Your article on the Daimler V8 ( NZ Classic Car, August 2015) brought back fond memories for me. When I was living in Cape Town, about 1975, I was a student and, on impulse, I bought a rolled 3.4 MKI Jag from a fellow student. I thought I would be able to make some money from it by selling its parts. The body had rusted in the local sea air, and all the doors had sprung, but the mechanicals were reasonably OK.
In doing the rounds trying to flog off parts, I went to the local Jaguar dealers and chanced upon a Daimler V8, owned by a company director. Its engine had been sabotaged with a handful of sand. After a quick look, it was quite apparent that my Jaguar engine would fit in, so I bought the Daimler.
I had to rebuild the Jaguar overdrive gearbox, but after some work, I got the Jag engine into the Daimler. I had to convert the MKI engine mechanical senders to the Mk2 gauges in the car. I also kept the twin exhaust system of the Daimler — exiting gases from three cylinders down each pipe. Interesting sound! And I kept the Daimler differential, so she was somewhat over- geared with the 3.4-litre instead of the original Daimler 2.5-litre V8. However, this was an advantage as the MKI Jaguar gearbox had no synchro on first gear. I usually pulled off in second gear, unless on a hill.
I sold the 2.5-engine parts to a Daimler Dart owner, so they went to a good home.
This engine/differential combination pulled like a train, and like others of my age, I was always game for a bit of a race. I was able to give Datsun SSSS a run for their money, and could also keep up on the straight with a friend’s Monaro GTS and then beat him on the bends, as my ‘Jaimler’ stuck to the tar like bubblegum. One I even gave an AMC Javelin a good run for its money. Top speed was an indicated 120mph (193kph).
I was really sorry to see the car go, but when it ran an engine bearing I had to sell the Jaimler, as it would have cost too much on my student salary to rebuild. But I still have those fond memories.
Chris Pattison, Auckland