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Daimler Majestic

Published: 21st Jun 2011 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Daimler Majestic

Fast Facts

  • Engine: 4561cc/8-cyl
  • Power (bhp/rpm): 220/5500
  • Torque (lb ft@rpm): 283/3200
  • Top speed: 120mph
  • 0-60mph: 10.3sec
  • Fuel consumption: 17mpg
  • Transmission: 3-speed auto
  • Length: 16ft 10in (5.13m)
  • Width (inc mirrors): 6ft 1in (1.86m)
  • Weight: 4228lb (1922kg)
  • Websites: Daimler & Lanchester Owners’ Club, Daimler Enthusiasts’ Club,
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If you’ve ever wondered what you’d get if you were to cross a limousine with a hot rod, here’s your answer. Marrying stately looks with a hemi V8 that gives a genuine 120mph, the Daimler Majestic Major is the original sporting limousine. If that sounds mad, it is – who would buy a car the size of a battleship for its sporting qualities? The answer is nobody, but this isn’t a car for hustling round empty B-roads – it’s a swift and comfortable cruiser that can still cut it in the 21st century. However, while values are low, running costs can be high because of the thirst of that V8. But the biggest problem is fi nding one; survivors are rare – and especially so in really good condition – so be prepared for a long search to fi nd the right car.

What to look for?

Daimler attempted to rustproof the Majestic, but corrosion is still a common and signifi cant problem throughout the bodyshell – especially with the earliest cars nearly half a century old. Repairs are usually straightforward, although panels have generally disappeared. Key rot areas include seams between panels – especially at the front of the car – plus the headlamp surrounds, b o o t f l o o r a n d door bottoms. The sills also corrode, but they ’re notstructural as the Majestic sits on a massive crossbraced cruciform boxed-section chassis. This usually survives pretty well, although it’s worth paying close attention to the jacking points as they can corrode badly. The Daimler’s interior is very traditional, which means lashings of wood and high-quality carpet everywhere, and usually lots of leather, although cloth was also available. As a result, there are potentially big bills looming if lots needs doing, so check everything carefully for splits, tears and wear. Although the Daimler is tough mechanically, there are various problems that can crop up. Oil leaks are normal for the engine, usually from the rocker covers, while high oil consumption (as much as 200 miles per pint) is also common. The alloy cylinder heads corrode if anti-freeze levels aren’t maintained, and if the engine needs a rebuild you can expect to pay £2,500 to have the work done. The Borg Warner DG gearbox fi tted to all Majors is a tough unit that rarely gives problems, but the centre bearing in the propshaft can be more troublesome. If it’s failed, you’ll feel a vibration from the transmission while cruising.


Projects are worth £500-£1000, with good cars typically available at around £2000-£3000. the best examples go for a surprisingly low £7000 or so, with little difference in values between the Major saloon and the DR450 limousine. The Major was evolved from the six-cylinder Majestic; these are worth a little less but are equally hard to track down as the V8 cars. Bear in mind that all values are estimated guesses as these cars don’t change hands very often.

Driving one

You shouldn’t expect too much of a car that weighs around two tons, but with that 4561cc V8 in the nose, the Majestic is more like a sportscar than a limousine when it comes to performance; it can get to 60 faster than an automatic 2+2 E-type. Even better, the car handles surprisingly well thanks to reasonably stiff suspension, so it doesn’t all fall apart at the fi rst corner. The good news continues when it comes to braking, as there are Dunlop discs front and rear, backed up by a Lockheed servo. If you can house and manouevre one, the Majestic is a great left-fi eld classic! Thanks to: Marcus Jones plus Bob and Kath Cantwell, all of the Daimler & Lanchester Owners’ Club


Jul 1958

The Majestic goes on sale with a 3794cc straight-six engine.

Mar 1960

There’s a redesign for the Majestic’s dash while the back axle ratio is also altered.

Oct 1960

The Majestic Major debuts, with a 4561cc V8 and a bodyshell that’s six inches longer than its six-pot sibling, although the wheelbase remains the same at 9’ 6”. Power steering becomes an optional extra; it’s also now offered for the fi rst time on the six-cylinder car too.

Sep 1961

A limousine edition of the Majestic Major is introduced, known as the DR450. Its wheelbase and length are two feet longer than the Major’s.

Dec 1962

The fi nal Majestic is built; chassis number 99794.

Oct 1964

Power steering is now standard on the Majestic Major.

Apr 1968

The fi nal Majestic Major is built; chassis number 137891.

May 1968

The last DR450 is made; chassis number 139176.

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