collection; a photograph of the same car is on the "Production & prices" page and on various other places (e.g. here) on this web site. The sketch in the background shows The Council House, Earl Street, in the centre of Coventry.

Finally, the yellow illustration is the July/August print of the 1992 calendar. The car shown (WOM366T, a 1978 model) is in the collection of the Coventry Transport Museum (see the real car on this photo on Flickr Photohosting and on this photo). The drawing was inspired by a 1968 press photograph (compare both illustrations). This illustration was re-used in 2003 as the cover image for the Classic Parts / JHT CD-ROM shown elsewhere on this site.

The original size of these drawings is 41×51 cm. (16×20 inch) approx.

Nov.1996 calendar (83kB)    1992 calendar (95kB)
rossleigh edinburgh rossleigh edinburgh  

These magazine adverts were published by Rossleigh, Daimler/Jaguar dealer in Edinburgh. In 1977 they were renamed to Heron Rossleigh.

The first one dates from late 1967, when the DS420 appeared on the market. The text is an almost verbatim copy of the introductory sales brochure.

The one to the right exists in two versions, both from 1970/1971. Their only difference is the price mentioned near the end of the text: £4994.14.9 (which was the catalogue price from February 1970), and £5445.15½ (catalogue price between December 1970 and July 1971).

Kenning Motor Group p1. Kenning Motor Group p2. Kenning Motor Group p3.
Kenning Motor Group p4. Kenning Motor Group p5. Kenning Motor Group p6. Kenning Motor Group p7. Kenning Motor Group p8.

The Kenning Motor Group owned the Jaguar/Daimler dealership Kenning's Car Mart in Manchester. Around 1981 they published a DS420 brochure of their own. It is extremely rare.

Several pages were taken from a 1981 factory sales brochure, but two pages were devoted to photos and a description of a limo built to very special specifications of one of their customers. This car had the central division window removed to create an even greater impression of space inside.

Size A4, folded & stapled. Printed by The Nuffield Press, a division of BL, who also printed all factory brochures.

hatfields sheffield

This undated leaflet was published by Hatfields, Sheffield's Jaguar dealer. Their address is still the same today as it was then.

The text mentions separate front seats, which dates this leaflet in 1984 or later. Dralon upholstery and a refrigerator in the boot, also mentioned in this text, were offered from 1985 on. The slogan The Uniquely British Limousine was also used as the title for a 1986 factory brochure. The rubber block bumpers as shown were on the car until 1987.

The most surprising detail is that the occasional seats are listed as "an optional extra". This is clearly a mistake.

1984 advert

This is the pre-print sheet of a magazine advertisement, accompanied by a "With Compliments" slip of the advertising company who made it for Jaguar Cars Ltd.

The text states a price of £ 27,995.- which was the catalogue price from October 1984 until July 1985. One year later this photograph was reused on the cover of a 1986 sales brochure which is extremely rare to find.

The text mentions that "there are now individual front seats with headrests", emphasising this recently added feature. 1984 advert

Hong Kong advert

Swire Chin from Toronto, Canada posted this 1987 newspaper advert on his Flickr photo sharing account. He was very kind to supply a large resolution scan which is reproduced here.

MD Motors (formerly Metro Dodwell) was the Jaguar/Daimler distributor in Hong Kong. The (then) Regent Hotel was their largest customer, employing a fleet of DS420 limousines as is described in this magazine article.

French advert

This advertisement in French language was used by the French Jaguar distributor for various glossy magazines in the second half of the eighties. It was published in in-flight magazines of various air lines, and other magazines aiming at air travellers.

The building in the back also appears on a photo on the first page of the same 1986 sales brochure as mentioned in the illustration two items above here. The small illustration with the computer display is from the 1984 office car

Unknown Magazine 1989

First impressions last

This advertisement is from an unknown magazine. It describes changes made for the 1987 model year, e.g. the full rubber strip bumpers. So it must date from late 1986.

The photo from this ad was also used in a 1987 sales brochure.

