1951 Daimler DB18


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Enthusiasts will remember this German-sounding Brand because of one of the most British of English cars. In fact in the early days of motoring, a company called Daimler was established in order to import the first small cars built by the German works of the same name into the United Kingdom. Following a series of vicissitudes, the British company grew whilst the German one joined Benz and subsequently disappeared when the Merceds-Benz brand was adopted. Today, however, the Daimler name is still used for the German Group’s Holding Company, one of the most important European industrial concerns.

Apart from these company complications, British Daimler soon became the vehicle of choice for the Royal Family and was used exclusively by four monarchs. It lost this privilege before the war when a Company that was not as old but was better organized began to propose its limousines to Buckingham Palace.

Technically, the pre-war Daimler was an excellent car, certainly never sporty and always rather formal: it should, however, be noted that in 1926 it was the first European automobile to mount a V12 engine. In any case, for many years, Daimler produced impressive in-line eight cylinder cars. Immediately after the war, along with a series of other companies in the sector (including the glorious Hooper and Barker coachbuilders), Daimler joined the “British Small Arms” Holding: however the relaunch project did not come about and, in 1960, it was taken over by Jaguar that needed the plant in order to expand its own, neighbouring one. Since then some particularly luxurious versions of the Jaguar saloons were called Daimlers.

The vehicle presented is an example of an innovative series of medium-sized cars fitted with a six cylinder engine of just 2500 cc, presented just before the war, but practically only available on the market after the hostilities were over.

The Special Sports version had two carburettors that increased the power from 60 to 85 horsepower; it also had a sophisticated Wilson pre-selector gearbox and free wheel system. What made these vehicles unique was the bodywork that, stylistically and technologically, was still anchored in the splendour of the 1930s: realized by Barker, one of the oldest specialists, it was like a bespoke suit from Savile Row. Only 608 examples were built and it was enhanced by a folding top which could only be opened completely, or partially above the front passengers, whilst the rear part stayed in place.

Some curious details include the third transverse rear seat that could be positioned to the right or the left according to the panorama...

The vehicle proposed today was purchased and imported by an Italian collector in London in 2000.

Restored in the 1970s and then again at the beginning of the third millennium, this beautiful, traditional “three position Cabriolet” is a very rare vehicle – possibly unique in Italy- with a very well-documented history. It is in excellent condition although, naturally, it will need improvements if the new owner wishes to use it to take part in meetings and Elegance Competitions where it would certainly cut a very fine figure.

The vehicle is in excellent mechanical condition but, for safety reasons, we advise the purchaser to have it checked over and to replace the fluids, filters and perishable elements.