1999 DAIMLER Super V8 LWBView vehicle description
Built between 1997 and 2003, the Daimler Double Eight is essentially a rebadged Jaguar XJ8 but that’s okay because the X308 chassis is an absolute belter. Out went the straight-six and V12 engines we’d grown to know and love, and in came the all-new 3.2-litre and 4.0-litre AJ-V8 engines mated to a five-speed automatic gearbox.
The styling was a development of the traditional XJ three-box shape, albeit brought bang up-to-date. This meant the return of four round headlamps set under cowls into a wonderfully low bonnet, plus the low roofline, wrap-around rear lights and the long, sloping boot lid that give Jaguars and Daimlers their distinctive profile.
The interior followed the exterior in ditching the outgoing XJ40’s design, too. Three, deep-dish dials ape the design of headlamps, and the passenger once again has access to a glovebox, something that had (bizarrely) disappeared during Jaguar’s barren XJ40 years.
Powered by either a 3.2-litre V8 engine with 240bhp and 233lb/ft of torque or a 4.0-litre with 290bhp and 290lb/ft, speed freaks for whom too much is never enough can opt for the 4.0-litre supercharged version that deploys a whopping 370bhp and 387lb/ft to the rear wheels.
That supercharged engine propels the Jaguar/Daimler to an electronically limited top speed of 155mph after passing 60mph in 5.6 seconds – and while it is true that the automatic gearbox and absence of a limited-slip differential means the cars are more cosseting grand tourers than sharp-edged sports cars, there are few nicer and more luxurious ways to experience warp-speed mid-range acceleration. Jeremy Clarkson said that the X308 is "faster, in the real world, than a Ferrari F355... [the] fastest saloon I've ever seen.”
They’re rare, too. Just 76 short-wheelbase Daimler Super Eights were built, along with 2,387 with the executive-spec long-wheelbase. This makes them a much more interesting alternative to the more usual German suspects.
First registered on 19 January 1999 in the north west London area, this 4.0-litre (3996cc) Supercharged V8 Daimler has had four owners and has covered almost 117,500 miles.
From the first London-based owner, it then moved to Chelmsford, Essex for around five years followed by another few years in Wakefield, Leeds. In early 2018 it was bought by a man from Weymouth, Dorset with the intention of restoring it but although he had work done to pass the MOT, he didn’t have enough time to complete all the jobs and so put the unfinished car into a local auction where our vendor gave the winning bid.
He bought the car last October for his father with the intention of finishing off the project together for him to drive around in. They had the car repainted by a friend in the trade in November but then sadly the father became ill and can no longer drive, so understandably the motivation to finish has gone.
On the Outside
The exterior of the Daimler is finished in a classic Sapphire Blue - possibly the best colour option for this kind of car; not boring like grey and silver or funereal like black but also not too showy. The car has such glorious lines it looks every bit the classic executive conveyance, especially in side profile with its super long wheel base.
The paint is good but has one or two issues that could be rectified; the most noticeable being the abrasion or scuff on the offside corner of the rear bumper. Regrettably, we can attest to this happening when the vendor was parking the car outside our HQ and lost sight of the extended wall in front of the building!
It’s not in the paintwork, but there is also an odd patch of rusty glass (how does that even happen?) on the rear screen, just above the fuel filler flap.
Largely the exterior trim items appear in good order, the chromed window surrounds, door handles, mirror caps and front grille for example. However, there would originally have been some chrome strips between the front doors and the wheel arches which are no longer present. Also the older “Flying D” Daimler bonnet emblem could do with a refurb to finish off what is overall a strong external look on this handsome luxury cruiser.
The car sits on its original 17-inch Solar alloy wheels looking in good condition, with just a few scratches here and there, and complete with their D-embossed centre caps. All were fitted with Jinyu Gallopro YU63 tyres in 2016.
On the Inside
The interior of this Daimler is where the car could be improved the most. It’s not tatty or scruffy, but perhaps could be politely referred to as “lived in”.
Front seats aside, which might need a bit more reconditioning due to the additional wear and creasing, the leather upholstery appears to just need a thorough cleaning and nourishing treatment to bring it back to life. There are swathes of this ivory-coloured hide around the transmission tunnel, across the dash and the door trims where lesser cars would deploy faux leather or vinyl, so refreshing it would really rejuvenate the luxurious feel of the interior.
