Daimler, Britains oldest car manufacturer was founded in 1893, originally as an importer of German built Daimler motor-cars. By the early 1900's the company had established its own range of British built cars and was quickly embraced by the upper classes and British Royal family.
In 1910 Daimler was acquired by BSA and continued to build its luxury models throughout the 1920's and 30's. Following difficulties encountered at the end of W.W.II Daimler was again purchased by another manufacturer, Jaguar Cars. Today the company survives as part of Ford owned Jaguar, gracing derivatives of the V8 engined Jaguar XJ8 range.
Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Maybach developed a single-cylinder vertical petrol engine and fitted one to a horse-drawn vehicle in 1886 to make an automobile. Most of their engines built over the next few years were narrow V-twins and utilised in boats. Frederick Simms acquired the British rights to these engines and followed a largely similar course. In 1895 he sold these rights to Harry J Lawson and the Daimler Motor Company was formed. Lawson had been involved with the cycling 'boom' of the 1880s and foresaw a similar scenario for the motorcar.
Works were bought in Coventry and the first English Daimler motorcars were sold in March 1897. They followed the Panhard-Levassor pattern, with a two-cylinder vertical engine at the front, a mid-mounted gearbox, side-chain drive, and were tiller–steered. Four-cylinder cars and wheel steering were introduced in 1899 and the Prince of Wales bought his first Daimler the following year, this beginning the long-lasting royal association with the make.
For 1909 Daimler made engines of sleeve-valve design and these served the Company well for the next thirty years.