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Lot 434: 1953 Daimler Empress Series II

Fine Motor Cars and the Jaguar Legend, Coys (14 July 2007)

By the 1930's, Daimler had built a reputation for building quality luxury cars which was further boosted by sustained royal patronage. Amongst its model range there were also sports models with double six or straight eight cylinder engines which were joined in 1933 by the Laurence Pomeroy designed overhead valve 15. With Lanchester style pre-selector epycyclic gearbox and fluid flywheel, the 15, which was available in saloon and open body styles, later acquired independent front suspension in 1938. With the outbreak of World War II, Daimler, like so many car manufacturers, turned its production to the war effort, but after 1945 car production once again got underway. One of the first models off the line was the DB18, a direct descendent of the 15, powered by a 70bhp 2.5 litre straight six engine allied to the four-speed pre-selector transmission, the combination providing lively and responsive performance. Like the 15, it shared a similar chassis with independent coil spring/wishbone front suspension, a live leaf sprung rear axle and all-round drum brakes. Inside, it boasted the traditional high quality polished walnut and leather interior and was a smooth and refined motor car. Either open or closed coachwork was available from a variety of specialists, notably Barker and Hooper, whose drophead coupé body styles proved most popular. The history of the car presented here today is well documented as can be seen by the file of document amassed by the vendor, a long standing owner and collector in his own right. It was originally found in the late 1970's by a Peter Seddon and suffering from damp and neglect (the car that is). It was taken from there to Shrewsbury whereupon it was stripped from the scuttle forward and the engine, gearbox and transmission all rebuilt. Ill heath unfortunately halted works, but only temporarily. The current owner then acquired the car, took it to Macclesfield where it went to David Scott at Moncrieff & Sons of Leek. The timber frame was replaced as were some of the body panels as required. It was then painted and numerous mechanical repairs took place during the restoration including new leather, headlining and carpets. During these extensive works, a number of non-standard improvements were added. Instead of the normal thermal system of lubrication for example, a Tacalmit chassis system was installed. Oil pressure and temperature gauges can now be found in the main cabin and a Kenlowe fan was used to improve cooling. There is even a modern radio/cassette player to provide some relaxing programming to the otherwise quiet and elegant ride the next owner will experience in this most elegant of motorcars. Back on the road now since 1986, this fully MoT'd and taxed example of one of the most well thought of luxury saloons of its day has much to give and many miles to travel. All of them comfortably.

Lot Details
Auction Fine Motor Cars and the Jaguar Legend
Coys, Blenheim Palace, UK
Lot Number434
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating
Registration numberJUT 374
Chassis number82012
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors