THE DAIMLER DE-REGISTER

The Daimler DE-register tries to maintain on behalf of the Daimler and Lanchester Owners Club an up-to-date database of all Daimler DE-types built. I am the joint DE-registrar since November 2002, after the sudden death of my predecessor. His files appeared not retrievable and I had to make a fresh start. My four main sources to date have been "Daimler Days" by Brian Smith, John Hiscox and Mark Bearman in Australia and Christian Demler in Germany. John Hiscox' contribution has been enormous and can not be underestimated. I am deeply indebted to him for the copies of his files supplied. Christian Demler has been compiling a data base on all Daimlers and Lanchesters since 1994 and I found in his files a number of very useful additions. In the mean time the database is growing, but the challenge is now to make and keep it up-to-date. The DLOC membership list is really not a good source, since members do not always state the ownership of a car when joining. And they hardly ever inform the DLOC of a change of ownership.

This web page starts with explaining the differences between the four different "models" covered by the DE-register. After that it lists the statistical findings until now (May 2013). Anybody owning a DE, knowing about one, scrapped, it doesn't really matter, please let him or her contact me. However, to be of value I need to know at least a chassis number or a body number. Owner details will be kept strictly confidential, unless explicitly agreed otherwise. Finally there is a part on the Royal Tours to South Africa, respectively Australia and New Zealand.

DE's/DH's were infrequently used in movies. The only two I am aware of are "Schindler's List" from 1993 (with a DE36 landaulette) and "Four Weddings and a Funeral" from 1994 (with a DH27) (see www.imcdb.org).

Main differences between the "DE36", the "DE27", the "DH27" and the "DC27"

·         The obvious difference between a DE36 and a DE27 is the engine (a 5460 cc straight eight for the DE36 and a 4095 straight six for the DE27/DH27/DC27). In addition a DE36 has two side mounted spare wheels. The DE27 usually has just one spare, located in the boot. Both the DE36 and the DE27 usually have bonnet side vents (not to be confused with the pre-war situation, in which the light straight eights had bonnet side vents, and the normal straight eights had not. Pre-war bodies look quite different from post-war bodies however).

·         DH27s were specially built for Daimler Hire Ltd. They had air-conditioning, efficient heating, electrically operated partitions and special "sight-seeing" windows. DC27s were proper ambulances.

·         The DH27 has usually no bonnet side vents (DE27's and DE36's usually have). However this is not a strict rule of thumb.

·         The DH27 has usually two side mounted spare wheels (like the DE36. DE27's have one spare wheel in the boot. There exists one DE27 with one side mounted spare wheel). Again not all DH27's have side mounted spare wheels.

·         The DC27/DH27 had one single Solex carburettor instead of the twin SUs on the DE36 and DE27.

·         On the DH27 a modified distributor was fitted

·         On the DH27 there were variations to the transmission

·         On the DH27 two propellershafts were mounted in series, the forward one being supported by a rubber mounted centre bearing. The shafts were fitted with needle roller bearings and transmitted the drive from the gearbox to the rear axle.

·         On the DH27 the rear axle was of the hypoid bevel type albeit that the differential was located in a housing offset to the nearside.

·         On the DH27 the engine was not only inclined backwards but also positioned slightly diagonally to make room for the transmission.

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Then now the statistics up to now (for DE27, DH27 and DE36 together).

·         Originally 316 bodies were identified (this number is excluding any DC27's, but including the four experimental ambulances mentioned below), which basically means that somehow prove exists that the body actually has been made. However, two chassis were mentioned with two bodies each (one is the famous green goddess DE36 chassis 51233 and the reason for two bodies is described elsewhere; the other is DE36 chassis 52807 to which wrongly two different body numbers were assigned) and hence I have got only 314 different chassis records.

·         Out of the 314 chassis we have 151 DE36's, 111 DE27's and 52 DH27's. There is however a debate about 2 DE36's. They are likely to be DE27's in disguise (chassis 51074, 51111).

·         176 chassis have an (still existing?) owner. Names have been identified, but not all confirmed yet. This will require some phoning. They consist of 96 DE36's, 62 DE27's and 18 DH27's. Two experimental DE36 ambulances (see below) are included in these numbers.

