Daimler XJ Series III 4.2 Vanden Plas



The XJ Series of Jaguars and Daimlers was significantly facelifted from the Series II in April 1979. Using the long-wheel base version of the car, it incorporated a subtle exterior redesign by Pininfarina.  For the 1984 model year the Sovereign name was transferred from the Daimler marque to a new top-specification Jaguar model, the "Jaguar Sovereign". The Vanden Plas name was also dropped at the time in the UK market, due to Jaguar being split from British Leyland and privatised. Daimler models became the Daimler 4.2 and Double Six and were the most luxurious XJ Series III models, being fully optioned with Vanden Plas spec interiors.

According to the Daimler and Lanchester Owner’s Club, only 891 Vanden Plas spec Daimler 4.2s were ever produced (see: https://www.dloc.org.uk/xj-range), making them the rarest of all the Daimler Series III cars. In addition, according to the How Many Left website, in 2020 only 15 have been registered in the UK for road use (see: https://www.howmanyleft.co.uk/vehicle/daimler_4.2_auto). 

A genuine UK supplied matching numbers car (as verified by the Jaguar Heritage Trust), this car is truly exceptional, being a one family owned car (the son inheriting the car) and with just over 7,700 miles from new. 

As possibly the lowest mileage, lowest ownership example of this marque and model available, it represents a rarely available opportunity, for the discerning collector.

The car was dry stored since 2011 and given its uniqueness, no expense has been spared in its recommissioning, in order to present it, in what can now be described as concours condition.

Examples of cars such as this only rarely come to the market. As a consequence, it provides a unique opportunity for someone wishing to own, possibly the rarest and best example of this marque and model in existence.

Recorded Mileage:
Fuel type:
Petrol (unleaded)
Engine capacity:
4235 cc
Exterior colour:
Clarendon Blue
Engine output:
205 Bhp @5,000 rpm | 231 Ft lbs @3,000 rpm
Interior colour/trim:
3 speed automatic
Date of registration:
MOT expiry:
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No items found.
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Finished in Clarendon Blue (a rare colour option only available for the XJ Series III range for the 1984 model year), the unmistakably sleek and elegant lines are simply classic throughout and are further accentuated by the chrome bodyside mouldings and hand painted coachlines, only found on the Vanden Plas spec models.

As part of the comprehensive re-commissioning, the cars paintwork was subject to a full paint correction and finished off with a high end wax finish. The end results, as can be seen from the photos, are simply stunning. The Clarendon Blue holds an amazing depth of colour and shine, presenting a real sense of the feline poise and sophistication the marque is renowned for, but without the funereal overtones often associated with black painted cars.  


Vanden Plas spec XJ Series III Daimler’s interiors are luxurious and cossetting. The supple ride and extensive noise insulation provides for a level of comfort and silence from the outside world, few cars, even today can rival.

As to be expected from a car of such low mileage, the car interior presented as almost as new.  Regardless and again as part of the extensive re-commissioning process, the carpets have been cleaned and the beautiful doeskin leather interior has been fully cleaned and subject to numerous rounds of leather feed, to ensure maximum suppleness and ongoing protection.  In addition, instead of trying to repair some minor sagging in the headlining (again a known issue), the decision was taken to fit a completely new headlining, as repairs are often known to fail.

As the top of the range Vanden Plas spec car, it is most comprehensively equipped.  This includes electrically adjustable front seats, laminated windscreen, tinted glass, heated rear window, electric window operation with isolation, central locking system, anti-burst catches, fuel filler locks, electrically operated door mirrors, four quartz halogen headlamps, headlamp wash/wipe, front fog lamps, door open warning lamps, comprehensive instrumentation and warning lamp system, courtesy lighting, reading lamps, cigar lighters front and rear, air conditioning, electronic digital tuning stereo cassette, electric aerial, impact absorbing facia, leather bound steering wheel, burr walnut fillets with matchwood inlays, deep pile carpeting and lockable glovebox with vanity mirror.  

This car also includes extra cost items on the Daimler 4.2 Auto, which were an electric sunroof, spoked “Kent” alloy wheels and luxury deep pile overmats for the front and rear passengers.

