Daimler Majestic Major, DQ450
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Manufacturer Daimler Motor Company
Production 1959–1968
1180 produced
Predecessor Daimler Majestic 101
Successor Daimler Sovereign
Class Executive
Body style(s) 4-door saloon
Engine(s) 4.5 litre V-8
Transmission(s) BW DG250M: 3-speed automatic with torque multiplier on 1st and 2nd
Wheelbase 114 in (2,900 mm) [1]
Length 202 in (5,100 mm) [1]
Width 73 in (1,900 mm) [1]
Height 62.75 in (1,594 mm) [1]
Kerb weight 4088 pounds 1854 kg
Fuel capacity 16 imp gal (73 L/19 US gal) [2]
Daimler 4½-litre V8
Manufacturer The Daimler Motor Company Limited
Production 1959-1968
Configuration 70° V8
Displacement 4.561 L (278.3 cu in)
Cylinder bore 92.5 mm (3.64 in)
Piston stroke 80.01 mm (3.150 in)
Cylinder block alloy cast iron
Cylinder head alloy aluminium alloy
Valvetrain 2 valves per cylinder, OHV, Hemispherical Head.
Compression ratio 8 : 1
Fuel system twin SU S.4 downdraught carburettors
Fuel type petrol
Cooling system water-cooled
Power output 220 bhp (160 kW/220 PS) @ 5,500 rpm
Torque output 283 lb·ft (384 N·m) @ 3200 rpm
Length 31.25 inches (794 mm)
Width 25.5 inches (650 mm)
Height 31 inches (790 mm)
Dry weight 226 kilograms (500 lb)

The Daimler Majestic Major DQ450 was a large executive saloon made by Daimler in Coventry between 1959 and 1968, using a 4,561 cc V8 engine and offered as a much more powerful supplement to their then current Daimler Majestic.

A substantially lengthened limousine version of the same chassis and bodyshell, the Daimler DR450, was available from 1961 until the V8 engine ended production.


Though the Major was announced and displayed on 20 October 1959[3] at the London Motor Show,[4] the car on the show stand was a prototype and production did not get under way for a couple of years.[4] It was offered as a supplement alongside the slightly shorter 3.8 litre Majestic released in 1958. Both cars used the same chassis and bodyshell, the Major having an extended boot as well as the new engine which was lighter and much more powerful.

The engine transformed the staid Majestic into a high performance executive car capable of 120 mph (190 km/h). It is faster than a Mark X Jaguar up to 80 mph (130 km/h) despite its 1880 kg bulk and it has been said that Jaguar tried a Daimler 4.5 motor in a Mark X and it did 135 mph (218 km/h). External differences from the Majestic were the longer boot [5] and cast-in V symbols in the horn grilles.

4½ litre 220hp V8 EngineEdit

Main article: Daimler 2.5 & 4.5 litre

Turner's 4561 cc V8 engine had a head design closely resembling the Chrysler Hemi engine (not his Triumph Speed Twin motorcycle engines), and a crankshaft closely resembling that of a slightly earlier Cadillac. The 4.5 had a cast iron block and alloy hemispherical heads with a bore of 95 mm and stroke of 80 mm. The valves were pushrod operated and the Vee slanted at 70°. Equipped with twin SU carburettors and a free-flowing twin exhaust system the engine produced a conservative 220 bhp (160 kW) at 5500 rpm and 283-foot-pounds (396 Nm) of torque at 3,200 rpm.[6] By comparison a Jaguar Mark X did claim 220hp but used a different scale of measurement.

Chassis and BodyEdit

It was built on Daimler's standard massive cruciform-braced box-section chassis with their conventional coil-sprung independent front suspension and a well located 'live' rear axle using semi-elliptic leaf springs. As with the Majestic, there were four-wheel Dunlop disc brakes with a vacuum servo.

The combination of an imported Borg-Warner DG (Detroit Gear) 250M automatic transmission, power steering and Dunlop's power disc brakes on all wheels made the Major in those respects a mechanically advanced car for its time. Its body, however, was originally designed for the Majestic by Daimler subsidiary, the old coachbuilding firm Carbodies and they provided the bodies in conjunction with Park Sheet Metal. They were finished in cellulose paints allowing a selection of colours not available in the new synthetic finishes used by Jaguar. They were built at Browns Lane on separate hand-moved lines. Its design was already outdated and heavy when the Majestic Major first went into production and seemed increasingly so in later years.

The Majestic Major's turning circle was an enormous 46 feet (14.0 m).[7] This, coupled with the fact that power steering was only an optional extra until 1964, meant that the car was not one for manoeuvering in tight spaces; even with power steering, 4.5 turns lock to lock were required.


The British The Motor magazine tested a Majestic Major with power steering in 1961 and recorded a top speed of 122.3 mph (196.8 km/h) and acceleration from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 9.7 seconds. A "touring" fuel consumption of 16.9 miles per gallon(imperial) was recorded. On the home market, as tested, the car cost £3166 including taxes of £955.[1]

Scale modelsEdit

  • Neo Scale Models have produced (2011) a 1:43 resin molded model of the Majestic Major.


Smallwikipedialogo This page uses some content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Daimler Majestic Major. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons by Attribution License and/or GNU Free Documentation License. Please check page history for when the original article was copied to Wikia

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "The Daimler Majestic Major", The Motor. 27 September 1961. 
  2. "Car-by-car guide: Daimler Majestic major and Limousine", Motor: pages 15. date 22 October 1966. 
  3. New Version of Majestic in Daimler Range, The Times, Tuesday, 20 October 1959; pg. 16; Issue 54596; col F
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Used cars on the road: 1961 Daimler Majestic Major", Autocar: Page 948. date 29 October 1965. 
  5. Daimler Majestic, Majestic Major at Retrieved on 6 April 2011
  6. D'Angelo, Sergio (editor); World Car Catalogue (1968), page 128; published 1968 by London Iliffe Books Limited
  7. Johnson, Ian (2009-05-22). "CLASSIC CARS with IAN JOHNSON This week: Daimler Majestic Major". MGN. Archived from the original on 31 Mar 2012. Retrieved on 4 April 2011. “The downside, though, was that it had a massive turning circle of 46ft and would struggle to better 16mpg.”

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