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Lot 086: Daimler DK400 Empress

Classic Vintage Cars & Motorcycles, Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers (27 November 2013)

AMENDMENT: Txed until June 2014. Daimler's range-topping DE36 straight-eight was a pre-war design which by 1954 had finally reached the end of its economic life. Supplied in chassis form, Daimler had left it up to the coachbuilder to satisfy the customer's specific needs, simply providing the best quality platform from which to start. The new DK400 range used a new six-cylinder 3.5-litre engine which produced 127bhp. This was soon increased in size to 4,617cc, power output rising to a respectable 167bhp, delivered at a very regal 3,000rpm. Coupled to a fluid flywheel and Daimler's last ever pre-selector gearbox, it was perfect at creeping along at walking pace, but when fitted with Hooper's magnificent aluminium Empress bodywork, it was light and powerful enough to pick up its skirts and fly. Between 1954 and 1959 just 93 chassis were produced and of those, just 7 received the impressive Hooper Empress coachwork. The distinctive hooded lights had been a feature used by Hooper on the famous 'Docker Daimlers', a series of flamboyant show cars used to publicise the Daimler Company at motorshows around the world. These lavishly equiped showboats caused the eventual removal of Bernard Docker from the board of Daimler's parent company, BSA, when the true cost of producing them came to light. Described by the vendor as having a real wow factor, this amazing machine is believed to have been ordered new for the Mayor of Cardiff. According to the V5 it has had just one previous owner, presumably Cardiff City Council, a wedding car company having owned it for the last 13 years. Described as in good overall condition, it will be given a good general service before the sale, having seen little use over the last few years. No longer requiring an MOT, it will need to be taxed before it can be driven away. With its interesting Welsh connection, rarity, impressive stature, styling and Daimler's absolute dedication to quality, this fabulous period-piece looks like the bargain of the century at the suggested guide price. This is one car that will definitely 'Empress' the neighbours (ouch!).

Lot Details
Auction Classic Vintage Cars & Motorcycles
Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers, Herefordshire
TypeCar
Lot Number086
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£12500
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1959
Condition rating2
Registration number289 PVT
Mileage-
Chassis number96019
Engine number48C84
Engine capacity (cc)2617
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors4