1937 Daimler Light 20
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1937 Daimler Light 20 Tickford Cabriolet
Coachwork by Salmons & Sons
Registration no. GS 6722
Chassis no. 42723
One of the founding firms of the British motor industry, Daimler was part of the expanding BSA group by 1911. The adoption of the refined 'Silent Knight' sleeve-valve engine had done much to turn around the company's fortunes and establish Daimler as a marque committed to engineering excellence, a policy which continued in the 1920s with the introduction of the 'Double-Six' - Britain's first V12. A new range of sleeve-valve sixes was introduced for 1926, and these chassis began to attract an increasing proportion of owner-driver coachwork. This trend continued with the introduction of the first of Daimler's pushrod overhead-valve sixes - the 1,805cc Fifteen - in 1933. The range expanded and in 1936 a larger owner-driver six, the Light 20, was introduced. This new model was powered by a 2,565cc fixed-head engine, which drove via Daimler's trademark Wilson pre-selector gearbox. At 114", the wheelbase was shorter than that of the superseded LQ20, making for a lighter and faster car, while this improved performance was restrained by Girling mechanical brakes. Apart from styling differences, the Light 20 was identical to the Lanchester 18.
The rare Daimler soft-top offered here was first owned by John Anderson of Perth, Company Secretary of Dewar's Whisky, and was left to his chauffeur on Mr Anderson's death. According to the Daimler Club, it is one of only two bodied by Salmons & Sons with their patented Tickford coachwork, and is the sole survivor. Later in life it was bought by a Mr Garth Isaac of Boston, Lincolnshire and totally restored to concours condition in 1981, winning every competition entered throughout the late 1980s and featuring in many magazine articles. A photographic record of the restoration is available and the car also comes with a most comprehensive history file containing every document since leaving the factory, including the chauffeur's log, instruction manuals, and many parts invoices (perusal recommended). Also included in the sale is a quantity of reconditioned spare parts and all of the car's original hand tools.
The current vendors purchased this Daimler in October 2016 together with the EL24 in this sale, since when the pair have formed part of their wedding-hire fleet. However, the vendors have since realised that they cannot do these wonderful cars justice and display them as they deserve to be, hence the reluctant decision to sell.