Vanden Plas Majestic?

I am curious about the 1992-1994 Vanden Plas Majestic. Is it considered an "XJ’ or “X300?” There is so little information regarding them. Is it true the Majestic was built as a SWB then stretched by Project Aerospace in Coventry? Were sun roofs standard items? Is the Majestic a model strictly for the USA? I wrote a few articles about them years ago and got mixed response. Even the jag dealers has spotty info regarding them. Where can I go to find out?

Here is what one reader wrote: “Oh, and another thing, DUDE, the LWB Majestic (270 built) did not have a sunroof as standard, only 3 had them, for the rest it wasn’t even an option. They also could come with Quad lights, not just rectangle. Also, Daimler/VDP only made up a percentage of them, LWB could come in any spec from base trim XJ6, Sovereign, XJ12, and DD6. No Vanden Plas at all were made in LWB – as mentioned, I have Jaguar system access and every single car – again…270!!! And the car you feature heavily is a Short Wheel Base VDP Majestic, which was never issued to anywhere other that the USA and only in SHORT Wheel Base form. So you’re not even talking about the same car as what you’re featuring on photos which was 1989-1992, that being a later 92 SWB US car in Black Cherry Pearl. Most were Regency Red before the last ones being replaced by limited Black Cherry, but, I suppose you knew that didn’t you…… maybe you should have phoned a few more dealers……” (rather condescending isn’t he?)

At the time I researched the Vanden Plas Majestic specs were sketchy. I thought I would come to a Jaguar forum to find out for sure. Jaguar had an overlap in series naming conventions too which made the research a little more difficult. I am going to re-write the article but I need to know from whom to get the information. In 2013 I got info from Jag dealers in the UK. Everyone had something different to say about the Majestic, some are still confused. Where do I go? XJ or X300?

The main identifying feature of the Majestic is the replacement of the Jaguar “leaper” hood ornament with the regal “Corgi”.

I can only refer you to the section in JHDT CD-Rom JHM1130 which under the heading “1994 Model Year Update” it refers in “new Models” to the “Majestic Extended Wheelbase Saloon” available in XJ6, Sovereign and Daimler (i.e in the US ‘Vanden Plas’) trim standards with 3,2, 4.0 and 6.0 litre versions.
I do not see any mention of a sun-roof

Definitely in 1994 an XJ40, not an X300

I concur with Bryan, the defining difference is the body style.
XJ40 has the flat(ish) bonnet while the X300 has the more voluptuous shape over the head lights. There are differences in the last year of the XJ40 but mainly they are involved with the rear suspension being changed to the X300 style of shock and spring mounting onto the lower control arm, the shock lower bush not having to take the weight of the car.

I own a 92 VDP Majestic. It is a US spec car. It has a small leaper. It is Black Cherry with Cream interior and Coffee piping and accents. It also has more bright trim and coach lines. It does have a sun roof. It is considered an XJ40.The Majestic was made in 90,91, and 92. The first two years were red and 92 was black cherry. 92 was the lowest production run and I believe that to be 250. Also, the lettering on the badging is done in 14k gold. It is also the short wheel base version. It had the auto adjust suspension but the PO had it converted to normal shocks in the rear.
I must say that it is a beautiful car.


found on the web:

Know your Majestic’s!!! As an owner of a Majestic (U.K. LWB), the Majestic is one of the versions of XJ40 which people are very inquisitive about. They are also the most misunderstood variant, with a lack of resources about them and what little there is out there being absolutely false, which I will start to go in to now.

Firstly, there are two variants of Majestic, a Short Wheel Base and a Long Wheel Base.

The Short Wheel Base (SWB) was only produced for the USA and Canadian Markets.

They were based on the Vanden Plas trim (aka Daimler to the rest of the world) but were even plusher than a standard VP. They were built between 1989 and 1992. The 89 and 90 build cars were only available in Regency Red with Magnolia/Cherry piped Autolux leather trim. To set these cars further apart from other VP’s were the “Lattice 15 inch” alloy wheels with Red painted in-fills throughout the latticework. This is the colour variant people most associate with the USA/CAN SWB Majestic. However, the 91 and 92 build cars came in Black Cherry Pearl, with Magnolia/Buckskin piped Autolux leather trim.
These cars also came with Oyster Gold “Roulette” alloy wheels instead of the earlier Lattice’s.

These cars are a bit less common and harder to find. Cars were branded “Majestic” on the boot lid with a purple-ish badge with Gold lettering. I’ve found a number of Majestic’s fitted with all-Magnolia steering wheels, J-Gate gear tops and surrounds too, further distinguishing them from the rest of the range. Although these cars were built in Britain, they were never sold to anywhere except the USA and Canada, all in left hand drive.

Now, the Long Wheel Base Majestic. These cars were produced for 1992 to 1994 (3 test cars were built prior to production) for all markets except the USA and Canada. The LWB car is 5 inches longer than a SWB and could be based on any trim in the range from XJ6 Gold (Base Spec) right up to the most expensive car you could buy, a Daimler Double Six Insignia.

For the U.K., a Majestic option cost £8,500.00 on top of the price of the model it was based on. Taking in to account for inflation, that is over £17,000.00 in today’s money. Each car body shell started out as a SWB car, but was taken aside, sent away, chopped in half, had its roof cut off and had extra metal welded in to make the car longer with a higher roofline, then returned to the production line to carry on being assembled. The front doors are standard width, it’s the rear doors which are bigger which gives the rear seat passengers that all important extra head and legroom.

