1963 Daimler 2.5 V8 Saloon
Forever overshadowed by its better known Jaguar stable-mates, the Daimler 250 V8 is regarded by many pundits as the best value of all the Mark II derivatives. When Jaguar took over Daimler in 1960, Edward Turner's superbly refined and remarkably lightweight 2.5-litre V8 engine from the unloved SP250 sports car was too good to be shelved. Instead, William Lyons and his engineers installed the Daimler V8 in the compact Mark II, thereby creating a car with an entirely different character. Thanks to the much lower weight of the all-alloy unit, when compared with Jaguar's XK six-cylinder, the Daimler 2.5 V8 handled very well and had a composed ride. Most Daimler 250 V8s came with Borg-Warner's excellent T35 automatic transmission, that, when combined with the V8s power, offered plenty of relaxed performance. Inside, the Daimler had a lovely coachbuilt feel, with a Walnut veneer dash complete with full instrumentation, a split bench front seat, leather upholstery and West of England headlining. The Daimler 2.5 V8 proved a very popular addition to the Jaguar range and nearly 18,000 were made before production ceased in 1969 - becoming the most successful car to wear the famous fluted radiator in the process. With all the attention focused on the Jaguar Mark II in recent years, the Daimler 2.5 V8 has to be seen as something of a bargain in comparison.