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Weekly Motor Fix: best of British

2 December, 2015

In an effort to reinvigorate the Daimler marque after acquiring the company in the early ’60s, Jaguar slotted Daimler’s 2.5-litre V8 into their Mk2 body and introduced the new model in 1962. Designed by Edward Turner, this jewel of an engine truly complemented the car’s handsome and curvaceous body perfectly. 

Keeping costs to a minimum, the Mk 2 Jaguar bodyshell received only minor modifications, including a revised rear valance to accommodate the V8’s twin-exhaust tail pipes plus a few alterations to the engine mounts. 

Despite the Daimler wearing many Jaguar Mk2 trim items, the Daimler, got its own entirely redesigned grille consisting of the marque’s long-established sculptured flutes across the top of the surround. The grille was devoid of any engine size badge; instead, this appeared on the boot lid in the shape of a redesigned traditional ‘Daimler’ script and V8 emblem. Following on from the handsome grille design, the chrome-plated number plate surround also sported those trademark flutes.

To complete the Daimler’s new identity, new wheel trims were fitted boasting a chromed ‘D’ motif against a black background in the centre section. 

The interior also received a minor makeover. Gone was the centre console that graced the Jaguar’s interior — this was replaced with a small panel under the centre of the dash panel, finished in walnut veneer to match the main dashboard. Other differences included a split front-seat arrangement, with twin centrally mounted armrests and recliners offered as options. Daimlers also shared the same steering wheel as their Mk2 cousin, the only difference being the ‘D’ badging in the centre. Unlike late-’60s Jaguars, the Daimler never suffered the indignity of vinyl upholstery as it was treated to full-leather trim. To put in bluntly, the Daimler may have been considered a ‘bitza’ when it emerged from Coventry back in 1962, but this stylish, luxuriously appointed combination proved to be one of the finest cars of its era.

This pristine example has been lovingly cared for by its current owner and has received a total restoration. The finishing touches include 205/70 R15 Cooper whitewalls, new exhaust system, and tail pipes. The front seats have been replaced, and many hours have been spent fettling the engine to the point that the Turner V8 now purrs and sounds absolutely fantastic.

So, this Daimler continues the journey it first set out on 48 years ago — still capable of bringing a smile to onlookers and other road users, as well as giving the driver an extreme amount of pleasure.

This car is reluctantly offered for sale due to another classic car purchase. For further details refer to the Editors’ Pick in our special January issue of New Zealand Classic Car magazine — celebrating 300 issues of the magazine — on sale December 14.   

The Jowett Jupiter turns 70

John Ball has always enjoyed tinkering with old boats and cars. He’s old enough to think having gearbox parts on newspaper on the floor of his bedroom, while the relevant car sat waiting on nail boxes, was a normal part of growing up. His passion has always tended towards old British bangers. He reckons he’s fortunate not to have got caught up in the American muscle scene.
John’s love affair with this Jupiter started in December 2015 when, with some time on his hands during a Christchurch trip, he searched online for ‘cars, before 1970 and in Christchurch’.

A passion for classics and customs

In the highly competitive field of New Zealand classic and custom restorations, reputations are won or lost on the ability to maintain consistently high standards of workmanship. A company managing to achieve this is D A Panel beating Ltd, of Rangiora near Christchurch. Is your classic or custom car restoration stalled, or in need of a refresh, or perhaps you are looking for experts to rebuild that recent import project out of Europe or the ‘States?