·         Two chassis burnt out (51707 and 51709) and fourteen have been scrapped, are being scrapped or are probably not restorable (51098, 51158, 51193, 51221, 51273, 51230, 51238, 51702, 51715, 51754, 52824, 52929, 52934, 52946; all fourteen have above been counted as still having an owner. Also 51707 and 51709 have been counted as still having an owner). Chassis 51161 has also been scrapped but has not been counted as having an owner.

·         Green Goddess chassis 51754 belonging to Jim Walters in Canada was destroyed in a fire early 2004, but is still included in the statistics.

·         A number of people appear to own two or three cars. However, the files tell me that one person owns eleven and another one five!

·         DH27's, which are specially built DE27's for Daimler Hire Ltd., were built on chassis number 52900 to 52950 inclusive, in total 51. Chassis 52950 is with a hearse body, the others are limousines. The factory also sanctioned chassis numbers 52951 to 52959 inclusive to DH27's, and for a long time it was thought that none had actually been built. However, I have now proof that at least #52959 was actually built. Also #52959 is with a hearse body. Both hearses have a DE27 frontal appearance rather than a DH27 frontal appearance.

·         DE27's were built on chassis number 50000 to 50005 inclusive; 51040 to 51133 inclusive and 51250 to 51354 inclusive, although numbers sanctioned went up to 51699. It is not sure that all chassis actually have been built, so the maximum of 205 is only theoretical. DE27's usually carry one spare wheel in the boot, but chassis 50005 is unusual in that it carries one side mounted spare wheel on the passenger side. Chassis 51292 is with a hearse body. Chassis 51328 which originally had Freestone&Webb body 1375 (see below) is now a special. Chassis 51304 is unusual in that the engine has one single Solex carburettor. Chassis 51317 has only one Stromberg model 42 carburettor.

·         DE36's were built on chassis number 50006 to 50011 inclusive; 51150 to 51243 inclusive; 51700 to 51759 inclusive and 52800 to 52855 inclusive. Again it is not sure that all chassis have been built, so the maximum of 216 is again theoretical. In particular, 51750 to 51759 inclusive were allocated for left-hand drive cars, but according to "Daimler Days" it is improbable that any within this range were built. However, three “Green Goddesses” (of which chassis numbers 51753 and 51754 are sure still to exist, and of which number 51752 probably has existed) fall within this range and are certainly left-hand-drive. Moreover, I know now that also #51751, #51755 and #51758 do exist. The first and the last are certainly lhd, the middle one probably is. The factory also sanctioned chassis numbers 54950 to 54999 inclusive to left-hand-drive DE36's, but none were actually built. Chassis 51150, 51193, 51221, 51230, 51243, 51726, 51736 and 52848 are with a hearse body; chassis 51235 and 51701 are invalid limousines by Lancefield Coachworks of London. Chassis 51734 started as a hearse, but somewhere in history lost its body and is now being re-built as an open tourer. Chassis 51226 also started life as a hearse, but was converted in the 1970's to a DHC. Chassis 51150 started as a hearse, but somewhere in its history was converted to an allweather, be it not to Hooper standards, and is now in Spain. Chassis 52816 started as a hearse but is now a roadster. Chassis 51712 started life as a landaulette for the Royal Tour to New-Zealand (1953/54), but was converted into a hearse in 1955. It has been restored in 2004 in good running order as a hearse (see below) by the Museum of Transport and Technology in Auckland, New Zealand. Chassis 51205 started as a hearse, but is now being restored with Freestone&Webb body 1375 (this body was originally on DE27 chassis 51328). Hearse chassis 51221 is being rebuilt as hill-climb boat-tail special in Germany.

·         In addition apparently four experimental ambulances were built. Two on the DE36 chassis with chassis numbers 50034 and 50035, which seem still around, and two on the DE27 chassis with chassis numbers 50032 and 50033, fate unknown.

·         Proper ambulances of the DC-type were built on chassis number 54000-54499. That is not to say, that 500 were built. Brian Long in his book “Daimler & Lanchester, a century of motoring history” quotes only batches of six per year from 1950-1954, a total of 30. In the information collected thus far I have come across just 15 surviving bodies. Corgi Classics do for £ 25 a nice model scale 1:50. Mainly bodied by Barker, but some received bodies from Hooper. Very smooth ride at 8.5 mpg.

