1913 Daimler TS38 6,280cc Allweather Cabriolet Coachwork by Salmons & Sons of Newport Pagnell Registration no. K 4834 Chassis no. 11121 Engine no. 13595
A cornerstone in the infant motor industry, the English Daimler Co., founded in 1896 as part of H J Lawsons motor empire, built their first cars on a Panhard-Levassor-type chassis and employed German-built Canstatt Daimler engines. Following Lawsons demise, Percy Martin took over at the helm of Daimler, building quality, multi-cylinder motor cars and Daimler were amongst the first of the British manufacturers to adopt a six-cylinder engine. Favoured by the English Royal Family Edward VII, George V and Queen Alexandra all owned Daimlers and the choice of Indian Maharajahs, the Edwardian Daimler, from 1909 onwards universally fitted with Knights double-sleeve valve engine, combined engineering excellence with coachwork befitting the elegance and splendour of the era.
The four-cylinder model TS38 was in production from 1908 to 1913, the 6,280cc engined chassis clearly designed to carry more formal coachwork by the most elite bespoke coachbuilders of the period. Salmons & Sons of Newport Pagnell ranked highly amongst the finest British coachbuilders and the purchaser of this car commissioned them to produce the fully folding cabriolet coachwork which it retains. The ingenious design enables the car to be used in fully open or closed form according to weather conditions. It is believed that this car was exported to India when new and, although the first owner is not recorded, it is known that the Daimler marque was a favourite amongst Indian Maharajahs and members of the Indian ruling families.
The car was repatriated to England in the 1980s and, in highly original but barn-weathered condition, was acquired by the present owner, a Daimler aficionado, in 1998. A long and meticulous restoration was embarked upon, engine work initially being carried out by the late and respected Howard Wilson of Beaulieu, this work subsequently being completed by Nigel Parrott following Wilsons demise. Major engine work included the casting of new cylinder blocks and cylinder heads. Richard Peskett was commissioned to complete the remainder of the restoration, the brief being to prepare the car to concours standards and yet also capable of participating reliably in longer distance veteran motoring events. Minor modifications to this end, all easily reversible, include the fitting of an electric fuel pump, an electric starter and an alternator carefully disguised inside the old dynamo casing. Remarkably the car was fitted with its original exceedingly rare Daimler seven jet carburettor but was found to function better with the later carburettor, as presently fitted. (The original comes with the car). Since completion this car has been regularly rallied, taking part in the Gordon Bennett Rally in Ireland in 2003 and the Gordon Bennett event at Clermont-Ferrand in France in 2005. Only the owners advancing years and restricted room in the motor house now bring this car to the market.
The coachwork is superbly liveried in black and green with fine red coachlining, while the seating front and rear is upholstered in deep-buttoned green leather, the rear compartment being finely detailed with contrasting green and white cotton braiding complementing original ivory fittings. The railway carriage-style drop-down rear windows and division are a charming Edwardian feature. Dash fittings and instrumentation are all appropriate and period with nickel casings and fittings throughout the car are nickel plated. Driving equipment includes radiator calormeter, externally mounted electric horn, offside-mounted detachable spare wheel, two-piece opening windscreen and matching rear-view mirrors, while the car retains its period and most practical luggage carrier at the rear. A minor but important concession to modern road safety are the electric indicators.
The car comes with a copy of a detailed Dating Panel Report issued prior to the formal dating of the car by the Veteran Car Club in 2003, along with a substantial file of documentation and invoices relating to the restoration. K 4834 is currently Swansea registered and licenced and is offered with a current MoT certificate and VCC Dating Certificate.
K 4834, quintessentially English in every respect and reflecting the finest engineering and coachbuilding standards of the era, is surely one of the most practical Edwardian grand tourers currently available, offering proven reliability and comfortable motoring at a speed which barely inconveniences modern traffic, its multi-functional cabriolet coachwork providing so well for all climate conditions.
This car was entered for Bonhams sale at The Royal Air Force Museum at Hendon in April this year and was withdrawn prior to the sale as it was not running correctly. The problem was subsequently identified as a simple magneto malfunction which has now been rectified and the car is now offered in full working order.