Vintage Postbag - That BL Heritage Daimler
I read your most detailed article on the 1904 Shelsley Walsh Daimler with interest and was pleased that after what must have been at least eight years of patient waiting, with the help of Coventry Museum and in particular Michael Bullivant, I was able to keep my promise that you would be the first person to drive the rebuilt Daimler “up the hill”. I would, however, like to raise one point regarding the dating of this car which I have been firmly convinced for many years was originally built in 1904.
When Coventry Museum acquired the vehicle on loan from the Jaguar Company it was dated in all publications as 1906, based on two factors –the chassis type and the size of engine. Both of these facts were taken from the publication “Daimler 1896-1946” by St. John C. Nixon who lists details of the vehicles at the end of his book. Certain of this information has proved to be totally inaccurate. Recently, photographs of this particular Daimler came to light showing the car on the sea front at Brighton during the early part of 1905. It is my contention that the BL Heritage/Coventry Museum Daimler was built in 1904 and used by Mr. E. M. C. Instone at the “Sunrising Hillclimbing Handicap” run by the Midlands Automobile Club on July 23rd 1904. On handicap Mr. Instone came fifth out of a field of 31 entrants. It may be of interest that five Daimlers all of the same capacity took part.
The car was subsequently re-engined with a similar but larger capacity unit for the Shelsley Walsh Hill Climbs 1905 and 1906. There are several technical points which add credence to this assertion but would take too much time to elaborate.
Studley. PETER MITCHELL - Managing Director, BL Heritage Limited