·         Theoretical survival percentages: DE36=44%; DE27=30%; DH27=33% or overall 37%. But in what state these are, is still unknown.

·         A preliminary overview of the surviving bodies per country is below. See for details on Australia the web-site of the DLOC Australia branch (www.dlocaustralia.org).

        Country         DE27    DE36    DH27    Total   Owners
 
        UK              33      35      9       77      53
        Australia       6       14      1       21      16
        USA             6       17      3       26      25
        South Africa    1       2       0       3       2
        Germany         1       3       1       5       5
        Canada          0       2       0       2       1
        Sweden          4       2       0       6       6
        New Zealand     0       4       0       4       4
        Thailand        0       1       0       1       1
        Malta           0       1       0       1       1
        Ethiopia        0       1       0       1       1
        Denmark         1       0       0       1       1
        Ireland         1       0       1       2       2
        Italy           1       1       1       3       3
        India           4       3       0       7       6
        Belgium         1       1       1       3       3
        Netherlands     1       1       0       2       2
        Spain           0       1       0       1       1
        Jamaica         0       1       0       1       1
        Peru            0       1       0       1       1
        Czech Republic  0       1       0       1       1
        France          1       2       0       3       3
	Latvia		1	0	0	1	1
	Afghanistan	0	1	0	1	1
	Switzerland	0	0	1	1	1
        Unknown         0       1       0       1       1
 
        Total           62      96      18      176     143

Thus 143 different owners own 176 cars.

All cars in Sweden have now been identified, including a DE27 belonging to the Swedish Royal Family (chassis 51294). Also chassis 51055 has indeed been identified as a proper DE27, not disguised as a DE36 as elsewhere suggested. Until recently, there were a sixth and a seventh car in Sweden. Number six is the 1948 Earl's Court DE36, chassis 51236, and in good running order. Brian Smith's "Daimler Days" has a picture of this lovely limousine on page 703, where the chassis number is wrongly mentioned as 51256. It returned to the UK in May 2003, together with number seven, a hearse (chassis 51726 in restorable condition) and a Lanchester Doctor's coupé. In 2012 DE36 #52849 moved from France to Sweden which brought the number back to six.

DE36 landaulette chassis 51747 is still with its first owner, HM the King of Thailand, and is after a two year restoration in running order (December2003). Also the DE36 limousine chassis 51185, which belonged to Emperor Haile Selassie, is still with its first owner, the government of Ethiopia, and has survived in Addis Ababa with only 14,065 miles on the clock. The car, painted green on black, has been garaged in the palace mews since the revolution of 1975 and has still an illuminated Lion of Judah shield mounted on the roof, a flagstaff and the Emperor's crests on the rear doors. It cannot be moved as the tyres and the battery are flat. Apart from this, the car appears in good condition, although the driver's seat and the rear compartment, which is upholstered in West of England cloth, generally have a bit of wear. The log book is no longer available, as this was in the royal workshop during the revolution and was destroyed. However all the royal cars luckily survived in the palace.

A similar situation exists in Afghanistan, where chassis 51727 once bought by the Afghan king still exists in the Afghan Kabul National museum.

There was also rumored to be another DE36 in the USA, a landaulette with chassis 51152, which originally belonged to Queen Wilhelmina of The Netherlands and which turned up in an advert in 1997 heavily changed (lhd, power steering, cadillac engine/gear box/rear axle, power brakes, chrome wheels for modern tyres). This car has been found now (November 2003) and has been included in the above statistics.

Also in the USA might be chassis 51180, a DE36 limousine bodied by Windovers. This car was originally used for the Royal South Africa Tour, but returned to London to the high commissioner for the Union of South Africa, who registered it in his name on 26/5/48 as JUC2. It was later re-registered as WLC885. After several successive ownerships it ended up with Mr. Harold Lord who, in 1977, reported having it sold to a new owner in New York a few years beforehand. The car had no light-dipping mechanism.

