1965 Daimler 2.5 V8 Saloon
|Colour||Old English White|
Jaguar’s purchase of Daimler from BSA in 1960 yielded a number of assets, including the powerful and compact 2.5-litre V8 previously used to power the somewhat ungainly SP 250 sports model. Designed by the talented Edward Turner, the refined 90-degree unit produced more power and weighed considerably less than Jaguar’s own 2.4-litre XK unit. Recognising the potential of Turner’s engine, William Lyons and his engineers installed the V8 in the compact Mark II saloon to create a car with an entirely different character, one that appealed to an altogether more sophisticated customer. Fed by twin SU carburettors, the engine developed 140 horsepower, pushing the Daimler to a top speed approaching 110 mph, accompanied by a lovely V8 exhaust note through the twin pipes. Most Daimler 250 V8s were fitted with Borg-Warner’s excellent T35 automatic transmission that nicely complemented the motor’s characteristics for relaxed, effortless performance. The Daimler’s cabin had the ambience of a traditional gentleman’s club, with a Walnut veneer dash, full instrumentation, a split bench front seat and West of England headlining. Power steering was commonly specified and most Daimlers came with leather upholstery, even after Jaguar switched to the cheaper ‘Ambla’ material on the Mark II in September 1966. The Daimler 250 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 the rapid increase in prices of Mark IIs in recent years, the Daimler 250 V8 is something of a bargain in comparison and those in the know will continue to seek out good examples like the car on offer here.