All gauges and equipment are in perfect working order.

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No items found.
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The XJ Series III uses an updated version of  Jaguar famous 4.2 litre XK engine, that first saw service in 1962.  For the XJ Series III,  the inline 6 cylinder double overhead camshaft engine was fitted with Bosch-Lucas L-Jetronic electronic injection, providing more power, fuel efficiency and reliability than the XJ Series II carburetted engine. 

The engine has been subject to full re-commissioning check and service, with engine, gearbox and brake fluid all changed and new spark plugs, air and fuel filter fitted, as well as new cam cover gaskets.

The 3 speed automatic gearbox changes quickly and smoothly with kick-down engaging as it should. Finally, as can be seen from the photographs, the engine bay has been subject to a thorough dressing.

As would be expected with a car with such low mileage, the suspension is as it left the factory, with no knocks squeaks or bangs. The ride is famous for being both cossetting yet sure footed. You glide along with barely a sound from the outside world intruding into the cabin, road imperfections seem to get steamrollered flat, yet there is still remarkable little wallow and roll when the road gets twisty.  Even today, there are few cars, if any, that offer anything like the quality of ride this car delivers. 


The car sits on the very attractive 15 inch “Kent” alloy wheels, which would have been a cost option for this car and which have all been fully refurbished as part of the re-commissioning process, including brand new chrome wheel nuts all round.  The spare appears unused. 

Although the original tyres were hardly worn, given that the car had sat for over 8 years, the decision was taken to replace the four driving tyres with Pirelli P5 Cinturatos 205/70 WR15.  The P5 from Pirelli was specifically developed for Jaguar in 1977 to equip its luxury sedans. Pirelli produced the P5 in 1979 as original equipment (“OE”) for Jaguar.

The powerful servo assisted disc brakes all round with ventilated discs at the front, were all overhauled as part of the re-commissioning process and operate perfectly.

Overall, the engine, transmission and braking system now operate as though the car had just left the factory.

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No items found.
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As can be seen from the pictures, the underside has been thoroughly cleaned.  The original underseal is still present and in fantastic order and the car has had localised Dinitrol 4941 rust preventative treatment where needed.  In addition, the whole of the underside, including all mechanical, suspension and braking components, as well as floorpans and inner wheel arches, were treated to two coats of anti-corrossive clearwax, to further provide for comprehensive underbody protection going forwards.



The car was supplied by Dutton Forshaw in Torbay on 14th of December 1983 and first registered to Mr Arthur Henry Lewis on 19th of December 1983. His son Robert Henry Lewis was the second registered keeper of the vehicle, who inherited the car following his mother’s passing in 2011.  The history file that comes with the car contains a letter from Robert, dated 20 January 2020, outlining the cars history and confirming the then mileage of 7,507, as correct.

The car is a genuine UK supplied matching numbers Daimler 4.2 Auto Vanden Plas spec, as evidenced by the Production Record Trace Certificate (no. 67192) from Jaguar Heritage Trust (included in the documents file). 

The car comes with a complete owner’s pack comprising service record, owner’s manual, owner’s maintenance handbook and Clarion model PU-9021A radio cassette receiver owner’s guide.  The service record contains 4 stamps:

  1. first service at 690 miles;
  2. second service at 1778 miles - 30/09/85;
  3. third service at 4,644 miles - 10/07/90; and
  4. fourth service at 7,569 - 02/09/2020. 

The car was recently  MOT’d, which expires on 08/02/2024.  In addition, the history file contains past MOTs and assorted invoices including all invoices from the comprehensive re-commissioning works which totalled nearly £7,350.

The car comes with two sets of keys (including two sets of chauffeur’s keys), original toolkit and car jack.

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Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure accuracy of the vehicle descriptions and information, some inaccuracies may occur. It is important that you do not rely on this information but check with Montpellier Motor Cars Limited about any items which may affect your decision to buy this vehicle, as well as examine the vehicle and check the accuracy of the information before purchasing any vehicle. We cannot accept any liability arising from any errors in the data provided.

Whilst every effort is made to represent details accurately on our Web Site, variations or errors may occur and so the information contained herewith does not constitute an offer for sale of any particular vehicle, accessory or specification.