Furthermore Princess Grace of Monaco possessed 20 years ago a DE36, which was possibly the same as the one originally entered in 1952 for the Monte Carlo rally, at that time with registration LRW 376. "Daimler Days" has a lovely picture on page 750. Our DF & DK registrar, Chris Wiltshire, saw the car some 20 years ago in London with a Monaco registration number and converted to LHD, when he sold Princess Grace his DE36 hearse for spares, she needed to replace a broken crankshaft. The car is still in possession of the Royal Family of  Monaco and is part of the classic car collection of the Palace where it is on display. This is chassis 51183, which was supplied new to the Prince of Monaco in November 1945. There were three additional DE36's in France, #51758 in Nancy, #52838 in Gisors and #52849. Of this last one I did't know where precisely although it has an MC (meaning Monaco) country plate. I had hoped for further clues when I received an e-mail in October 2005 from someone living in Monaco who sent me a couple of pictures of a sorry looking DE36 obviously taken outside a garage in Monaco, and another email in July 2009 from a different person with more pictures and the same car but in a different state of (dis)repair, but no further contact materialized until the car was sold in 2012 via an internet auction house to a new owner in Sweden. I did count all four DE36's as having an owner.

Then I have been told, that there is a DE27 in Austria, although my informant saw it for the last time a decade ago during a rally, be it in good driving condition. On the other hand, the same informant was only aware of two cars in Germany, a DE36 and a DH27. So this could be a case of mistaken country. A German wedding organisation in Freiburg advertises both a DE36 and a DE27 on their web-site. They own the DE36, which is in running condition and now included in the statistics.

The burnt out DE36 chassis 51713 still exists somewhere in New Zealand, but I haven't got an owner, so is not included in the table. The missing owner in Chalk Hill, Bushey, Hertfordshire, with a DE36 standing outside for already more then 25 years, has now been identified and is in the statistics. Obviously a daunting restoration project. As would be the DE27 or DH27 with registration number KYV716 spotted in 1994 standing in a field somewhere out in the wilds of the countryside between Ludlow and Leominster.

Finally I saw in the fourth quarter of 2002 a DE36 advertised in various classic car magazines by Laughton Investments. This car has now been confirmed as the one sold to Malta (is in the above statistics).

The DE36 in Belgium, chassis 52845, was picked up early 2003 from the DLOC forum website, and is not in good running condition, but very likely restorable. There is probably a third one in Belgium, but its chassis number is missing and hence must for the time being stay outside the statistics.

One DE27 in The Netherlands was a purely coincidental find: when visiting my children, who study in the city of Groningen in the North of my home country, I literally bumped into this DE27, which had been imported from the UK in 1984. In my files it was a "lost" car, but it appeared in good running order and is regularly used for weddings. I recently found out that there exist another two cars in the Netherlands, a DE36 hearse and a DE27, both imported some 20 years ago from Belgium and both restorable. I am waiting for the chassis numbers. This second DE27 might now have been identified as the one that became suddenly for sale in the province of Zeeland in the autumn of 2012 (in good running condition) with chassis 51087.

In January 2004 I was contacted by someone from Madrid in Spain who was trying to convince a friend of his to start the restoration of a 1952 Daimler straight eight described as “similar to the one used by HM The Queen on her 1954 tour of Australia”. The allweather is being described as in good condition, but “changed in the back part”, as the rear was removed to add a third row of back seats. It sounds dreadful and I am anxiously awaiting more details. Apparently this car started life as a hearse (chassis 51150).

Chassis 51751 in Peru only materialised in December 2004 after thought to be lost for many years. To improve exports this left hand drive DE36 limousine was built for the New York motor show in 1950; Brian Smith's “Daimler Days” has a nice picture on page 730. The first owner is unknown, but a wealthy Peruvian subsequently bought the car in the late fifties / early sixties at auction in the USA, and brought the car to Lima to be used as his chauffeur-driven limousine. In Peru the car changed hands twice, the second time only in December 2004 to the current owner. She has 22,000 miles on the clock and is in a reasonable condition after 25 years of dry storage. A restoration, which seems straight forward, is under way.