The ad's image shown here is copied from a small illustration in a magazine article. It has been enlarged considerably, hence the poor quality. I would very much love to obtain a better copy, or at least to find out where this ad was published. Please contact me at hjt@xs4all.nl if you have more information.

Legend Magazine summer 1988

Nothing else can quite stretch to it.

This advertisement is from the Legend magazine, issued by Jaguar Cars in summer 1988. It is also shown on page 304 of Brian Long's book "Daimler & Lanchester".

The limousine was already approaching its end-of-life, and feeling the pressure of the stretched limo competition.

It is what it is, because the others are not.


Reports on the 1977 Motorfair show in London, from the VandenPlas employees magazine Carriagecraft. The first article was taken from the October 1977 issue, during the show. The second one is from the December 1977 issue: 8 limousines sold, and 12 orders under negotiation!

The magazine copies were provided by Bryan Peebles, archivist of the VandenPlas Owners' Club.

   motorfair 1977 motorfair 1977
The Royal Year 1977    The Royal Year 1977

Carriagecraft was the in-house magazine for the employees of the VandenPlas works in Kingsbury. Only three issues were ever published. Bryan Peebles, archivist of the VandenPlas Owners' Club supplied these copies.

The front page article in December 1977 looks back on the sales results for that year. It was the year of the Royal jubilee in Britain. Many orders for royalty from all over the world are mentioned with pride. And the sky for 1978 looks bright, with several more royal orders in the pipe line.

All three issues of the magazine had an article that tried to show how the sales figures and the stock figures for the year had developed. In the first article the author drew a bar chart of the sales figures, with an appropriately tick-marked vertical axis, but he/she also wrote the stock figures inside the bar drawing, at the bottom. Obviously, this led to complaints about incomprehensibility. The second issue saw a retry, but only to make things worse: both the sales figures and the stock figures got their own bars, superimposed on top of each other with different tick marks drawn on two vertical axes: one axis on the left side and one on the right side of the drawing. An icon of amateurish graph presentation. Then, in the last issue, the obvious solution was found: don't try to cram two different things in one graph. Click on any one of the small pictures to see all three together in enlarged format. They make up for interesting reading.

   Weekly sales 1977 (1) Weekly sales 1977 (2) Weekly sales 1977 (3)

The bar charts in the various articles show four different figures altogether. First the average weekly sales, and the monthly sales. Although the caption inside the graph says that the monthly sale figures are for limousines and hearses together, the last article explicitly says that the total sales were 128 limos and 31 hearses. But the figures in the chart add up to 127. Somebody in the sales department lacked a sense for numbers here. Also, the numbers differ somewhat from the numbers shown on my "production figures, prices and options" page.

Then we have the figures for the stock levels. Since the DS420 actually had no stock at all (customers had to wait up to 12 month!) this figure almost exclusively shows the number of hearse bodies currently being converted, plus some units in transit between factory and customers.

The Master Sales Contract (MSC), mentioned in the last article only, is an interesting figure. It projects the estimates of the sales department onto the production department. This MSC adds up to a total of 323 for the year 1978: this is what the sales department plotted as their target, and effectively "ordered" the production department to provide. But: by the end of 1978 the actual sales were 139 limos and 48 hearses, which means that Jaguar and VandenPlas obviously had a serious commercial problem among them. A few month later the plug was pulled and VandenPlas ceased to exist as a separate company. The constant lament on the shortage of incoming bodies tells it all.

  JanFebMarAprMayJun JulAugSepOctNovDec total
Avg. weekly sale   4 3 3 43.5 2  3 1 1 3--
Monthly sale 1513141215 8  9 6 61111 7 127
1977 Stock 284745363523 18181820--
1978 MSC 272625222628 193223303827 323

Carriagecraft New Year 1978
Along came 1978.

Again from the Carriagecraft magazine the New Year's speech from a Vanden Plas' spokesman: "It can hardly be denied that 1977 was a very bad year, not only for Leyland in general, but also for Vanden Plas itself. Our production achievement was lower than it has been for a number of years, with the Limousine falling to almost the lowest achievement against contract in the entire Leyland range". The "page 5" mentioned in this article is the rightmost of the three graphs shown here above.

