1926 Daimler 35/120 Enclosed Limousine  Chassis no. 29401 Engine no. 106486

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Lot 409
1926 Daimler 35/120 Enclosed Limousine
Registration no. JO-2398 Chassis no. 29401 Engine no. 106486

Sold for £ 37,250 (US$ 48,285) inc. premium
1926 Daimler 35/120 Enclosed Limousine
Coachwork by Hooper & Co (Coachbuilders) Ltd

Registration no. JO-2398
Chassis no. 29401
Engine no. 106486
No marque is more deserving of the proud title ‘The Car of Kings’ than Daimler, which since 1900 has supplied over 100 cars to Britain’s Royal Family, as well as to many other Royal Houses the world over. ‘For more than thirty years the Daimler Car has maintained a supremacy unparalleled in the motor industry,’ declared a booklet issued in the late 1920s by the firm of Stratton-Instone, supplier of cars to the Royal Mews. ‘Other names have arisen beside it and prospered and faded, but the fame of the Daimler has persisted throughout, and the history of Daimler is the history of automobilism in Great Britain.’
The car offered here has been the subject of a painstaking restoration with meticulous attention to originality. Its handsome coachwork is by Royal coachbuilders Hooper, a company established in London’s Haymarket in 1807. Hooper had held the Royal Warrant to supply coaches to Britain’s Monarch since 1830, and the company’s distinguished clients also included the Royal Houses of Germany, Japan, Egypt and Persia.
Daimler, founded in 1896, is Britain’s oldest motor manufacturing company. It took a huge commercial gamble in 1908 by adopting a novel and virtually untried double sleeve valve engine invented by an American journalist named Charles Yale Knight and – with the help of Daimler’s consulting engineer Dr Fred Lanchester, who devised the famous crankshaft damper that eliminated the periodic vibration that had hitherto plagued six-cylinder engines - developed it into the preferred power unit of some of the world’s finest luxury cars. Mercedes, Minerva, Voisin and Panhard-Levassor were among the companies that adopted the Knight sleeve-valve engine; Daimler built nothing but sleeve-valve engined vehicles between 1909 and 1933, by which time the poppet valve engine had caught up in terms of silence and refinement.
This magnificent 35/120-hp limousine represents the zenith of Daimler’s sleeve valve superiority. The 5,764cc six-cylinder 35/120-hp was the top model of a new range of long-stroke power units launched in mid-1925, with dual coil and magneto ignition and full pressure lubrication of the crankshaft bearings. They had light steel sleeves and split-skirt aluminium pistons that delivered enhanced performance – ‘speed on a Daimler is speed and safety, too…’
Among the distinguished customers for the new model was King George V, who took delivery of a handsome 35/120-hp Hooper Brougham – his twenty-second Daimler – in October 1926. Another famous 35/120-hp owner was Winston Churchill, who in 1931 acquired a Barker limousine – the finest car ever owned by that great statesman – in which he rode for many years.
The owner of this Daimler believes it may have Royal connections, though an expert delegated by the Royal Mews to inspect the car was unable to find evidence of this. He did, however, state unequivocally: ‘Chassis No 29401 has been restored to one of the finest standards I have ever seen in over forty years of work and interest in veteran and vintage cars.’
Finished in a very dark blue-black that enhances the dignity of its lines, this Daimler carries formal vee-fronted Hooper limousine coachwork subtly enhanced by its nickel-plated fittings. The chauffeur’s compartment is correctly upholstered in black leather, while the luxurious rear compartment is trimmed in grey cord and features twin revolving occasional seats. Polished wood cappings and dashboard with Rotax instrument panel provide a subtle contrast to the discreet trim. Such a car cost some £2,100 new, of which the body alone represented around £880 – the price of four new Morris-Oxfords.
This truly is a car that lives up to Stratton-Instone’s proud statement that a Daimler is ‘so alluring to drive, so easy to control, that a man will count it a privilege to be at the wheel’.
1926 Daimler 35/120 Enclosed Limousine  Chassis no. 29401 Engine no. 106486
1926 Daimler 35/120 Enclosed Limousine  Chassis no. 29401 Engine no. 106486
1926 Daimler 35/120 Enclosed Limousine  Chassis no. 29401 Engine no. 106486
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