1990 Daimler Double Six S3

MODELDouble Six S3
INTERIORGrey Leather

1990 Daimler Double Six S3

  • Warranted mileage
  • Enormous catalogued document history
  • In recent ownership for two decades
  • Covered c.800 miles per year since 2006
  • Please scroll down the page past the video to see the bidding and to read a full description for this lot

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  • Warranted mileage
  • Enormous catalogued document history
  • In recent ownership for two decades
  • Covered c.800 miles per year since 2006

In Daimler Double-Six flavour, the Series III (S3) is the most mellifluous car imaginable.

From the outside, at tick-over, the voluptuous V12 is near silent. The only mechanical noise is the turbine-like humming of fans and drivebelts, similar to the turbines of Boeing 747. From within the cosseted cabin of the V12, you be forgiven for thinking you’re in the First Class seat of a 747.

But it is a car. A beautiful, classic car that covers ground with a seamless ethereal rush of power that faultlessly complements its superb chassis and engineering. The classic Daimler Double Six is almost other worldly.

In ‘72 the 5.3-litre V12 engine was available in the XJ range. The up market Daimler brand had been around since the very late 1800s. The legendary Sir William Lyons retired in 1972 and a new Chairman came in, Lofty England. Lofty had been a Daimler apprentice from 1927 to 1932. He pronounced that the new V12 Daimler would be known as the Double-Six. With that decree, the Daimler S3 Double Six became the top of range for the Company and of course, the one to have.


Our vendor is a collector, but not a hoarder. His collection moves and he knows what he likes. He’d been searching a S3 Double Six for some time. He was hunting for what he describes as the ‘right one’.

This one came along just as the whole world closed down. It had also been in a collection, along with five other classics. They all belonged to a mature, experienced BA pilot flying long haul out of Heathrow. He’d owned The Daimler for twenty years. Our vendor describes the documented history as “simply massive, like nothing I’ve ever seen”. The BA pilot was meticulous in his record keeping. The extensive service history, any invoices, all expenditure, are set out in comprehensive spreadsheet backed up with supporting paperwork and can be made available on request.

Expensive, luxury classic cars are compromised by two things. Lack of care and maintenance. And lack of maintenance and care.

As you’ll see, this delicious Double Six has lacked neither. That is why our experienced collector scooped it up describing it, after a very long search, as “the best one he could find”.

The Outside

When the time came to update the Series II XJ, clearly missing the input and leadership of Lyons, for the S3 the Company turned to Pininfarina for styling tweaks. As usual, Pininfarina delivered. The result was the Series 3. It kept the sleek body lines of earlier models, but included a larger, crisper roof and glass area, injection-moulded bumpers and flush-fitting doorhandles. It worked.

The Press loved the classic S3. Reports saturated with superlatives about the car’s poise and refinement simply sharpened buyers’ appetites for a car widely considered to be the best saloon in the world. The team at Browns Lane couldn’t build them fast enough. Many stories emerged of deposits being placed only for those deposits to be ‘bought-up’ at a huge mark-up by eager buyers who wanted to queue jump and get their hands on an S3. That was even more pronounced on the top of the range Daimlers that were in even more short supply.

It wasn’t just the design work that had improved. The Company had learned a hard lesson about build quality. Rust-proofing and painting technology had improved through production. All later model Double Sixes like this one received a phosphate pre-treatment, electro-primer, adhesion promoter and four coats of thermo-plastic acrylic paint. They also had wax injected into their body cavities and undersealing.

This Double Six is in the condition it is, partly due to production techniques improving, but also because of the care and attention it’s had from its previous four owners.

Overall the Windsor Blue coachwork looks absolutely smashing. There are niggles. Our vendor wants to be is clear.

You’ll see a small bubble about an inch in size on the sunroof. There is an invoice in the file for removal and refitment of the rear screen, however, at the bottom edge of the screen our vendor wants to highlight bidders attention to minor area of what he describes as a “blister”. He advises us that discrepancy hasn’t got any worse in his ownership. On the offside front wing there some surfaces scratches. They’ve not broken through the lacquer coat or into the paint. Our vendor described them to us as being similar to either a dog or cat jumping on the car or a close encounter with a bush. You get the picture.

The usual areas to always check are front lower valance, because that suffers badly from stone-chips. You can check for yourself from the images, that is clear. The rear valance where that Double Six tailpipes emerge. That area is clear. And of course the boot lid. Again, you’ll see from the images, the boot lid plinth and boot lid is in good order.

The marvellous front grille, door handles, chrome mirrors, bumpers and gutter trims are all looking clean and bright. The driver’s door is free from the usual, careless scratches around the lock. Open the doors and you’ll be greeted with brilliant chrome kick-plates on the sills bearing the Daimler legend and no appearance of corrosion in the door shuts or on the outer sills. The vendor has also provided some helpful shots of the bottom of the doors and wheel arches.

The headlamps remain clean, clear and sharp as do the optional period fog lights.

