Oldest Daimler on the Road at Bonhams Golden Age Sale

London - This year's Bonhams Golden Age of Motoring Sale, which showcases historic names of pioneering motoring, will present the oldest Daimler on the road, in the auction house's New Bond Street saleroom on 4 November, two days before the annual Veteran Car Run.

The 1897 Daimler Twin-Cylinder 4HP Tonneau, was the second car manufactured at Daimler's Coventry factory. Although it was demonstrated to the then Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII), the Daimler's first owner was Colonel Arthur Mulliner of the eponymous coachbuilding family. His cousin Henry (H.J.) was of course famous for creating bespoke bodies for Rolls-Royce and Bentley. Together the cousins took part in the inaugural run of The Automobile Club of Great Britain in London's Pall Mall.

Not surprisingly, this Daimler is clothed in a bespoke Mulliner Tonneau body, most likely added after the car had been returned to the factory circa 1900 for updating – including tiller steering and front suspension.

This Daimler is itself a veteran of more than 50 London to Brighton Runs, the world's longest-running motoring event. Its debut was in the 1897 Commemoration Run, a year on from the Emancipation Run which celebrated the raising of the speed limit from 4mph to a heady 14mph.

Now offered from 72 years' single-family ownership, the Daimler was acquired by the vendor's father in 1952 who oversaw a total restoration of the car, before driving it to Brighton in that year's Run. Two decades later he and the Daimler the 'Drive Into Europe' rally to Brussels to mark the UK's entry into the Common Market. This motor car has an estimate of £225,000-275,000.

As ever, a fine boutique selection of Veteran motor cars, plus associated automobilia will be presented in the main Bond Street salerooms. Other highlights include:

1898 Peugeot Type 15 8HP Twin-Cylinder Double Phaeton, estimate £275,000-325,000. Advanced for its day, the Peugeot offered 4-speed plus reverse transmission, plus an early form of cruise control. This car had a nut-and-bolt restoration by specialist Smallbone and Sons in the 1990s, taking part in the 100th anniversary Veteran Car Run upon completion. It has completed the journey from London to Brighton several times since.

1917 Lancia Theta Sports Tourer, estimate £120,000-160,000, One of only 19 believed survivors of the model and was originally imported as a rolling chassis by the UK's Ministry of War, which used many such vehicles to mount anti-aircraft guns or mobile searchlights. The Theta is now offered from nearly 50 years' ownership of a Lancia connoisseur who restored it to factory specification in the 1990s.

1907 Stanley EX steam-powered motor car, estimate £85,000-100,000. Produced by the American Stanley twins, the eponymous motor cars were considered the premier 'steamers' to own, with their reputation for performance, high-tech design and engineering prowess. This example was in previous family ownership for 87 years, passing through three generations and was the subject of a major restoration in the 1990s.

1903 Humber Olympia Tandem Forecar, estimate £30,000-35,000
One of the earliest surviving Humbers, produced by a former bicycle manufacturer. Restored in 2000, this tandem is eligible for the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, as well as prestigious motorcycle events: the Sunbeam MCC's Pioneer Run from Epsom to Brighton, and the VMCC's Banbury Run.

For further details visit: Bonhams: The Golden Age of Motoring or contact: [email protected]


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