Corgi Daimler Sovereign Series 1 4.2, Willow Green
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Jaguar's MD and founding father Sir William Lyons orchestrated the purchase of Daimler from the BSA group by Jaguar Cars in May 1960. Commercially this was a sensible deal as Jaguar needed more factory space, which they got, and Daimler, in comparison, were under utilizing their premises. Jaguar also received the compact 2.5-litre Edward Turner-designed V8 which, when fitted to the Mk2 bodyshell, produced a profitable car different in character to the Jaguar on which it was based. Jaguar was also able to put a stop to Daimler's SP250 'Dart' sports car and its projected replacement which, although modest in comparison, could have stolen sales from the soon to be announced E-type.
Following BMC's badge engineering lead, Jaguar produced a Daimler version of their world beating XJ6 which featured Daimler's classic fluted grille and different trim. Combined production of the XJ derived Daimler Series1 and 2 was 45,413, roughly a quarter of the type's entire output, and the Daimler sold to buyers who might have found a Jaguar just a little gauche in comparison; Daimler being long time holders of the Royal Warrant. Thus the name provided a useful extra income stream for relatively modest tooling investment. At that time the XJ was the most refined saloon car in the world and the revival of Daimler's classic 'Double-Six' badge when the XJ12 was announced in 1972 took Jaguar into direct competition with Rolls-Royce and Mercedes-Benz.
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