1952 Daimler DB18 Special Sports 3777 F

In the early 1950’s the combined Daimler and Lanchester range numbered four basic different models. At the lower end of the range, the Lanchester LD 10 was fighting a losing battle to keep the company in the small-car market.  At the opposite end was the massive straight-eight cylinder DE 36, and the more compact six cylinder sister car, the DE 27 was aimed at the market for hire cars (and incidentally ambulances).

But most vital was the middle ground.  Luckily, this was where Daimler fielded its strongest player, the perfectly sensible DB18 model.  The DB18 “Special Sports” series was unveiled at the 1948 London Motor Show.  The justification for calling the model “Sports” was the fitting of an extra SU carburettor which pushed the maximum power from 70 to 85 bhp, while the presence of a rev counter on the dashboard was also considered to be essential in a sports model.

Despite claims that special care had been taken in the body construction (aluminium panelling over an ash frame) to avoid excessive weight, the complete car weighed in at 32½ cwt (1,651 kilos).  Aided by an overdrive top gear, the “Special Sports” could achieve a top speed of 84 mph, about 10 mph more than the top speed of the saloon.  The “Special Sports” was fitted with a drophead coupe body by the traditional Daimler coachbuilder, Barker.

While the DB18 saloon still retained a vertical radiator and separate headlamps, the “Special Sports” had the curved radiator profile already seen on the larger Daimler cars, and its headlamps were faired into the front wings.  The body styling was that halfway house between the traditional British pre-war style and the modern, full-width idiom.

This fairly sizeable motorcar, built on a generously dimensioned chassis, was only a three-seater, and furthermore, the third seat was arranged sideways behind the front seats!

Registration Mark: 3777 F

Chassis Number: D59140

Owner: The Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust

Inventory Number: 43/D.22