Thursday, January 3, 2013

Nightmare Project: 60s Daimler Sovereign in Eugene, Oregon

Our first nightmare project is this 1960s Daimler Sovereign in Eugene, Oregon. (go here if page disappears). While the idea of owning a stately British luxury sedan once favored by the Royal Family may seem appealing, the appeal dies once reality slaps you in the face and you realize that this is merely a badge-engineered Jaguar 420, possibly the most boring Jaguar ever made until the XJ40 came along. Suddenly the rare classic you once found appealing becomes appalling.

Engine? No 2.5-liter Daimler hemi V8 under that bonnet, you just get the regular Jaguar XK straight-six, and this car has the wretched Moss 4-speed transmission too. And... this Daimler doesn't run. Cosmetic condition is another big thing, and that Jag lump doesn't matter if you're a red, white and blue-blooded 'murrican who "doesn't want to work on no furrin' motor, just stick a Chebby smallblock in that there car". But look at the car. The paint looks like a $49.99 Earl Scheib special left outdoors for a long time, the front of the car is barked up, there is evidence of bondo and the driver's wheelwell looks like it's got cancer.

Sure, it looks cool, but do you really want to restore and own this?

What could possibly go wrong here?

And that interior... just so shameful. The black rubber dash with only a little bit of wood and Triumph TR250-style gauges is a travesty, the passenger's door panel looks to have been misshapen by water leaks, the Malaise Era fake Nardi steering wheel belongs in a dumpster, and the whole interior is giving off a certain vibe reminiscent of a flood car.

Conclusion? Run away like the devil is chasing you, and don't look back, unless you want to waste the cost of a finished SP250 with chassis stiffeners, reliability upgrades and a factory hardtop on what might have been the worst Daimler ever made.

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