The wood veneered trims right across the instrument panel, door tops and rear picnic tables - which looks like the walnut burr - are mostly in good order although a few have the odd scratch. The centre console houses the climate controls (the LCD readout being discoloured in one corner) and the built-in stereo, which has radio, cassette, multi-CD and phone capability.
As far as we’ve been able to test, all electrical and interior equipment is working - including the sunroof - but the rear nearside door doesn’t seem to respond to the central locking and one of the dash illuminating lamps has failed. Neither of the remotes work on the central locking, which playing a little bit of havoc with the alarm and immobiliser.
Whilst the carpets and overmats could do with a good clean, they are at least intact and apparently undamaged. The headlining meanwhile, was obviously one of those jobs that the previous owner didn’t have time to do properly. Rather than having it sagging down over the rear window, he has at least temporarily stapled it up to the roof. Whilst up there, a new owner may want to replace the rear view mirror which has discoloured.
Under the front-hinged bonnet, the engine bay looks tidy and in good order with no sign of rust beyond a few specks on top of the wheel arches. Thankfully it’s not been jet-washed and detailed to hide any issues - not that we believe there are any to hide. The supercharged V8 is a sizeable lump which fills the space between the front wheels. The bonnet lining is slightly damaged at the front but is otherwise intact.
In a nod to historic motoring - where such things were regularly called upon - there is a small kit of tools and spare bulbs stowed aft of the engine bay in a special compartment. It looks complete and still has some of the original cellophane wrapping attached.
Underneath the car there is some rust across the rear subframe as well as on other structures and fixings. The floor pans look intact but have extensive underseal applied. The most recent MOT gave an advisory on underside corrosion so this is perhaps something to keep an eye on.
Inside the boot, the carpet and linings look intact and mostly clean. The original warning triangle still sits attached to the underside of the boot lid and built into the side of the boot space is the CD changer unit. Underneath the floor to one side is the battery and in the middle is a skinny temporary use spare wheel. The metal floors appear in good condition with only light surface rust in places, notably under the battery.
The car has a current MOT valid until October 2021 and it has had near annual testing since at least 2006, as recorded by the online MOT system and paper copies in the history file.
The file also contains the original drivers handbook and other manuals but sadly the service record is no longer with the car.
There are several invoices for parts and work done over the years including the welding repair work done in the summer of last year to get the car through its MOT. The vendor reports that he had the car professionally repainted in November but as it was done through a friend in the trade there is no invoice.
Another point to mention here is that the remote unlocking keyfobs don’t appear to be working and therefore if you are not quick getting the key in the ignition, the alarm might kick in… and it is loud!
What We Think
The Daimler Super Eight did a brilliant job of balancing the need to carry the company into the 21st century while acknowledging the firm’s rich 20th century heritage. It is both modern and classic but steers clear of the faux retro design of many modern reinterpretations.
The car is incredibly fast and handles very well. The vendor drove it from Lymington to our HQ in Oxfordshire and said that the engine still pulls like a train. He noticed a slight rumble from the front offside but otherwise the car seemed mechanically on point.
Acknowledging the missing service history and the work still to be done inside the car (and possibly underneath), we think this otherwise attractive example will fetch between £4,000 and £8,000.
This to us seems like a bargain considering how much car you get for that money, and it is offered with NO RESERVE too so it could be even better value. Whilst others might plump for something German, the lucky new owner of this slice of the Upper Middle Class just has to put some love into the interior to be wafting around in superlative comfort knowing that they’ve beaten the system.
Inspection is always encouraged, within Govt. guidelines of course, and this particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; to arrange an appointment please use the ‘Contact Seller’ button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.
EU & BREXIT - If you are bidding from overseas & planning to export your vehicle abroad, you should be aware of two important things: 1) There is no VAT on used cars in the UK. 2) After Brexit, you might have to pay import tax in your country.
If needed, please remember we have a network of trusted suppliers we work with regularly and can recommend: Classic & Sportscar Finance for purchase-financing, Footman James for classic car insurance, CLASSIC CONCIERGE LTD for storing your car and an array of regional providers for transporting it.
BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at the vehicles delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.
Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.
Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.
Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.
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