This Daimler was the best of several of these beautiful Jaguar built cars that I have owned, it was very smooth and quiet, and encouraged the calm, serene, polite style of driving, which we all enjoy at certain times. When in the mood, the right foot could be pushed into the Wilton, the gearbox would kick down and accompanied by a satisfying V8 burble, the car would surge forward in a most satisfying manner. The rear wheel arches, which would have originally been fitted with spats, were modified to the Coombes type. Compared to earlier Daimler built saloons this car was a bit of a revelation, the word acceleration did not seem to previously exist in the vocabulary of the Daimler designers!
Comparisons abound on the Jaguar MkII range and the manual o/d 3.8 Jaguar inevitably comes out on top, along with its top price tag. If like me you enjoy driving silky smooth, comfortable motor cars and love the burble of a V8, leave the Jaguar alone and seek out the best Daimler V8 you can afford, you will not be disappointed. The Daimler version was typically purchased when new, by a retired solicitor or bank manager. He would, in all probability, have ordered the optional extra radio and heated rear window and naturally, chosen automatic transmission and power steering. The car was then cosseted during retirement, until eventually changing hands, often with low mileage and a full service history. Genuine low mileage, low ownership Daimler V8 saloon cars still turn up.
These cars cover the ground very well and are capable motorway cruisers (although the engine will feel a little extended by modern day standards). A manual gearbox with or without overdrive was an option and although these are now very sought after, my preference by far, is the more relaxed automatic, it is closer to the whole Daimler concept of a ‘smooth as flight’ drive.
The Daimler V8 saloons were always fitted with full leather interior, (perforated pleats on the V8250) never cheap leather cloth. These cars were undersealed from new, although not hand built in the tradition of earlier Daimlers, the woodwork was hand picked to ensure the colours and grain matched.
The Daimler V8250 is a silky smooth performer with good disc brakes all round, assisted by a servo, correctly set up they are very good, even the handbrake will operate correctly, though many in poor condition don’t. For some bizarre reason this model is usually cheaper to buy than its Jaguar cousin, it has something to do with aspiration, buyers apparently prefer the leaping cat on the bonnet. To my eyes the Daimler’s crinkly grill looks better, and this smooth comfortable car certainly suits my driving style, buy one now before the Jaguar drivers wake up!
Having owned both good and bad examples, I would always recommend buying the best you can afford, even though undersealed from new, if neglected, these cars rust and they rust everywhere. The V8 250 does not have a separate chassis, corrosion in the sills and other structural points is an MOT fail, look closely before you buy, unless you enjoy welding.
Mechanically bullet proof if properly maintained, they do not like neglect. The upside of the popularity of the iconic Jaguar MkII and its better built Daimler brother, is the superb spares backup provided by companies such as David Manners and SNG Barrat, get their catalogues before you buy and join the DLOC. Buy a good V8 saloon and it will provide more pleasure than you can imagine, buy a lemon and you will rue the day…
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