There can be no argument that this is one of the stranger vehicles we’ve featured on Silodrome in recent memory. It’s a custom-built six-wheeled Daimler V12 with a pickup or “ute” backend, and it’s expected to sell for $13,150+ USD.
This car started out as a 1981 Daimler Double-Six, a respectable gentleman’s automobile at the time of its release that was offered in four-door, two-door, and four-door long wheelbase versions. Power is provided by the Jaguar 5.3 liter V12, the same engine used in later examples of the E-Type capable of 295+ bhp depending on version.
Fast Facts – A Six-Wheeled V12 Daimler Pickup
- The 1972 to 1992 Daimler Double-Six was the second model to carry this name from the British automaker, the first being the sleeve-valve V12 Daimler Double-Six that was sold from 1926 to 1938.
- The second generation Daimler Double-Six was based closely on the Daimler Sovereign, which itself was closely based on the Jaguar XJ6 and sold in parallel with it. The name “Double-Six” is a reference to the Jaguar V12 under the hood which was producing anywhere from 245 bhp to 295 bhp depending on the model.
- Jaguar had bought out Daimler in 1960 and not long after this they had begun releasing badge engineered Daimlers that were overwhelmingly similar to their Jaguar counterparts.
- The car you see here started out as a 1981 Daimler Double-Six, it was then completely rebuilt into a six-wheeled purple pickup (or ute) with dual rear axles, side exhausts, alloy wheels, a vinyl roof, and absolutely no subtlety whatsoever. It’s now being offered for sale with a price guide of $13,150+ USD.
The Daimler Double-Six: A History Speedrun
As the story goes, the Daimler Double-Six that was introduced in 1972 was named by the new Jaguar chairman Lofty England after the first Daimler Double-Six that had been sold before WWII between 1926 and 1938. This early Double-Six had always remained close to his heart has many decades previously he had taken second place in the first ever RAC rally driving one.
The model name Double-Six is a reference to the engine, it’s a V12 which is essentially two straight-sixes joined together at the block. Or so the thinking goes.
The second-generation Daimler Double-Six, the one named by Lofty England, was powered by the then-new 5.3 liter Jaguar V12, an engine that had been developed for premium cars as an engine option above the much-loved but long-in-the-tooth Jaguar XK straight-six which had debuted with the Jaguar XK120 all the way back in 1948.
The new V12 featured single overhead cams per bank, an all-aluminium block and cylinder heads, and two-valves per cylinder. This engine design would remain in production from 1971 to 1997 and it was used to power both Jaguar’s luxury four-door cars as well as sporting GT cars like the later E-Type and the XJS.
Almost all of the Jaguar V12s made were 5.3 liters, though some later engines were expanded out to 6.0 and 7.0 liters, mostly for racing use. In the production version of the engine the power output ranged from 245 bhp up to 295 bhp, with the racing versions producing considerably more than this.
The Daimler Double-Six was just the third production car to receive the Jaguar V12, the E-Type had received it first in 1971, followed by the Jaguar XJ12 in 1972, which was then followed by the Double-Six in 1973.
The Double-Six, and the Jaguar XJ12 it was based on, were among the most luxurious cars of their kind being built in England at the time. In fact, they were the only mass-produced four-door saloon cars with V12 engines in the world for much of their production life.
Today the surviving examples of the Daimler Double-Six, and its close sibling the Jaguar XJ12, are much sought after by collectors. The coupe and luxury Vanden Plas models tend to attract the most attention.
The Six-Wheeled Daimler Double-Six Shown Here
The car shown in this article is a 1981 Daimler Double-Six as we’ve never seen before. It’s been completely rebuilt into a six-wheeled custom machine with a pickup rear end, dual rear axles, side exhausts, alloy wheels, a purple paint job, a vinyl roof, and a new moniker – “Purple Thunder.”
Before I get emails telling me the Double-Six has independent front and rear suspension and therefore can’t have dual rear axles, you know what I mean.
Exactly why the car was built remains a mystery as it’s not addressed in the brief listing description. It was most likely built as a promotional vehicle or as a personal passion project. The listing does explain that the car is producing 265 bhp and that the oil pressure is within normal parameters.
It also notes that the gearbox, brakes, and suspension are all in good condition, and that the body and underside of the car all appear to be in reasonable condition. Of course, it’s important to thoroughly inspect any vehicle before buying it, or have it inspected by an expert.
This custom Double-Six has 77,150 miles on the odometer and the current owner has had it since 2007. It passed its most recent MOT which is valid until the 4th of August 2024.
The seller does note some negatives about the car, the engine does leak some oil, the fuel gauge is currently inoperable, and the headliner needs to be replaced – he notes that the car also has some paint imperfections.
The car is currently registered in the Netherlands where it enjoys road tax free status, it was originally built in England where it was registered with the license plate KHM 704W.
The car is now for sale on Catawiki with a price guide of € 12,250 -€ 13,500 or approximately $13,150 – $14,491 USD. If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can visit the listing here.
Images courtesy of Catawiki
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.