The DS420, popularly known as the Daimler Limousine, was the last of the large formal limousines produced by The Daimler Company Limited between 1968 and 1992, a line which reached back to the dawn of motoring. The vehicles were used extensively as official state cars as in many countries, including by the British, Danish and Swedish royal families.
Originally the cars were built at the Vanden Plas works in Kingsbury North London. Early examples bore the ‘Daimler Vanden Plas’ designation on treadplates and workshop manuals, but production moved to Jaguar in Coventry in 1979, where it continued until 1992. The move to Coventry also brought the third and most extensive facelift in the car’s life, when larger bumpers and a revised rear number-plate surround were fitted. The car remained completely recognizable from its inception to the very last example built, remaining dignified, stylish and incomparably British.
The British Royal Mews possesses of three Daimler DS420s for Royal use on state occasions and general use. The late Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother had four DS420 models over the years (all registered NLT1 or NLT2), including one of the last three cars to be produced in 1992 (the other two going to Queen Elizabeth II, and the other retained by Jaguar for use in Coventry.
In the 1997 James Bond film, Tomorrow Never Dies, M, Moneypenny, and James Bond ride in, what else, a DS420 to Heathrow Airport. The limousine is escorted by the Metropolitan Police motorcycle unit, and Moneypenny uses the cars unusual extra, a built-in laptop computer in the glove compartment!
Today’s example is particularly special as it is one of the few left hand drive examples ever produced, and being in what can only be described as extraordinarily fine original condition, such as would seem to go a very long way to supporting the very low recorded odometer reading of 28,247 km. Coachwork is finished in classic Embassy Black with a magnificent original cream leather interior with all the normal restrained elegant luxury fittings.
Potential purchasers will find the cars history file repays inspection as among the documentation is a letter from the ‘Joint Services Liason Organisation’ which suggests some form of diplomatic use in Germany during which the car was used by various notables including Mrs Thatcher, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Duchess of Gloucester.
This is a rare and splendid example, of one of the greatest English formal cars of its era, still with the majority of its operational life ahead of it.