Being transparent again, the central locking actuator on the offside rear door sometimes “sticks”, but it does work, and works better the more the car is used. As this door is the least used, it’s not surprising is it.

On the inside

Return to an S3 today and you will be astonished by how genuinely sleek, sporty and low-slung they are. This is in stark contrast to today’s motoring environment where everyone wants to sit in tower block high SUVs so they can see what? Just how stationary the traffic is?

Slide down into a S3 and assume a driving position. It is close to perfect, the sense of wonderful sanctuary relaxes you immediately. It is just what you want from a classic car.

Then, there is that old car smell. Leather. Walnut. Heritage. Wonderful. Just wonderful.

With the Daimler Double Six being uppermost of the range, it came with a mammoth list of standard equipment; among them were a fully adjustable steering column, a power sunroof, power windows, mirrors and aerial, central locking system, automatic climate control air conditioning with separate rear seat controls, a four-speaker AM/FM cassette stereo, deep pile carpeting, matched walnut trim, leather upholstery, cruise control and a comprehensive tool kit. The 10-cubic-foot, fully upholstered illuminated boot, puddle lights in the doors. The list was gargantuan.

It was as if Daimler had asked BA, what would a First Class passenger want. It’s a good job they didn’t ask Ryan Air!

The lashings of polished walnut on the dash, console and door panel trim, in this classic Double Six as you can see are in good order. The hand-sewn full Connolly leather interior trim, including door panels and centre console, in Saville Grey look soft, supple and damage free.

A digital trip computer was integrated into the S3. In all honesty it was the Bain of a Dealers life. They packed up working more often than a London Tube Train Driver. We are amazed to see this one is still in working order. If we search through the spreadsheet we bet we’d find it’s had some attention too.

In another nice touch, the electric aerial, another item of irregular reliability, instantly rises and falls with the ignition key. That is a marvel.

The Daimler came with a full tool kit in the boot, and yep, that is in original condition and in place.

The headlining we are told is in perfect condition and the sunroof sitting in the middle of it operates fuss free.

Both the air con and the cruise control, we’re advised work as they should. Never let it be said that the British couldn’t build a reliable car. They certainly didn’t generally build them like this classic Daimler though.

The engine and mechanicals

Enough has been written about the 5.3ltr V12 engine to sink a battleship. The luxuriant V12 will, if asked, go on for 250,000 miles and not miss a beat. As we said earlier, two things let them down. Lack and care and maintenance and lack of maintenance and care. This has a service book and history that clearly shows neither of them have been in short supply.

As an example. We can see the original selling Dealer, Pallidan Jaguar of Reigate, Surrey, carried out a First Service at 1,257 miles. Nothing too remarkable there. But that service history carried on for a further 90,000 miles, as detailed on the spreadsheet. The most recent service was on 9 June 2020 at 117,000 miles. The Double Six now shows 118,000 miles. The MOT history shows this classic Daimler has covered around 800 miles a year since 2006. However it was serviced and looked-after all through those years including the usual suspects such as handbrake malfunctions and regular oil services.

Included in the extensive history and service files are invoices detailing wear and tear items such as trailing arm bushes and the like.

Our vendor describes a very light oil misting from what he thinks is a power steering union. It hasn’t affected anything and again, he raises it because that is the correct thing to do. Other than that, he reports no major or indeed minor niggles and inform us the engine is dry.

Additional Info

Our vendor is happy to warrant the mileage. Given all the documentation with the Double Six, we’re not surprised. He will also provide the S3 with a new MOT just for bidders peace of mind, again, he doesn’t need to do this but that is how he is, and that is why we like marketing his classics for him.

Our view

We’re quite simple people. So you won’t be surprised to find we have a simple view on this superb S3 Daimler Double Six. Buy it.


Our collector, Richard, knows what he is doing.

He waited, searched, viewed, waited some more, until he found the “right one”.

The pictures tell a story much better than we could. There is a binder full of invoices and history backed up with an index. It has had four former keepers, one in particular for two decades whose scrupulous care of this classic has undoubtedly contributed to the condition it is today.

Estimates suggest around 8,000 or so S3 Double Sixes were produced. It’s anyone’s guess how many are left. We doubt anyone will guess accurately how many are left in a condition like this.

Our vendor says the previous collector/owner has spent more on maintaining this classic than his reserve price. Believe us and him when we say you will be getting a remarkable piece of luxurious British Motoring History at a bargain price.

Vehicle Location: Herefordshire WR13 – it’s the responsibility of the winning bidder to make collection / transportation arrangements directly with the vendor

Have a question about this vehicle? Please contact the Evoke team at auction@evoke-classics.com and we will speak to the vendor on your behalf.

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Bidder Bid amount Bid time
j******b £3,500.00 2022-03-28 13:45:54
s*********1 £3,000.00 2022-03-17 20:56:18
Start auction £3,000.00 17/03/2022 12:00 AM


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