Daimler Majestic Major
|Manufacturer||Daimler Motor Company|
|Predecessor||Daimler Majestic 101|
|Body style(s)||4-door saloon|
|Engine(s)||4.5 litre V-8|
|Transmission(s)||BW DG12 automatic|
|Wheelbase||114 inches 2.89 m|
|Length||202 inches 5.13 m|
|Width||73 inches 1.85 m|
|Height||62.75 inches 1.594 m|
|Curb weight||3900 pounds 1880 kg|
The Daimler Majestic Major was a large executive saloon made by Daimler in Coventry between 1959 and 1968, using a 4,561 cc V8 engine. A limousine version known as the Daimler DR450 was available from 1961 until the V8 engine ended production.
In 1959 the Daimler Majestic Major was announced running alongside the slightly smaller 3.8 litre Majestic which had been released in 1958. The new engine was lighter and much more powerful. The vehicle was transformed into a high performance executive car capable of 120 mph (190 km/h). It is faster than a MkX Jaguar up to 80 mph (130 km/h) despite its 1880 kg bulk and it has been said that Jaguar tried a Daimler 4.5 motor in a MkX and it did 130 mph (210 km/h). Externally the only real clues to what lurked under the bonnet of the Majestic Major were the "V8" symbols cast into the front horn grilles.
The 4561 cc V8 engine had a head design closely resembling Triumph Speed Twin motorcycle engines and a crankshaft closely resembling that of a slightly earlier Cadillac. The Triumph head design similarity is not surprising considering Edward Turner designed them both. He designed the Daimler engines in 1956. The 4.5 had a cast iron block and alloy hemispherical heads with a bore of 95 mm and stroke of 80 mm. The valves were pushrod operated and Vee-slanted at 70°. Equipped with twin SU carburettors and double exhaust the engine produced a conservative 220 bhp (160 kW)(a mark 10 had 265BHP) at 5500 rpm and 283-foot-pounds (396 Nm) of torque at 3,200 rpm.
It was built on a massive cruciform-braced box-section chassis equipped with coil-sprung independent front suspension, with a well located 'live' rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs. As with the Majestic, there were four-wheel disc brakes with a vacuum servo.
A Borg Warner DG12 automatic transmission and power steering brakes made it a very mechanically advanced car for its time. However, its body, originally designed for the Majestic by the old coachbuilding firm Carbodies, was already outdated and heavy when the Majestic Major first went into production and seemed increasingly so in later years. Top speed was reported to exceed 120 mph (190 km/h) and the 0 to 100 km/h time was 9.7 seconds
The Majestic Major's turning circle was an enormous 46 feet (14 m). This coupled with the fact that power steering was only an optional extra until 1964, meant that the car was not one for manoeuvering in tight spaces - as even with power steering 4.50 turns lock to lock was required
- D'Angelo, Sergio (editor); World Car Catalogue (1968), page 128; published 1968 by London Iliffe Books Limited
See also: Daimler 2.5 & 4.5 Litre V8 Engines