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.

Royal Daimler Interior Cabin Light

Interior cabin light in beautiful condition.

Armrest from the Royal Daimler

The armrests,not so much.

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