Category Archives: condition

Look what we found!

by Nathan Pharaoh on 7 October, 2016

This strange looking object is an adjustable air-bladder lumbar support which would have provided a comfortable ride for Queen Elizabeth II during her 1954 tour of Australia. Our conservators found two of these supports incorporated in the rear seat of the Royal Daimler, during our treatment and documentation. This support is just one of the luxury features of this 1948 36hp Daimler landaulette. It also had electric windows, and electric sunroof, silk interior blinds, heating, a radio and an intercom. The lumbar support uses a Schrader valve and a foot pump to control the pressure and subsequent comfort. The cushion was found inside a neat calico pouch.

Air adjustable lumbar support

Image of the adjustable rubberised lumbar support cushion as removed from the passenger seat of the Royal Daimler

Working on the Hooper body

by Nathan Pharaoh on 2 September, 2016

In the last six months we have been working on the body and interior of the Daimler – involving a lot of dismantling, a lot of close inspection and a whole range of decision-making.
The Royal Daimler is a coach built vehicle – the chassis, engine and running gear were built by Daimler, while the body, interior and final fit out was carried out by the coachbuilders Hooper and Co.
Just as much painstaking detail has gone into dismantling the Hooper-built component, as has gone into the original build. As we have peeled away the layers, we have gained a detailed understanding of the construction method and materials used to create this vehicle, as well as insight into the demands faced by Hooper and Co. to make vehicles fit for a Royal tour.

Conserving the Royal Daimler at the National Museum Australia

Nathan Pharaoh and Ian Stewart removing the rear landaulette “hood” for full examination, documentation of its construction and decisions on treatment.

Some of the components are in really good condition, others in really quite poor condition. This is partly due to the materials used and their inherent durability, but it has also been affected by the life history of the vehicle. Faced with such extremes in condition, we have had to really balance our options for retaining original materials (the preferred course of action) and replacing components that are badly deteriorated, with a view to creating a coherent whole in the end. Quite challenging at times! At each decision point we carefully weigh up significance, condition, functionality and the availability of the skills to do the work.

cabin-light

Armrest

We have been making great progress and will be sharing before and after treatment information on the:
Dash panels    Armrests   Seats   Carpets   Wiring   Interior lights    Handles    Switches  Window motors  Doors

Testing Testing

by Nathan Pharaoh on 27 March, 2015

National Museum of Australia Royal Daimler project

Ken Houlahan and Ian Stewart securing the starter motor to the engine.

Shortly after the installation of the engine’s crankshaft, the team here at the National Museum got busy bolting on the auxiliary engine components with the aim of reuniting the vehicle’s engine to the newly treated chassis.

But before the engine is installed, we need to carry out a few leak tests and pressure tests.

Continue reading

The Queen is in town

by Catrina Vignando on 12 November, 2014

When the Queen Came to Town, poster

When the Queen Came to Town, poster

It was 1954, post depression, post World War II and the visit of the young and beautiful Queen Elizabeth transfixed the nation. Continue reading

Testing, testing

by Vicki Humphrey on 16 October, 2014

Crankshaft test fit.

The much-awaited test fit of the crankshaft has happened. Ian Stewart has fitted it, checked and blueprinted the bearing oil clearances and the thrust clearance. All clearances have been set to standard Daimler specifications. The new main bearing has been line bored to suit these specifications. Continue reading

Thank you

by Catrina Vignando on 24 July, 2014

In 2012, we set out to raise $60,000 by July 2014 for the Royal Daimler Project. It might have looked like a blue-sky target back then, but I am happy to say that due to the overwhelming support we have had from our Royal Daimler Conservation Partners, and all the Royal Daimler Project followers, we have not only reached our target, but we have exceeded our goal and have raised $61,863.80. Continue reading

A little bit of bling and some very fine work!

by Vicki Humphrey on 22 May, 2014

Compare this to the before photo in our earlier post: What is it?..and why does it affect our treatment approach?

The excitement is building as we prepare the Daimler chassis for a public viewing for the Queen’s birthday weekend. And the Daimler is getting its bling on!

We decided to keep as much of the original chrome work as possible – we discovered a good polish brought it up beautifully. There is some evidence of pitting but as there was no underlying corrosion, the chrome work is sound and important as a record of the original craftsmanship. Unfortunately there were some parts that had underlying corrosion and needed treatment. The ongoing corrosion would have resulted in continuing loss of chrome and deterioration of original parts. For these reasons we had to treat the metal and have it rechromed. Continue reading

Crankshaft – the story so far

by Vicki Humphrey on 20 April, 2014

P1010918

In the beginning was a cylinder of solid steel, soon to be a crankshaft.

On the 7-8th April, Ainslie Greiner and Ian Stewart travelled to Melbourne to visit Crankshaft Rebuilders. They took the original block from the Royal Daimler with them. The idea was to get the block line-bored and the new crankshaft test fitted to the block – this allows for finalised fitting to the bearings. This also provided Ian with the necessary information to manufacture a new rear main oil seal carrier on his return to the Museum.

Ainslie and Ian were very impressed with the work to date on the crankshaft. It has been made from one piece of metal (billeted) and is a precision piece of engineering. Continue reading

Interview with the conservators

by Catrina Vignando on 28 March, 2014

The Royal Daimler Project is speeding along and we are getting close to our fundraising finishing line.

We have developed a video documenting some of the work we have been doing with the support we have received from members of the public. This video includes interviews with the National Museums’ automotive engineers and conservators and gives a sense of the work involved in bringing the Royal Daimler back to its former glory.

We need to raise a further $30,000to reach our goal of $60,000 by July this year.
Help us get the car over the line and become a Royal Daimler Conservation Partner.