Revealed in 1996 to celebrate the company centenary, the Daimler Corsica is named after the coach building company that built the 1931 Daimler drophead coupe. While it’s not exactly a sports car, the X300 platform looked sensational when converted into a 2 door convertible.
The Corsica was built as a styling exercise by the Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) team. The Corsica was based on the X300 platform with the standard 4 litre straight six engine. The interior is adapted from XK8 and XJS parts. The roof mechanism is fully functioning too, which took significant effort from the SVO team.
Constructed over 18 months, the mechanics of the car weren’t finished until 2006. The Jaguar Enthusiasts Club (JEC) and the Jaguar Heritage Trust worked with the Nottingham based Jaguar specialist David Mark’s to complete the car. Additional strengthening was added around the transmission tunnel and key areas to ensure the body remained rigid without the roof. New front and rear subframes completed the car and made it easier to move to different shows and museums.
The Corsica was a beautiful car and showed how flexible the X300 platform was. Jaguar had often experimented with different bodystyles on both the XJ40 and X300 platforms; sadly only the saloon or long wheelbase options were ever put into production, leaving the Corsica and XJ40 coupe as handsome concepts that would never be available for sale.
Whether the Corsica wasn’t practical to build or Jaguar were worried about cannibalizing sales of the then new XK8 convertible, it’s difficult to say. Like the XJ40 coupe before it, the Corsica would be a reminder of what could have been.
Paul is an automotive aficionado with a passion for cars. His passion for automobiles has only grown over the years, and for the past 11 years, he has been blogging about British sports cars. Readers can expect irreverent content about classic models, interesting car stories and more!