Jaim­ler Mk2

New Zealand Classic Car - - Reader's Writes -

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

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