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Lot 615: Daimler 4-Litre Sports Saloon

Grand Palais Sale, Bonhams (7 February 2013)

Believed one of only five surviving, this very rare Vanden Plas-bodied Daimler 4-Litre was first registered in July 1939 with London County Council for use by The Lord Mayor of London. The accompanying Jaguar Daimler Vehicle Information Sheet states that the car was supplied at that time as a chassis and delivered in October 1939 finished in khaki, a colour scheme almost certainly determined by the ongoing hostilities. The Daimler has had only four owners in the last 46 years, including a well-known collector of the marque. Bare metal re-sprayed around four years ago, the body is all aluminium with steel front wings and is said to have perfect shut lines and perfect wood framing, while the chrome is said to be excellent. The nicely patinated interior's headlining, leather and woodwork are totally original; only the carpets have been replaced. We are advised that all the dials and instruments work as they should and that nothing needs immediate attention. Indeed, the car is said to be as clean underneath as it is on top. The all-aluminium engine was completely rebuilt in 2000, including new pistons, etc, and in 2009 the cylinder head was removed and all new core plugs fitted. The radiator, starting motor and dynamo have been rebuilt also. An electric water pump is fitted discreetly below the radiator and there is a Facet fuel pump to prevent fuel starvation should the engine get hot in heavy traffic. The suspension has been overhauled, likewise the brakes (in the early 2000s), the steering joints replaced, the polished stainless steel wheels completely rebuilt and the tyres fitted with new tubes. A stainless steel exhaust has been fitted also. The Wilson pre-selector gearbox functions smoothly, enabling the car to pull away in any gear. This fine 4-Litre has attended several marque rallies over the past 20 years and in 2003 won a major award at The Daimler Owners Club National Rally. It has also been the subject of a feature in the journal 'Driving Member' describing the engine rebuild, and is listed in 'Daimler Days Vol. 2'. The current vendor purchased the car at Bonhams' Oxford sale in March 2011 (Lot 212). Since acquisition it has been tidied, the clutch fixed, and driven for approximately 1,000 miles without any problems. Accompanying documentation includes the aforementioned Jaguar/Daimler Vehicle Information Sheet, sundry restoration invoices, UK V5 registration document (for the number 'FYM 555') and an old style continuation logbook dating from the 1950s/1960s. With its eight-cylinder engine, superb chassis and stylish pillar-less coachwork by Vanden Plas, this Daimler 4-Litre is a fine performer and arguably superior to the Bentleys of its era while being even more exclusive.

Lot Details
Auction Grand Palais Sale
Bonhams, Paris, France
TypeCar
Lot Number615
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price€32000
Hammer Price (inc premium)€36800
Year1939
Condition rating0
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis number47820
Engine number88659
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors