1986 Daimler XJ-S V12 Coupé Daimler Design Study

In 1985, Jim Randle who was Director of Jaguar Engineering, asked the Styling Studio under Geoff Lawson to look into the feasibility of developing a removable hard top for the planned XJ-S Convertible. This quickly proved not to be feasible, but some preparatory work had already been done, using an XJ-S Cabriolet as the basis. Jim Randle and Geoff Lawson then decided to use the opportunity to explore the possibility of developing a top-of-the range XJ-S based niche model, under the Daimler name.

Together with designer Fergus Pollock and with sheet metal modifications by Park Sheet Metal, Geoff developed the idea during 1985-86, almost as a spare time project. The steel hardtop was welded to the existing structure, and the Cabriolet roof panels were ‘skinned’ in steel. Modifications included a new design of rear side window with mouldings, and a chrome panel on the ‘B’ post. The Daimler identity was indicated by a new Daimler grille and a bootlid moulding, both with the fluted Daimler design.

The intention was that a small run of these cars should be produced, probably off-site at Park Sheet Metal in Bedworth near Coventry, and some consideration was given to incorporating the four-wheel drive system from FF Developments. The cars would have featured a special interior, finished by hand in the Daimler limousine shop (the Special Vehicle Operations Department).

However, while there was some positive reaction to the car, opinions were divided. The car was subject to a customer clinic in Los Angeles, together with the existing XJ-S coupé and cabriolet models, and the proposed convertible, and the US audience was far more interested in the convertible. While the car was a fully running prototype, the bespoke interior was never fitted before the project was shelved in 1986. The car was retained by the Styling Studio for some time, possibly with further development in mind but was eventually gifted to the Trust in 1989.

Chassis Number: SAJJNAFW3CC131882

Owner: The Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust

Inventory Number: 089/D.35