Category Archives: Significance

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

The Royal Daimler is a Canberra Treasure

by Catrina Vignando on 12 September, 2013

Treasures of Canberra by Betty Churcher and Lucy Quinn

Treasures of Canberra by Betty Churcher and Lucy Quinn

The Royal Daimler has been classified as a Canberra treasure in a new book by Betty Churcher, ex Director of the National Gallery of Australia, and artist Lucy Quinn.

The book I am referring to is called Treasures of Canberra and has been produced to commemorate the Centenary of Canberra. Last night I was at an inspiring talk by Betty and Lucy where they spoke about their new book and the many treasures that it features. Continue reading

Fit for a king, a queen and maybe a prince!

by Monica Lindemann on 16 August, 2013

News today that William, Kate and George might be heading to Australia to next year. news link

Did you know that the Royal Daimler in the Museum’s collection was originally painted in the little prince’s great grandfather, King George’s, colours? The Daimler was purchased and prepared for His Majesty’s 1949 Royal Tour, but King George never made that journey. The car was then prepared for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s 1954 Royal Tour , and painted over in Her royal colours. All this historic detail is visible on the car.

Help us restore the 1948 Royal Daimler and make it fit for a king, a queen, or prince again! Visit www.nma.gov.au/support_us to make a donation.

The Governor’s splendid acquisition

by Laura Breen on 17 July, 2012

In researching our Daimler’s lengthy past, I was not the least bit surprised to discover that the car’s ceremonial duties did not cease with the completion of Queen Elizabeth’s royal tour in 1954. After all, in the aftermath of the royal visit, what else could be done with such a cumbersome and imposing motor car?

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Facts and figures from the 1954 Royal Tour

by Heidi Bock on 31 May, 2012

As I have just joined the Museum, I have been exploring and discovering the interesting facts about the 1954 Royal Tour and this majestic Daimler.

In 2004, we held an exhibition called Royal Romance that examined Australia’s passionate response to Queen Elizabeth II’s first visit in 1954, and whether the nation has fallen out of love since.

It is incredible to see the effort that went into the 1954 Royal Tour.

510,000 pounds approximately in total contributed by the federal government
500,000 miles registered by the cars of Royal Visit Car Company

Continue reading