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Once in a while something really special comes along that need the love of a new owner to restore it to past glory. Just such a car is Chassis Number One, the very first Daimler Double Six Vanden Plas LWB Saloon made. It will be sold at ‘No Reserve’ by H&H Classics on March 24 in a live auction online. Matching Chassis and Engine Numbers, reputedly its sister car was gifted to HM The Queen Mother by the Daimler company.
John Markey of H&H Classics says:
“This car is a gilt edged part of British motoring history – the first Daimler Double Six VDP off the production line which today is a restoration project. The car pleasingly retains its original factory-fitted 5.3 litre V12. This Daimler surely belongs in a marque collection or museum.”
Once the pride of Browns Lane, this historic Daimler Double Six Vanden Plas LWB has the distinction of having been the very first RHD example made. According to Jaguar Heritage Trust records and the accompanying Heritage Certificate, chassis 2B1001BW was manufactured on 18th May 1972 and fitted with body number 5B1002.
Originally finished in Garnet Metallic with Chamois interior, it was dispatched on 8th November 1972 and subsequently sold to its first owner, J Dale Ltd of London N1, via dealers Reeve & Stedeford of Birmingham. It was road registered under the mark ‘GON 51L’ on 1st February 1973.
The story goes that chassis number one received body number two and vice versa, although this may require confirmation from Jaguar historians. Chassis number two was reputedly gifted to the Queen Mother at the time. Re-registered as 'VXE 960L' at some stage, the luxury saloon previously belonged to a Jaguar enthusiast before entering the current ownership six years ago and was stripped for a restoration that has yet to be completed.
Introduced in 1968, the Jaguar XJ Series and its Daimler counterparts were the last saloons to enjoy the personal input of Jaguar's founder, Sir William Lyons. Some four years into production a 12-cylinder XJ was offered for the first time, the Daimler version of which was dubbed the Double-Six, thereby reviving the famous Daimler model name of the vintage era.
Only 877 Series 1 Daimler Double Sixes were made between January 1972 and July 1973, a mere 337 of which were to right-hand drive, long wheelbase Vanden Plas specification.