King George VI ordered this royal car as one of a pair. It was used as a state car, latterly by the Queen, until 1960.
Queen Victoria disdained to accept the new motor car that appeared late in her reign. Her son, Edward, Prince of Wales, had other ideas! He took the first royal ride in a Cannstatt-Daimler on 14 February 1896 at the Imperial Institute, London, starting the long association with the Daimler marque.
Later, when staying at Warwick Castle in June 1898, the Prince of Wales asked to test a car. Three Coventry Daimlers were assembled and so the first royal motor journey took place. After the famous Thousand Mile Trial of 1900, Edward was so impressed by Daimler that he ordered one, a standard Model A 6hp.
Daimler remained the favourite royal car, although others were purchased, for state visits and occasions. The example here (chassis no. 51740) was ordered by King George VI, the present Queen’s father, in September 1948 and delivered to the Royal Mews by Stratstone, the London dealer, in June 1949. It was one of two identical cars. After the King’s death in 1952 it had covered 13,175 miles and was taken over by the present Queen.
In 1956 the Landaulette hood became power operated and by 1957 a survey of royal cars showed it to have covered 41,083 miles in the royal service. It passed from royal possession in 1960 when it was shipped to Government House, Queensland, Australia.
The engine is a straight eight of 5460cc that gives 150 bhp @ 3600 rpm. The ash framed body is by Hooper using both aluminium and steel. Although very large (18 feet 6 inches long!) it weighs only 2.5 tons and is described as being capable of ‘lively performance’ when called for.
The car was returned to Britain in 1988 by the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust after a period of private ownership in Australia.