|Predecessor||Daimler Majestic Major|
|Body style(s)||4-door saloon & 2-door coupé|
|Transmission(s)||overdrive or automatic options available|
|Wheelbase||107 in (2718 mm)|
|Length||188 in (4775 mm)|
|Width||67 in (1702 mm)|
|Height||55 in (1397 mm)|
|Curb weight||3,455 lb (1,567 kg) (manual without overdrive)|
The Daimler Sovereign was a luxury automobile built by British manufacturer Jaguar in Coventry. The first Sovereign was introduced in 1966, being the second Jaguar bodyshell to be offered in a Daimler version following the 2½ litre V8. Unlike the 2½ litre the Sovereign had a Jaguar engine, marking the end for the Edward Turner-designed V8 engines that Jaguar inherited when it took over the Daimler company in 1960.
The first Sovereign was a badge-engineered version of the Jaguar 420 saloon, which was itself based on the Jaguar S-Type. The 420 and Sovereign differed from the S-Type in having a revised four-headlight nose reminiscent of the Jaguar Mark X and a 4.2 litre version of the straight-six XK engine. The main external difference between the 420 and Sovereign was the traditional Daimler fluted radiator grille. There were thoughts of fitting the Sovereign with the Daimler 4½ litre V8 engine as used in the Majestic Major but as this significantly outperformed the Jaguar XK unit and would have led to the Sovereign outgunning the Jaguar 420 the Jaguar hierarchy did not pursue the idea; the Jaguar badge was meant to be more sporty than the Daimler one.
The front-end styling of the Daimler DS420 limousine introduced in 1968 shared a family resemblance with a Daimler grille mated to a four headlight nose.
The 420/Sovereign range began to be replaced by the Jaguar XJ6 in September 1968. The Jaguar ceased production in December 1968, the Daimler remaining in production until July 1969.
A new XJ6-based Sovereign was introduced in October 1969. Once again, it was externally virtually identical to its Jaguar source car with the exception of its fluted grille and Daimler badging. This Sovereign was offered with either the 2.8 litre or the 4.2 litre version of the XK engine.
The Daimler Sovereign name remained in use for the Series II version of the XJ6, with a raised front bumper and shallower grille; an extended wheelbase version was introduced, which eventually became the standard model. From 1975 the 2.8 litre was replaced by a 3.4 litre version of the XK engine.
The Series III XJ6 range, with new bumpers and revised roofline, initially continued to include a Daimler Sovereign, but in 1983, during the run of the Series III, the range was re-named with the base model named the Jaguar XJ6, the more luxurious version named the Jaguar Sovereign, and the top-of-the-range simply known as the Daimler, without a model name.
Jaguar introduced a short-lived two-door pillarless coupé version of the Series II using the short wheelbase floorpan and Daimler versions using both six and twelve cylinder engines were also available.
Daimler Double Six
From 1972 Jaguar's 5.3 litre V12 engine was available in the XJ range, and for the Daimler version a name used by the company from 1926 to 1938 was revived. Unlike the Jaguar, the twelve-cylinder Daimler had the same radiator grill as its six-cylinder sibling, and externally only the badges distinguished them.
Although the Sovereign name was transferred to Jaguar, the Double Six name remained with Daimler throughout Series III production, which continued until 1992.
When Jaguar re-engineered the XJ40 to take a 6.0 litre version of the V12 engine, under the model designation XJ81, a new Double Six was also produced, being manufactured between 1993 and 1994. In the latter year, along with the other XJ models, it was facelifted under the X305 designation and continued to be produced until the V12 engine was dropped in 1997.
The Daimler Sovereign XJ6 Series 1 has been modelled by Lledo Vanguards in the 2000s.
Photo of the original Sovereign on the Jaguar database :
Photos of the three series of Sovereign XJ models on the Daimler home page :
- "Jaguar S Type and 420 – The Complete Story" by James Taylor, Crowood ISBN 1-85223-989-1
- "Jaguar S Type & 420 – 'Road Test' Limited Edition", Brooklands Books ISBN 1-85520-3456