1950 Daimler Special Sports DB18: Reader ride

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Tim Pemberton's 1950 Daimler Special Sports DB18 Tim Pemberton's 1950 Daimler Special Sports DB18 Tim Pemberton's 1950 Daimler Special Sports DB18
Tim Pemberton's 1950 Daimler Special Sports DB18 Tim Pemberton's 1950 Daimler Special Sports DB18 Tim Pemberton's 1950 Daimler Special Sports DB18

Tim Pemberton's 1950 Daimler Special Sports DB18...

1950 Daimler Special Sports DB18: Reader ride
Tim Pemberton's 1950 Daimler Special Sports DB18

 

Tim Pemberton's 1950 Daimler Special Sports DB18

I bought my Daimler around 10 years ago. It’s chassis number 199 of 608 and they were built between 1949-53. Mine was originally imported new by an Adelaide doctor and I’m the third or fourth owner. It’s a fantastic looking thing and I had to have it.

Daimler supplied cars to British monarchs from 1902 until the late 50s when Rolls-Royce scored the Royal Warrant. The then Princess Elizabeth got a DB18 on her 18th birthday, King George had one too and so did Winston Churchill.

I also bought it for is its pre-selector gearbox, which intrigued me. I’ve since discovered it’s okay for cruising but not very flash in traffic. You have to predict which gear you should be in and how long to stay in it before you change gears to keep up speed.

It has a gear pedal where the clutch normally is and you select the gear on a quadrant on the steering wheel then stab the pedal to change gears. Pre-selectors were devised for people who couldn’t handle crash-boxes and Daimler kept them until they went to Borg-Warner autos in the mid-‘50s. It’s got a 2.5-litre six with twin carbies and they supposedly made 86hp.

All D18s had duo-tone paint, but tracking down original colours is hard. Someone had painted this car black and I didn’t like it but I found traces of the greens under the bonnet and Phil Munday Panel Works got stuck into it and also repaired the wooden chassis.

The car gets differing reactions: some people hate it because it represents everything they don’t like in old cars, and others like it because cars were beautifully made back then and are quirky and interesting. Women love the thing.

 

 

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