Now, build figures, which is the part which people get shockingly wrong. Most people consult Wikipedia - please stop reading Wikipedia everyone, it’s incorrect on many things, such as this. Wikipedia states that there were 121 LWB Majestic’s - WRONG. It also states that the U.K. prime minister kept a Black American SWB Majestic - WRONG. A Jaguar XJ40 book written by someone who I won’t mention the name of, states in his book there were only 50 made - WRONG. There were 270 LWB cars produced, 71 stayed in the U.K and the rest were shipped overseas. And people of the U.K., please be careful of the website “How Many Left”. That information is pulled from the DVLA. I deal with the DVLA every day and it’s so inaccurate that it haunts me that a government body is so careless. According to How Many Left, both my SWB 4.0S and my LWB do not exist, and never have existed…ever…it’s not good!

For anyone looking at Majestic’s, if you have any doubts, look for the identifiers I’ve pointed out, and to be extra sure, the VIN. Look at the 4th character on the chassis (VIN) number for USA/CAN cars, and character 7 on U.K. cars, which should be an “M”. If it does not have this, it is not a genuine Majestic (USA/CAN – this is for 89-92 only – 93 & 94 “M” cars signify XJ12 in that market),


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Thank you! I wrote an article a few years ago and gathering the information was like looking for a needle in a hay stack! So many had opinions and specifications that I put them all in a database and I used averages. Even Jag dealers had different numbers. They are beautiful cars and I am going to re-write the previous story. The naming convention for Jaguar models is also baffling! I have never researched any car this difficult before because of all information. I don’t rely on Wikipedia because a lot of their specs and descriptions are incorrect.

The part about Project Aerospace doing the long wheelbase conversion seems to be the only consistent concrete info I had at the time. It would seem like Jaguar would have built a longer chassis in-house rather than farming out production to save money. Jags have always intrigued me. I went berserk with delight when they came out with the MK10 from the 1960s But trying to keep track of the numbering in their series is unreal. Out of all Jags I’d restore a MK10 in a heart beat! The XJ12 is my next favorite. The X300 too!

Thanks for the information. One of my readers went crazy after reading about the Vanden Plas and Vanden Plas Majestic on my site. I went back thru all of the notes I had and believe me when I tell you there are so many variations and numbers available that it’s mind-boggling! I will make sure to give you a shout in the re-write! May I use your name?


The guy who wrote that article is my friend Paul Keating, a 30-ish Brit who is compiling the XJ40 registry, which is now at 41,000+ cars. Find the XJ40 Enthusiast page on Facebook. Paul is the preeminent expert on the history of the XJ40. He owns at least one maybe two Majestics. The NorAm version of Majestic was ONLY SWB. In UK and elsewhere, the Majestic has a higher roofline as well. USA had only one variation.

Per my USA brochure for the 1990 model year there were four versions of the XJ40, The base car, known as the XJ6 (I have had one from new), had round headlamps, no sunroof, no ride level, no chrome trim around the tail lamps, black side window frames, no boxwood inlay in the woodwork and other minor differences. The next step up was the Sovereign which had a sunroof, rectangular headlamps, ride level, boxwood inlay, chrome tail lamp frames, chrome side window frames, etc. The next step up was the Vanden Plas with all the Sovereign features plus different style seat upholstery, rear seat folding trays, ultra fuzzy sheep skin carpet mats, chrome side moldings, rectangular fog lamps, smooth hubcaps on the same wheels, as the XJ6 and Sovereign. The ultimate version was the Majestic with fluted grill surround and boot lid plinth, lattice wheels with red painted background. magnolia colored seats with contrasting piping and the ultra fuzzy floor mats. The only color pictured, and mentioned in the text, was regency red mica-metallic paint. All were of the same wheel base, 113 inches.
Moving to the 1992 brochure, The Majestic and Vanden Plas got different wheels and some other variations. The Sovereign, VDP and Majestic retained rear ride level, all cars were still 113 inch wheelbase. The 1994 brochure does not list a Majestic but does show the 6.0 liter V12 car still on the 113 wheelbase. Ride level is not listed for any sedans that year. All cars had sunroofs and fog lamps which were integrated into the lower valance. None of the cars mentioned had hood leapers though many owners retrofitted them over the years. I’m sure there are gaps and omissions in my descriptions but I hope this helps identify the various cars. Keep in mind that home market and other export markets may vary considerably.

Anyone seen a white one with cream interior from the 1991?

The VDP Majestic was only made for three years. Two years in red and in 92 in black cherry. My 92 had the load leveling system and did my 94 XJ12 parts car.

I have only ever worked on two in my career. (both red)

A 1989 and a 1990.

I think one of my buddies still has his 1989 but I would need to call him and ask.
He has a farm in North Texas a few miles North of me.

A curious name, Majestic.

Something brought forward from the Daimler Majestic Major perhaps, which was a wonderful car discontinued a few years after Jaguar bought Daimler?

My dad had a '65 Daimler Majestic Major around 1971 or so, traded in our mini on it and the dealer gave us the car and cash back! Was a fun thing to drive if all my friends donated cash to gas up the V8 …8MPG if I remember …was a laugh driving around Merthyr Tydfil with my girlfriend in a car more up scale than the mayor had!
Finally exhaust went and we couldn’t afford the 800 quid (lots of money back then) to fix it so she had to go. I’ll dig a photo out, still have one somwhere.