12 October 2011
David Wright explores the history of one of the UK's oldest car makers, Daimler, and finds out what model replicas have produced. ...
Don’t we all think of the Daimler Dart as the only Daimler sports car? Well, way before the 1960s, there was a mighty brute that set the tone for Daimler’s position in the sporting car world.
Daimler is one of the UK’s oldest car makers, with its first cars built under license from Gottlieb Daimler. It soon became the official transport for the Monarchy.
Despite offering numerous models and having Royal support, Daimler wanted to go that extra mile after Rolls-Royce released its Phantom in 1925. Daimler’s engineering prowess came to bear, and a new 7 litre Double Six V12 engine was created by mating two existing 6-cylinder, 25/85hp engines together.
The 7 litre Double Six 50 engine was the best, but only a few cars were ordered with it. Since these had one of the most complex motor car engines ever made, dramatic coachwork was required to surround it.
The Double Six is named after a taxable RAC rating of 50hp, but the modern rating is somewhere between 130-150bhp. Less than 10 cars were ordered with the Double Six 50 engine – a 1931 Daimler Double Six 50 Corsica Drophead Coupé, with its glorious body and impressive engine, recently appeared at Pebble Beach, and is now valued at around £5 million.
The Conquest Roadster unveiled at the 1953 Motor Show was a very different type of motor car. Available to the public from 1954, it was another effort by the company to gain access to the lucrative sports car market. Unusually for a coach built model, the Conquest Roadster relied on aluminium castings instead of the more-usual timber frame to support its bodywork.
It was skinned in aluminium, except for the bonnet, which was steel, resulting in a lightweight, high-performance car for the era, with 100mph capability.
The body was by Carbodies, another part of the BSA consortium which owned Daimler at the time, and the car was priced close to the Jaguar XK120.
PICTURED ABOVE Western Models’ Double Six Corsica in two-tone grey. Made some years ago, this is a lovely model.
PICTURED BELOW Two versions of the Tri-ang Spot-On Daimler SP250 – a fine body but the details leave a little to be desired.