Conservation, History

Riding in Style

by Vicki Humphrey on 19 February, 2014

Chris van Schaardenburgh (left) and Stuart Wilkinson (right) with the Daimler de 36 at Coventry Transport Museum

On the 13th February, I had the good fortune to visit the Coventry Transport Museum to see the Daimler de36 Landaulette in their collection. Many thanks to Stuart Wilkinson, the Chairman of the Transport for organising the visit, driving me there and accompanying me throughout the visit. As usual with the vehicle community, he was really generous with time and information and has continued to chase up Daimler related things for us. Thanks also to Peter Grant for putting me in touch with Stuart. This really is a car community effort.

Thanks also to Chris van Schaardenburgh, the curator of vehicles at the Museum. Chris took Stuart and me to the off-site store to see the Daimler, which is not currently on display. Chris offered to start the vehicle. It had been a while since it has been started and it took a little while and some help from the Museum van and jump leads, but it was well worth the effort to hear this beautiful car purring away. Stuart and I also very willingly accepted the invitation to ride in the Daimler. Twice round the storage building in regal style.

Back at the main Museum building we were able to look at some of the archive material about the car. This was very useful in mapping out some of the history of the National Museum’s Royal Daimler. The Coventry Daimler was George VI’s own car and he gave feedback to Daimler and Hoopers after the South African tour, on modifications he wanted to have made to the subsequent vehicles supplied to him and the Royal Family. We also learnt that even the cars fit for Royalty had squeaks and leaks!

I now have more leads to follow up and more archival material to read. Having seen that the Coventry Daimler has 800 17 tyres I was sad to learn that it is likely that the moulds for this size tyre have been destroyed. Would have loved to have been able to fit the original size tyres on the Queen’s Daimler.

The Daimler at the Coventry Transport Museum is outlined. The Australian fleet appears below this, with the NMA Royal Daimler fourth from the bottom

1 thought on “Riding in Style”

  1. Wonderful to see such great support for the Royal Daimler Project amongst the international Daimler community. Thanks everyone. Back home we are working with a film company creating a documentary of the 1954 Australian Royal Tour. More on that exciting project to come – stay tuned!

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