FIVE TRI­ALs

We en­joy the Sov­er­eign and put it fully to the test

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Driving -

1 DailY DriV­iNG

As long as you don’t baulk at the sub­20mpg fuel con­sump­tion – which is broadly com­pa­ra­ble with what you’ll get from a 3.8-litre Mk2 – there’s no rea­son why you couldn’t en­joy the Daim­ler on a daily ba­sis. The Vara­matic power steer­ing sys­tem makes park­ing eas­ier than it ought to be on a sa­loon of this size, the three-speed auto is an easy­go­ing com­pan­ion around town and the fluted-off front ac­tu­ally makes it eas­ier to place in tight spots than its Mk2-de­rived cousins.

2 iN tHE sEr­ViCE BaY

The XK en­gine’s shared her­itage with other Jaguar and Daim­ler mod­els means that parts are well sup­ported by a net­work of spe­cial­ists – and the Sov­er­eign’s big­ger bon­net means that it’s eas­ier to ac­cess them all dur­ing ser­vic­ing and re­pairs. Most of the jobs can be tack­led at home by clas­sic devo­tees with the right tools (and suf­fi­cient quan­ti­ties of tea) but if not then chances are there’ll be a club ex­pert or spe­cial­ist who’ll be able to help you out.

3 oN tHE sHoW Cir­CUit

What worked at Good­wood back in its hey­day is still en­tirely ap­pro­pri­ate to­day at the Re­vival. It’s the per­fect ma­chine for the fa­mous Over The Road clas­sic park­ing area, which fre­quently has a spe­cial area re­served for pre1977 Jaguars and Daim­lers. The Daim­ler will also be waved through the gates at most clas­sic car gath­er­ings up and down the land – not least be­cause of its rel­a­tive rar­ity – and it’s worth sign­ing up with either the Jaguar En­thu­si­asts’ Club or the Jaguar Driv­ers’ Club, both of which wel­come Daim­lers on their many show vis­its and events.

4 tHE loNG WEEK­END

We reckon this is where the Sov­er­eign plays its ace. It’s use­fully longer-legged than Mk2 de­riv­a­tives that have to rely on the 2.4- and 3.4-litre ver­sions of the XK en­gine, and the big­ger boot means that it’s a more prac­ti­cal com­pan­ion than the 3.8-litre (and usu­ally more ex­pen­sive) Mk2. It’ll hap­pily cruise at mo­tor­way speeds, and un­like most of its 1960s ri­vals it’ll also lap up the coun­try roads with aplomb once you reach your des­ti­na­tion. Speak­ing of which…

5 tHE B-roaD Blast

It’s no E-type, but the Sov­er­eign does a su­perb job of mat­ing a sup­ple ride with con­fi­den­cein­spir­ing sure­foot­ed­ness through the cor­ners. It’s not the pick of Browns Lane’s Six­ties saloons when it comes to B-road fun – we reckon that hon­our goes to the 3.4-litre Mk2 – but it’s a far bet­ter drive on chal­leng­ing roads than a Van­den Plas 4-Litre R, Hum­ber Su­per Snipe or Roll­sSil­ver Shadow, all of which serve up sim­i­lar lux­ury propo­si­tions for this sort of money.

ex­pected lash­ings of leather, wood and deep pile car­pets in the sov­er­eign’s won­der­fully pe­riod cabin.

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