India deserves a few words in its own right. With its wealthy upper class and its UK connection it was logical that a few DE's ended up in this country. The most famous one was HH the Jam Sahib of Nawanagar. He bought within a small time frame four Daimler DE27's. Chassis 51045 (Hooper body number 9187) and chassis 51046 (Hooper body number 9188) are from April 1946 and are DE27 limousines. Chassis 51049 (Vanden Plas body number 4031) and chassis 51050 (Vanden Plas body number 4032) were built shortly afterwards as allweathers. Although these two are also Daimlers, the Jam Sahib wanted Lanchester radiators and he got them. There is a picture on page 676 of Brian Smith's Daimler Days. One of the two allweathers (chassis 51049) was displayed at Pebble Beach USA a few years ago with number plate “Pratapgarh”. The car was taken out of India in the early nineties by Prince Patapgarh. The other allweather (chassis 51050) is in the UK. One of the limousines, chassis 51046, is still in India with the Maharaja of Kutch. He got this car as a gift from the late Maharani of Nawanagar his aunt. The other limousine, chassis 51045 and painted blue, is in the Pranlal Bhogilal collection in Ahemdabad in the state of Gujrat in India in very good running condition.

Also in India the Maharaja of Mysore bought at least four cars. Firstly chassis 51703 (Hooper body number 9428), a DE36 allweather previously earmarked for the Royal Tour to Australia in 1953/54 and built in November 1948. This car is also in the Pranlal Bhogilal collection. The car, painted black, is in very good condition and running. Secondly the Maharaja of Mysore bought chassis 51078, a Windover bodied DE27 from 1946, which is still in India in private hands and in great running condition. Thirdly he bought DE36 chassis 51189, a Hooper bodied 8-seater limousine with body number 9201 also still in India, which is missing its body (and a few other essential parts) and which is going to be restored. And then the Maharaja of Mysore purchased chassis 51708 (Hooper body number 9495), the landaulette also surplus to requirements when the 53/54 Royal Tour was cancelled. This car is in the Manjusha Museum in Dharmastala, India and is being restored.

Finally there is in India chassis 51116, a DE27 8-seater limousine with partitioning from November 1945 with Hooper body number 9221,  of which the condition is still unknown.

A final word about the French coachbuilder Saoutchik (sometimes written with “ck” at the end), who built in 1953 on a DE36 chassis a one-off special for Prince Talal of Saudi Arabia, son of H M Ibn Seoud. The car is pictured on page 750 of “Daimler Days”. Pictured is a white car with six windows on each side. Chassis number and fate of this car are unknown but it is possibly still in the hands of the royal family. Saoutchik was at the time the “house” coachbuilder for King Ibn Seoud. They built at least 8 cars for him (2 Talbots, 2 Cadillacs, 2 Rolls-Royces and two Daimlers), possibly more. It has now appeared that Saoutchik built a second body on a DE36 chassis, this time black and with four windows on each side of which I have a picture of the outside and of the lavish interior.

In February 2007 a set of five DE's came to light in the UK. Three limousines by Hooper (a DE36 and two DE27's) of which the chassis number of one of the DE27 limousines is not yet known (hence this one is not yet  in the statistics). Furthermore two DE36 hearses (a Barker and possibly Hooper). They are from the estate of a Daimler collector who sadly passed away before he could find time to restore them. They are being sold via the DLOC and two have now found a new home.

Of the 176 bodies I now know the fate of 146. Another 30 will require further detective work:

·         Seventy six are restorable or under restoration.

·         Sixteen burnt out, have been scrapped, are being scrapped or are not restorable

·         Fifty four are on the road

The 54 on the road cars consist of 7 DH27's, 20 DE27's and 27 DE36's. UK has the lead with 19, then Australia with 10, the USA with 7, and Germany, India and Sweden with each 3. New Zealand and The Netherlands have 2, and Malta, Thailand, Italy, Latvia and Ireland have each 1.

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The Royal Tours

The Royal Family after WW II made a couple of tours overseas. Two are famously related to Daimler: the Royal Tour to South Africa in 1947 and the Royal Tour to Australia and New Zealand in 1953/54. For these tours a number of DE-Daimlers were used, which were shipped well before the tour and which after the tour partly stayed in the country visited. Below is an overview as what happened to these cars.

