The first post-war "Big Ford" was the V8 Pilot, launched in 1947. The Pilot used the pre-war 22hp chassis combined with a 30hp sidevalve V8 which had been in service for some time. The Pilot featured Hydro-mechanical brakes and a column change gearbox and, although built in Dagenham, Essex, had a very transatlantic feel.
Although most Pilots were the standard four door saloon type a few other derivatives were also built. Other types of body included a rare pick-up version and an estate car. Some pick-ups and a handful of 6-light 7-seater limousines were made by outside coachbuilders. A special V8 Pilot Estate was built for the Royal family and is now displayed in the museum at Sandringham.
With a top speed of just over 82 miles per hour and acceleration of 0 to 60 in just 20 seconds, the V8 Pilot was a very popular car with many police forces throughout the country, including Devon and Cornwall with one being operational in Helston.
Of the 22,155 built only approximately 900 remain, even less in original condition, Amelia being one. Amelia was fully restored to her original condition in the early 1990s, winning prizes following this work. Since being in our ownership she has undergone a full bare metal respray and is having her interior trim renovated. You can see photos of this work in the gallery.
Production of the V8 Pilot finished in 1951, by then the Ford Zephyr had established itself as they new "Big Ford".
Amelia is a four door saloon with bench seats front and rear capable of seating up to four passengers in comfort with ample leg and head room. With her V8 engine, she certainly makes her presence known!
She is available to hire for the Helston, Falmouth, Hayle, St Ives, Camborne, Redruth and Truro areas.
Prices for Amelia start at £325.
The Star Sapphire was produced in Coventry from 1958 to 1960, and was the last proper production model of the Sapphire line. Sophie has a four litre straight six engine and is just over 16 feet long. When new she had a top speed of 99.6 mph and could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 14.8 seconds.
A total of 980 Star Sapphires were produced with 902 of them being four door saloons, 77 long wheel based cars with 73 of them being built as limousines and the remaining four chassis were used for three hearses and an ambulance. Of the 902 saloons produced only 150 remain on the road today. When they were originally produced they competed with the likes of Humber, Jaguar and Daimler, although they were actually at the top end of that market. The Star Sapphire won the £4,000 four door coachwork class at the 1958 Earls Court Motorshow ahead of a Princess Limousine and Jaguar Mark IX.
After Sophie was restored a few years ago a photograph was taken of her at a motorshow. This photo was then used to produce a scale model of her by Oxford Automobile Company which we give to brides with our compliments as a momento of their wedding day (while stocks last).
Sophie also has bench seats front and rear and is capable of seating up to four adult passengers, or five smaller passengers/children. Like Amelia, Sophie has ample leg room and is considered, by some, to be more elegant/regal.
Sophie is available for the following areas: Helston, Falmouth, Camborne, Redruth, Hayle, St Ives, Penzance, St Just, Lands End, Truro, Newquay, St Austell.
Prices for Sophie start at £325.
Margaret-Rose - Daimler DS420 Limousine
Popularly known as the Daimler Limousine, is a large limousine produced by The Daimler Company Limited between 1968 and 1992. The vehicles are used extensively as official state cars in several countries, including by the British, Danish and
Swedish royal houses.
The Limousine was based on the floorpan of Jaguar's 420G flagship but with a wheelbase extended an extra 21". The frontal styling was similar to the original Daimler Sovereign, with the Jaguar four-headlight treatment first seen on the 420G's predecessor, the Mark X, mated to a Daimler radiator grill bearing the traditional fluting.
The passengers sit on a bench-seat behind the glass division in opulent comfort — the DS420's rear seat spanning over 6 feet in width. The dimensions of the vehicle are very similar to those of the Rolls-Royce Phantom VI with which the limousine was designed to compete.
The top speed available from this 245 bhp, three speed automatic, independently suspended, four wheel disc braked Daimler limousine was 110 mph. Undercutting the Phantom VI in price by 50% or more, the big Daimler was considered to be a fine vehicle for the cost with its Le Mans-winning Jaguar engine, the last car to use it, and bespoke construction.
Always hand-made, the DS420 had a fascia very similar to some contemporary (in 1968) Jaguars, particularly the Mark X and 420G, remaining faithful for many years to the old fashioned steering column and to the pencil-thin steering wheel. Two cars have been built in landaulette bodywork by the factory (and apparently neither have survived), but many have been converted to laundaulettes for the wedding car industry.
Margaret-Rose is a very special Daimler. Originally registered on 22 February 1972 to Cyril Symons, who was a contracted chauffeur to the Royal Household. She was then purchased by David Griffen, who was personal chauffeur to Princess Margaret, and was officially registered at 1A Kensington Palace and became Princess Margaret's official limousine. Since then she has served as a private limousine on an estate in Ireland before returning to the mainland in 2005 where she has been one of a fleet of similarly well appointed wedding cars.
We were lucky enough to find her in April 2015, quite by chance, and brought her to Cornwall from Essex on 3 May. She is capable of carrying 6/7 passengers in a very refined style.
Margaret-Rose is available to hire for the following areas: Helston, Falmouth, Camborne, Redruth, Hayle, St Ives, Penzance, St Just, Lands End, Truro, Newquay, St Austell.
Prices for Margaret-Rose start at £375.