condition, Conservation, Fundraising campaign, treatment

Crankshaft – the story so far

by Vicki Humphrey on 20 April, 2014

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 “Crankshaft – the story so far”

condition, Conservation, Fundraising campaign, treatment

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.


condition, Conservation, History, treatment

What is it?..and why does it affect our treatment approach?

by Vicki Humphrey on 22 January, 2014

This strange looking object is just one part of the Daimler that represents the balance of pure conservation and minor restoration that will be characteristic of the work we are doing. In many discussions with visitors and on our blog we have mentioned our desire to stick – as far as possible – to a conservation approach. That is, retain and reuse as much of the original as possible. However, we always knew that there would be parts that would have to have extra work along with some that need to be replaced – the crankshaft is a fine example of the latter.

Continue reading “What is it?..and why does it affect our treatment approach?”

condition, Conservation, treatment

Chassis work

Ian Stewart spray painting the Royal Daimler chassis decked out in his PPE

by Vicki Humphrey on 3 October, 2013

The Daimler chassis that has been a major presence in the Large Technology lab over the past few months has been moved to another Museum site for painting now that it has been repaired. The painting will be done on the forecourt of one of the stores inside a specially constructed tent, with the team decked out in their personal protective equipment (PPE). Our investigations and helpful information from UK and Australia established that the chassis would have been gloss black; and so it will be once more. Continue reading “Chassis work”

condition, Conservation, treatment

Paint and Project Planning

by Vicki Humphrey on 5 August, 2013

After the excitement of the RACA dinner we are now back into practicalities.

Vicki Humphrey is working with the National Museum’s three conservation labs to coordinate the work on the different components of the vehicle. While the bulk of the work will be carried out by the Large Technology team, there is no denying that there are challenges and considerable work ahead for the Textiles team, who will be treating the upholstery and the textile fittings.

The rich interior presents a number of challenges for the textiles conservators.

The Objects conservators will focusing on the timber interiors and the instrument panel. The Daimler is not the only project the Conservation section has to work on and so the order in which we carry out the work has to take into consideration the optimum workflows for the Daimler itself and the availability of expertise within the relatively small conservation section. Planning becomes very important. Continue reading “Paint and Project Planning”

Conservation, treatment

Here is a challenge for you: Conservation not restoration

by Monica Lindemann on 2 April, 2013

One-150x150When conservators are treating objects, including large technology objects, they aim to preserve as much of the original as possible. This is different from the approach of restoration, which might replace original materials, for instance paint surfaces, and would aim to make the object look brand new. In the past, this has been the approach of car restorers.

QUESTIONS: Continue reading “Here is a challenge for you: Conservation not restoration”

Conservation, treatment

Last days in Museum Workshop

by Vicki Humphrey on 25 January, 2013

Since the body was lifted off the chassis on 18th November, the conservators have been busy. The engine and transmission have been removed and the engine dismantled. Conservators knew there was a problem with the crankshaft, but  have been delighted to find that most of the engine looks to be in good condition and can be reused.  At this stage we are hoping that there will be no need to dismantle the transmission.  The brakes and the chassis are also in good condition.

Continue reading “Last days in Museum Workshop”

condition, Conservation, treatment

We began by looking at the inlet manifold

by Vicki Humphrey on 27 November, 2012

Nicki Smith spent Saturday 24th November working on the Daimler with Ian Stewart, in the Museum Workshop exhibition. Nicki is really enthusiastic about the work, reporting:

“I’ve just spent a great day working with Ian Stewart on the Daimler. We began by looking at the inlet manifold, carburettors and throttle linkages, exhaust manifold, coolant thermostat and pipework and the thermostat housing.”

Even to my untrained eye I could see Ian’s words were true…  “for its age it is unbelievable. All the nuts and bolts are unscrewable, they go in and out like you wouldn’t believe. All it needs is a normal clean, there are no problems.” The bolts and nuts on the Daimler are all Whitworth – British Standard Whitworth not so easy to come by in our metric world – but the Museum does have a Whitworth spanner set. Continue reading “We began by looking at the inlet manifold”

condition, Conservation, treatment

The lift

by Heidi Bock on 27 November, 2012

Please see below, pictures taken by George Serras the Museum’s photographer of the body of the Royal Daimler being lifted off the chassis during Museum Workshop exhibition on Sunday 18th November 2012, during the Conservation Partner Tour.

You can become a Conservation Partner Tour by donating $100 or more per year to the Royal Daimler Project by clicking here