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 Jaguar & Daimler  

Queensland Jaguar Drivers Club     Capricornia Register

               From The Australia Jaguar Magazine, Edition no 70,

By Gladstone V.C.C.C & Queensland Jaguar Drivers Club   Member, Max Parnell

When in 1972 the V12 powered Daimler was produced on the XJ body, and Lofty England was the chairman of Jaguar cars, he revived the charismatic 1930s V12 Daimler model name 'double six', with which he had been associated as a Daimler apprentice, and it presented an ideal opportunity to work again with Vanden Plas in Kingsbury, London on an exceptionally high quality carriage.
The Vanden Plas XJs were also the very first of the range to be sold with the long wheelbase body, but the extra 4" into the rear passenger compartment proved to be such a success that it was soon announced as an optional extra on the series 1 XJ12, and in several years would be standard on all XJs with the exception of the two door XJ-C

Photo Right

The sheer size of the Motor and gearbox are well illustrated

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Photo Left

showing Body Rust In this instance the rear parcel shell

Van den Plas (the man) began coachbuilding in Belgium in 1853, and produced carriages with that 'little bit extra'. Vanden Plas (the company) as we know it was established in England as a specialist motor body builder and although no longer related to each other, both Van den Plas and Vanden Plas retained very close links with Jaguar after 1945. Vanden Plas (the British one) continued to build specialised bodies and when the Belgian Government imposed heavy taxes on imported cars in 1946 the national distributor there Joska Bourgeois (and her Australian partner Nick Haynes), set up a business arrangement with William Lyons for Van den Plas to assemble 3.5 Litre (MkIV) Saloons in that country. That was the first time Jaguars were assembled outside Coventry, and a successful working arrangement continued for two until the taxes were lifted. In 1970 Jaguars were again assembled in Belgium - but now under British Leyland and with no relationship to Van den Plas! 

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