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Queen's Daimler to be sold off

It will be auctioned by RM Auctions at Monterey in California on August 13.  Because of its lineage and condition, the Queen's personal car is expected to fetch between $68,000 and $90,000.

The royal household bought the long-wheelbase 5.3-litre V12 Daimler new in 1984 as the Queen's personal transport.  It has travelled just 65,000km.

In keeping with its royal breeding it has several modifications specifically made for Her Majesty's use, including a special rear seat cushion so the Royal corgis could travel more securely and comfortably.

Daimler also fitted a blue convoy light in front of the rearview mirror to enable security teams to identify the car more easily at night and to be more visible in the event of a security threat to the Queen.

This light is also recognised by the gate security at both Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.  A rear antenna mount is still fitted to the car, to which the radio communications package was fitted, allowing for a direct link to the Home Office and Downing Street.

The foglights in front are wired to flash at regular intervals when the car was in official use.  The build of chassis No. 393721 was completed at the Jaguar factory in Coventry, England in 1984.

The car then underwent extensive road testing by head engineers of the factory for about 4500km to iron out any bugs before it was shipped to Buckingham Palace.  Over the next three years, the Queen drove the Daimler as her own personal car.

She would often be seen taking a spin around Windsor Estate and into and out of London to visit friends and family and travelled to church each Sunday in Windsor Great Park.

The Queen is a keen driver, having served in the transport corps of the British Army during the World War II, driving ambulances, learning mechanical skills and even changing wheels on the vehicles herself.

She also chauffeured other members of the Royal family, including the late Princess of Wales Princess Diana, Prince Charles, Prince William, The Queen Mother, Prince Philip, as well as friends and important dignitaries such as the then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

In 1990, the Daimler was replaced by the factory for another Daimler model.  However it was then used by several members of the family as well as Royal Security before being returned and kept at the factory in 1991. 

It presents in superb condition and is said to drive like new.  At present it is registered to the Jaguar Heritage Museum Browns Lane at the factory.

The registration number has been changed by Jaguar on its return to the factory for security purposes, although a set of registration number plates with the original Royal number, as used by the Queen, are included with the car, as are several photographs of Her Majesty driving it.

All handbooks and documentation are complete, as are all tools and keys.  In fact, it has complete documentation from its entire 26-year life, including an official stamped Heritage certificate from the Jaguar factory.

Jaguar says no further Royal cars will be released again by the factory, which makes the Queen's car highly important and collectable.

Neil McDonald
Contributing Journalist
Neil McDonald is an automotive expert who formerly contributed to CarsGuide from News Limited. McDonald is now a senior automotive PR operative.
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