Launched in 1962, the Daimler 2.5-Litre V8 was one of the finest cars of its era being a more refined and luxurious version of the highly rated Jaguar MkII.
Its crowning glory was the superb Ed Turner-designed all-alloy V8 that had made its debut in the Daimler Dart. This musical and muscular unit developed a silky smooth 140bhp and 155lb/ft of torque which gave the car a top speed of 115mph.
Mated to a 3-speed automatic gearbox it endowed the compact Daimler with effortless flexibility that appealed to the marque’s more mature client base. It also had better handling than the MkII, the lightweight V8 giving more favourable weight distribution. It was quietly dropped from the Jaguar range in 1969 after some 17,600 examples had been sold, a real shame because it was a great car which was never properly replaced.
This particular V8 was delivered new to Christchurch, New Zealand, in May 1966 and was first owned by the Radford family who were to keep it right up until 1995. It then had one other owner before it was shipped back to England in 2011 where it has had two owners since.
The engine was rebuilt at around 81,000 miles in 1983 and the clock is now showing some 135,000 miles which is warranted correct and is backed up by a good history file, especially while in the 29-year care of the Radford family. Since arriving in the UK it has been treated to new tyres all round (including the spare), all new door, spat and boot rubbers, new front door cards, new ignition wiring and a new thermostat.
The vendor acquired the car in 2014 and found that the oil pressure was low so he has had the bottom end completely rebuilt which has restored it to good health. He has also fitted a new exhaust system and fixed the heater which was previously not working. He states that all the instruments work as they should except the clock. Looking wonderful in gold with a red leather interior and gleaming chrome, the car is said to be in good overall condition and to drive well with an MOT until 28th June 2017 with no advisories recorded.
Altogether a lovely old Daimler with few owners that is far better preserved than most cars of its era thanks to the benign New Zealand climate in which it spent the first 45 years of its life.