Established in 1896 by H.J. Lawson, Daimler holds the distinction of being one of the oldest British automakers. Acquiring the rights to the Daimler name from Gottlieb Daimler, the company established its manufacturing hub in Coventry.
The year 1902 marked a significant milestone for Daimler, as it was granted a Royal Warrant to supply cars to the British monarch, a distinction it retained for decades. By the 1930s, the company had risen to prominence as one of Britain’s prominent automakers, but it faced a decline following World War II.
In 1960, Daimler was acquired by Jaguar, eventually becoming part of the British Motor Corporation in 1966 and later joining British Leyland in 1968. Through various ownership changes, Daimler remained under Jaguar when it was purchased by Ford in 1989 and later by Tata Motors in 2007. However, its active years came to a close in 2010 with the discontinuation of its last model, the Super Eight.
While not as renowned as brands like Rolls-Royce, Bentley, and Aston Martin, Daimler has left its mark with notable vehicles. Many of these are derived from Jaguars of the 1960s, while some trace back to the pre-World War II era. Among them is the DB18.
Unveiled as a successor to the New Fifteen in 1939, the DB18 was also recognized as the Daimler 2 1/2 Litre in its early stages. In 1949, it underwent revisions and was rebranded as the Consort. A noteworthy association of the DB18 is with Winston Churchill, who employed a 1939 drophead coupe variant for his campaigns during the 1945 and 1950 general elections. The series further encompassed limousines crafted for British embassies and consulates in Europe.
In total, Daimler produced around 1,025 units prior to the onset of World War II, followed by an additional 8,213 cars in the post-war era. Given the survival rates of vehicles from the 1940s and 1950s, the DB18 remains a relatively uncommon classic. The scarcity is even more evident for the two-door Sport Special version, with just 633 units ever made. Among these, the featured survivor stands out.
Residing within a barn for a considerable period, this silver and blue convertible has emerged as a remarkable survivor that exudes the potential to be operational with minimal intervention. The meticulous restoration process undertaken by “WD Detailing” has transformed it into a captivating time capsule.
While some surface rust is evident on the body, the chrome might not gleam as it once did, and the interior bears signs of weathering, this convertible embodies one of the finest unrestored examples of the DB18 / Consort series. However, this Daimler won’t be gracing the streets anytime soon. The owner’s decision to donate it to the Crawford Auto Aviation Museum in Cleveland, Ohio ensures that it will enjoy its retirement alongside fellow classics. A fitting destiny for a rare gem from the 1950s.