The Jaguar 420 and Daimler Sovereign

Years 1966-1968 (Jaguar 420)
1966-1969 (Daimler Sovereign)
See also Jaguar S Type
Jaguar MK X/420G
Notes The final development of the "compact Jaguars" - the line which started with the original Jaguar 2.4 and 3.4. in 1956.  By 1966, Jaguar realized that there was still a market gap between the 3.8S and the MK X large Jaguar. They responded with yet another variation on the basic MK II/S-type, this time by grafting on a front end styling similar to, but scaled down from, the MK X, onto the S-Type body which was itself an evolution of the MK II using the independent rear suspension developed for the E Type sports car, and the MK X. This produced a car with the mid-section of a MK II, and MK X like styling front and rear. This front end styling consisted of a 4 headlight layout, and a larger, and squarer grille. To complete the transformation the 4.2 litre version of the XK engine, from the larger MK X was fitted in detuned twin carburetor form . It is interesting to note that at the same time the 420 was released, Jaguar renamed the MK X to the 420G as a part of the rationalization of name that took place from 1966-1968

At the same time a Daimler variant was released. As with the smaller Daimler V8, it enjoyed a better level of standard equipment than the 420, but, apart from the slightly different grille, and badging, was otherwise identical. It outlasted the 420 by a year, because the latter was replaced by the first XJ6 in 1968, but there was no Daimler version of that model ready in time. It was eventually released in late 1969, leading to the demise of the Sovereign. This was the first Daimler that was truly a badge-engineered Jaguar, as the engine was now a Jaguar unit.

Although all Jaguar models of the mid to late sixties probably contributed to the evolution of the XJ6, it is probably this model above all which was the closest to the new car in dimensions, and performance. The new (in 1968) XJ6, was smaller than the very large MK X/420G. Several reasons have been put forward for the reason the 420 was produced. One of the more convincing is that it was to fill a market gap between the 3.8S model and the slow selling MK X/420G. Of course Jaguar could have just produced a 4.2 engined "S" type, (and even badge-engineered a Daimler version), but it is interesting to speculate that another reason for producing this short-lived model might have been as a test bed for some of the XJ6 styling and hardware, much of which was similar to the 420. Other sources say that the 420 styling was what the "S" type should have been from the beginning, but lack of time and money kept that model with a MK II styled front end, and that the "S" type therefore possessed unbalanced styling between its MK II derived front and middle section, and its MK X derived rear.  The 420 was aimed at the market segment that Jaguar felt the the 420G had missed by being being too large or expensive for the times.

For thise interested in such matters, we have provided a comparison of the leading dimensions of the 420, the 420G, and the XJ6 Series.

Pictures sovereign.jpg (23532 bytes)
1967 Daimler Sovereign # 1A-30449BW (Courtesy Dave Peters, New Zealand)

jag42067-6.jpg (15465 bytes)
Jaguar 420 1967

Description 4 door sedan (saloon)
Colors See the compact sedan colors page
Model Engine Bore/Stroke Power
Both 4235cc 6 cyl twin overhead camshaft 92 x 106 mm 245 bhp @ 5550 rpm
Both Twin SU HD8 2 inch
(Note slightly detuned from the same engine in the 420G which had triple carbs and 265 bhp)
Engine is a 4.2 litre version of the Jaguar XK type DOHC inline 6
Brakes 4 wheel discs, vacuum assisted.

(Various sources differ, slightly)
420 around 9800-10200
Note: In doing the research for this database, I have been unable to ascertain precisely how many 420's were manufactured.  Chassis number ranges would indicate 10,222 but other sources give numbers in the range 9600-9850. It is known that around 840 cars were delivered in kit (CKD) form to South Africa, and another 7 were delivered in chassis only form for specialist rebodying.
Sovereign 5829
Total 15629 - 16029
Both 3700 pounds
Length 15 feet 8 inches
Height 4 feet 8 1/2 inches 
Width 5 feet 7 1/2 inches 
Top speed 123 mph
Wheelbase 107.375 inches
Transmission 4-speed manual. Overdrive optional. Also available, Borg Warner 3 speed automatic.
Front Independent. Coil springs, wishbones and anti-roll bar
Rear Independent, lower wishbones, radius arms and coil springs.
Chassis Numbers
Additional codes with number (example P1F 1001 DN or P1A 70001 BW)
DN suffix means car is fitted with overdrive (de NormanVille)
BW suffix means car is fitted with automatic gearbox (Borg Warner)
P prefix  means car is fitted with power steering 
420 1F1001-1F8595  (RHD)
1F25001-1F27629 (LHD)
Sovereign 1A30001-1A35476  (RHD)
1A70001-1A70355 (LHD)
Engine Numbers See the compact sedans engine number page
Standard Equipment Leather upholstery. 4 wheel disc brakes, Jaguar/Daimler tool kit. Almost all 420's appear to have been fitted with the optional Marles Variomatic power steering system.
The Daimler Sovereign had the power steering as standard equipment, and all manual transmission cars were fitted with overdrive.
Options Automatic transmission, fog and spot lights, overdrive,   limited slip differential, various radios, power steering  heated rear window, chrome plated wire wheels.  Special paint colors were available to special order. Air conditioning and electric windows were available as dealer fitted accessories in America