1973 Daimler Double-Six Vanden Plas VGY 215M
This long wheelbase top of the range car was used by both Sir William Lyons and Lord Stokes for their personal transport during the British Leyland era. It was also used as a test bed on several occasions, including the fitment of a two-stage differential and a different engine. The car was acquired by the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust from the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust in 1991. As its condition had deteriorated over time, in 2003 the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club was asked to undertake a project to refurbish the car. The work included a complete strip-down and rebuild of the mechanics, most of the work being carried out by David Marks Garage in Nottingham, rebuilding the V12 engine (which was carried out by Jaguar personnel) and major body repairs and a repaint carried out by Alan Proctor from Worksop – all of which was reported in the Jaguar Enthusiast magazine at the time.
Five years on from the launch of the very successful Series 1 XJ6 range, the car was in need of some upgrades to freshen the styling and enhance the heating and cooling system. This led to the launch of the Series 2 XJ6 in 1973, characterised by a smaller radiator grille and bumpers raised in height to meet US regulations. The bulkhead was modified to accept a new air-blending heater and a fully automatic air conditioning system became available for the first time. The interior was also upgraded with new switchgear, a revised instrument cluster with all the dials in front of the driver, a modified centre console and re-designed door casings.
Late in the life of the Series 1 XJ6 in 1972, a long wheelbase variant was introduced which had a 4 inch longer wheelbase, all of the extra length being applied to the rear seat area. Initially introduced as the Daimler Double-Six Vanden Plas (resurrecting Daimler’s Double-Six nomenclature from the 1920s) the longer bodyshell was also made available for 6 and 12 cylinder Jaguar models. All these models continued to be offered in the Series 2 range where they were joined by the new two-door coupé body style, leading to a total Series 2 line-up of some 16 different models!
Registration Mark: VGY 215M
Chassis Number: 2P1002BW
Owner: The Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust
Inventory Number: 71/D.32