1948 DE36 Royal Daimler – National Museum
Let’s make the Royal Daimler fit for a queen again
‘A shout went up: “Here she comes.” Within seconds, a storm of cheering swept through the crowd. Then round the bend swung the Royal Daimler … The cheering exploded into a shrieking roar, so loud it seemed there had been no sound before’. For one small boy at least, the magnificence of the car entirely eclipsed that of its occupant: when asked what he thought of the royal progress, he replied ‘Thank goodness Dad, I’ve seen a Daimler at last.’ The Herald (Brisbane 1954)
This Daimler landaulette is an iconic symbol of the 1954 Royal Tour and reminds us of a period when royalty were far more accessible to the public. Not only visually impressive, it has strong relevance to broad areas of Australian history.
In time for the 60th Anniversary of the royal tour in 2014, conservators at the National Museum hope to be able to give the 1948 DE 36hp Daimler the royal treatment she deserves — to have her operational and fit for display.
Despite the faded paintwork, dents, mud and rust, the car’s high quality construction is evident in every centimetre of its six-metre length. Importantly, it remains in almost entirely original condition, allowing conservators to scrutinize the original 1940’s workmanship.
Restoration of a vintage car is an expensive exercise, especially when it comes to Royalty. To that end, the National Museum recently launched the Royal Daimler Project. The fundraising campaign aims to raise $60,000 by the 60th Anniversary of the first royal tour in 2014 to support the restoration of the car.
To make a donation online, to find out more about the history of the Royal Daimler and to track the progress of the National Museum’s conservators visit www.nma.gov.au/support_us
We welcome Senior Conservator, David Hallam and Assistant Manager Development, Heidi Bock from the National Museum of Australia to our July meeting to update us on the progress of the project so far.
Phone: 02 6208 5141