The article ends with the non-prophetic words: "There is no doubt that we had our backs forced against the walls in 1977, but 1978 should be the year that we start pushing forward again".

At the end of the year thereafter, Vanden Plas ceased to exist...


The next two images show a list of Jaguar dealers in the UK, 1988. In this year, the DS420 was almost at the end of its commercial life time. The interesting thing of this illustration is that it shows how exclusive a limousine dealership was amongst the Jaguar distributors: only these five out of a list of over 200 had this status.

Both Thomas Startin and Wilcox were hearse builders, besides being limousine dealers. Thomas Startin finished their DS420 involvement when the last hearses were delivered in 1994. Until late 2020, Wilcox Limousines still was actively involved in DS420 cars and parts, but then they closed their Chalfont St.Peter office.
Stratstone was undoubtedly the most famous of all Daimler dealers; most of the DS420 limousines were sold via this company.
A 1986 sales brochure (present elsewhere on this web site) shows the company logo of Taggarts of Glasgow.
In a 1968 magazine article, i.e. 20 years earlier, the full list of limousine dealers is significantly different. But even the "Such Rare Distinction" advert shown higher on this web page, dating from four years before this dealers' list, has nine instead of five DS420 dealers.

   1988 dealers 1 (2kB)    1988 dealers 2 (3kB)
Wall poster (30kB)   

Around 1984-1986 this illustration was used in many sales brochures (see these brochures). Here it is shown as a wall poster, for showroom decoration purposes. The poster measures 20"×30" (51×76cm.).
For a good impression of this it is pictured together with a well known reference object.


Daimler Hire (bought by Hertz in 1958) was famous for supplying the rows of limousines for various state occasions in the UK. These 1970 and 1971 Tariff Lists, showing car AMU308H and AMU330H, cause the usual surprising effects when you look back at price figures from several decades ago. E.g.: Chauffeur's board and lodging costs £.s.d. 3.10.0 per day... The 1971 version obviously was needed because of the decimalisation of the prices.
Orig. sizes 19×14 cm.

Daimler Hire 1970 1
Daimler Hire 1970 2
   Daimler Hire 1971 1
Daimler Hire 1971 2

Car AMU308H was later bought by Zoran Mitrović in Bern, Switzerland, who gave it a nut and bolt restoration. He contributed a huge collection of almost 3000 photos showing this restoration to the gallery section of this website (warning: 30Mb thumbnail gallery), and one of these photos shows the number engraved in a window.

Daimler Hire limo in London    Daimler Hire, Herbrand Street  

The photos to the left (click to enlarge) were made by Stewart J. Brown for a magazine article in the early seventies. The rightmost one shows the Daimler Hire garage, in Herbrand Street, London, now home to the McCann advertising company. Similar collections of limousines were owned by Avis Rent a Car on Headfort Place in London and by Camelot Cars.
Both photos show car AMU330H, which is also on the 1971 price list above.


Hertz Daimler Hire in London, 1974 Mr. Brown also made the picture to the right on May 17th, 1974. The car MGC158L is from a batch of eight, registered MGC154L to MGC161L, that Daimler Hire purchased in April and May 1973.

In 1986 the Daimler marque existed 90 years. To commemorate, Jaguar had the Automobile Quarterly Magazine prepare a jubilee booklet, which came out especially beautiful. The booklet has wonderful colour photographs of many Daimlers, and lots of other historic information and illustrations. One of the pages shows the Office Car DS420 limousine, although it here has a different license plate (A930KHP) than on one of the press photographs elsewhere on this site (this site has an entire web page devoted to the office car).
21×26 cm, 42 pages, ISBN 0-915038-49-8, Princeton Publishing Inc.
American Quarterly front cover (11.5kB)
American Quarterly colophon (9.2kB) American Quarterly text next to limo (4kB)
American Quarterly office car (44.8kB)

Back to the indexHomepage.