South Africa

51156 DE36 landaulette by Hooper, now in the UK but in need of restoration.

51157 DE36 limousine by Hooper, was until 2012 in South Africa and being restored. Originally for the governor of Natal, but was probably lended out for the tour. In 2012 sold to a new owner in Australia.

51158 DE36 landaulette by Hooper, remains were in South Africa until 2012 (car was scrapped in the early sixties). Remains went to Australia together with #51157 and #51159

51159 DE36 limousine by Hooper, was until 2012 in South Africa and on the road (although then needing new head gaskets). In 2012 sold to a new owner in Australia (same as #51157).

51160 DE36 limousine by Hooper, in South Africa and condition unknown.

51161 DE36 allweather by Hooper. Scrapped.

51164 DE36 limousine by Windover, in South Africa and restorable.

51180 DE36 limousine by Windovers. Returned after the tour to the UK to the high commissioner for the Union of South Africa. After several successive ownership the car was sold in the mid seventies to a new owner in New Yourk. Further fate unknown.

50004 DE27 limousine by Hooper. Was lended out by Sir Bernard Docker (this was his own car) for the tour. Returned to the UK after the tour, but fate unknown.

Australia

51702 DE36 allweather by Hooper, in Australia. Was bought by the Ajax film company, the rear of the body was removed and replaced by a tray for carrying camera equipment. The engine was replaced with a chevvy and iron "girders" replaced the bumpers. Currently used as a donor car for 51706.

51703 DE36 allweather by Hooper. Although this car was earmarked for the tour, it actually never went to Australia but was sold on by the Australian Governement to the Maharaja of Mysore (India) when the Royal Tour was postponed. The car is now in the Pranlal Bhogilal collection in Ahemdabad in the state of Gujrat in India. The car is in very good condition, painted black, and running.

51704 DE36 landaulette by Hooper, in Australia. In disrepair, but restorable and now in the possession of the National Museum of Australia.

51705 DE36 landaulette by Hooper, in Australia. Hasn't moved for 15 years, but seems allright.

51707 DE36 limousine by Hooper, in Australia. Burnt out, unrestorable, but not yet scrapped.

51708 DE36 landaulette by Hooper. Like chassis 51703 earmarked for the tour, but this car never went to Australia and was also sold on by the Australian Government to the Maharaja of Mysore. The car is currently in the Manjusha Museum in Dharmastala, India and is being restored. The following story, although linked previously to this chassis, is NOT TRUE: "This car has possibly been spotted in the eighties not too far away from Singleton, New South Wales, Australia, converted to a pick-up. The roof had been cut off behind the front seat and a panel with window added. The rear part of the passenger compartment looked as if it had been been in drop-head form at some time as the bodywork was properly finished across the rear scuttle. Along the sides, inverted U-shaped strips of metal had been riveted, covering the windows and preventing the doors opening. The rear seats had been taken out and the passenger compartment lined with plywood. The car had been brush-painted red with wide yellow pin-stripes on both sides. It was already then a non-runner".

New Zealand

51706 DE36 allweather by Hooper, now in Australia and being restored. The car has an amazing history: first this allweather was converted in the sixties to a hearse (!) and then went into a museum in Geraldine, New Zealand. The museum burnt down in 1979 and a lot of the car went with it.

51709 DE36 allweather by Hooper, burned out near Wellington in the late 1950s..

51710 DE36 limousine by Hooper, in the Geraldine Vintage Car and Machinery Museum in New Zealand and restored..

51711 DE36 landaulette by Hooper, in the Southward Car Museum in Wellington, New Zealand.

51712 DE36 landaulette by Hooper, in the Auckland Museum of Transport and Technology in New Zealand. The car was converted into a hearse in 1955 by W.H. Tongue & Sons, funeral directors, who donated the car to the museum in 1970. This car has now, 2004, been restored in its former glory (as a hearse) and is on the road.

51713 DE36 limousine by Hooper. This car was purchased in the mid 1970's by a timber-man from Oregon, USA. It is still in the hands of the same family and wasn't moved for 30 years. The car is in a very original state, has always been dry stored and is restorable.

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