1949 Daimler DB18 Drophead Coupé Coachwork by Barker & Co Registration no. KTJ 585 Chassis no. 53288
'With the experience of no less than 50 years of motorcar manufacture behind them, and profiting by experience gained in manufacture of light scout cars during the recent war, the Daimler company have made a number of interesting modifications to the 2½-litre model for 1946.' The Motor.
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 in 1909 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.
Development of the pre-war Daimler Fifteen culminated with the DB18 model announced for 1939. Independent suspension appeared for the first time on a Daimler and the DB18 (also known as the 2½-Litre) featured an enlarged, 2,522cc version of the overhead-valve six first introduced in 1933. The chassis frame was under-slung while Daimler's customary fluid flywheel, pre-selector gearbox and worm-drive rear axle comprised the transmission. The DB18 recommenced production after WW2 in improved form, the most obvious development being coachwork restyled in the modern idiom. The engine too had been revised, benefiting from a redesigned cylinder head that both increased maximum power (from 64 to 70bhp) and reduced the fuel consumption. Mulliners of Birmingham supplied the six-light saloon bodies while Abbott, Barker and Charlesworth all offered drophead coupé designs on the DB18 chassis. A quality product, the DB18 was favoured by none other than Sir Winston Churchill, who is pictured in 'Daimler and Lanchester' by Tony Freeman, touring the hustings seated in the back of an Abbott-bodied drophead (page 127). Production of the DB18 in its original form continued until 1950 when it was superseded by the updated Consort version.
Chassis number '53288' features drophead coupé coachwork by one of the finest of all British coachbuilders, Barker & Co of London, which like Daimler and fellow coachbuilders Hooper was one of the BSA Group's many companies. Restored in 2010, the car has been in the USA for over 30 years and has only recently returned to this country. By time of sale it will have been shown at the Daimler and Lanchester Owners Club's rally at Shrewsbury (June 9th). Described as in generally very good condition, the engine having been overhauled with new bearings and piston rings, 'KTJ 585' comes with Swansea V5C registration document and is offered without reserve.