A Daimler discovery

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In 1903 Col. Reynard, a Frenchman, showed his astonishing Reynard road-train at the Paris Salon. This consisted of a tractor coupled to six-wheeled vehicles driven and steered by a power-offtake from the tractor, enabling as many as four trailers to be towed. Daimler acquired the exclusive British rights and began to make Reynard road-trains from 1908. Apparently the thing worked but with its long prop. shafts to each centre pair of trailer wheels was extraordinarily noisy. Production ceased with the outbreak of war, but not before four Daimler-Reynard trains had been sent to Queensland, Australia.

All trace of these queer but historic Daimler products was thought to have vanished until this year, when a Miss Margaret Cowen wrote to the Company from Brooklyn Park, Australia, reporting that in the crumbling township of Farina, in the far North, population two, lies a rusty wreck of an old Daimler truck. Behind it are several trucks it once towed; they once took copper ore from the Yudnamutna and Witchelina mines to the local railway siding. Co-incidentally, a pile of ancient plate negatives came to light recently in a dungeon under the Daimler works, one of which depicts the Daimler road-train and suggests that Miss Cowen has discovered the remains of one. Incidentally, it seems that these were also used in Vancouver and for carrying cotton and marble in Bombay after a demonstration at the London Omnibus Garage in Walham Green in 1907, when the War Office turned it down. Apparently 75 h.p. and 100 h.p. sleeve-valve tractors were used, able to handle up to 15 tons at comparatively high speeds even across country and up 1-in-5 hills. In 1911 a Reynard train was to have run in the Godiva Procession in Coventry but had to be withdrawn because it frightened the horses taking part.—W. B.