1964 Daimler Majestic Major Limousine AHC 815B
The last and best of the large post-war Daimlers was launched at the 1959 Motor Show. After starting out with a 3 litre six cylinder engine in the Regency of 1951, the big Daimlers grew to 3½ litres and 4½ litres, with a 3.8 litre version in the Majestic of 1958.
This car was transformed when fitted with a new 4½ litre V8 engine to become the Majestic Major. Like the Majestic, the new car had disc brakes on all wheels, and an automatic gearbox.
The engine was designed by Edward Turner, in parallel with his 2½ litre V8 that powered the SP250 sports car. It endowed the large and heavy saloon with a top speed of 120 mph (193 km/h), where the Majestic had only just exceeded 100 mph (162 km/h). The dignified if rather staid styling remained similar to the design first seen in 1954, although this was seen as an advantage by some, since the sports car like performance was then an even greater surprise to other motorists.
In 1960, Jaguar took over Daimler, and series production of the Majestic Major commenced in November of that year. In 1961, this nine-seater Limousine version followed, with the wheelbase lengthened by 2 feet (610 mm), but the top speed was still around 114 mph (183 km/h). The car quickly found favour with embassies and Government offices.
The price in 1966 was £3,558, or about one-third of the cost of a Rolls-Royce limousine. Many were used as hire cars, and as the separate chassis was available to specialist coachbuilders, several were fitted with hearse bodywork.
The Majestic Major limousine gained Silver Medals for coachwork at the 1964, 1967 and 1968 Motor Shows. Production was always on a small scale, and in 1966 was moved from the old Daimler factory at Radford to the Jaguar factory at Browns Lane.
In 1968, the model was discontinued to make way for the new DS 420 limousine.
Total production was 1184 saloons and 867 limousines and chassis.
Registration Mark: AHC 815B
Chassis Number: 136461
Owner: The Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust
Inventory Number: 059/D.29