80 years of Daimler

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148

Sir,

As the owner of what is probably the oldest and most original Daimler in the world (English Daimler) I was naturally interested in the excellent article on Daimlers in September, although, as W.B. points out, I was unable to co-operate in this due to being in the middle of having new tyres made.

However I feel that I must comment on the maximum speed for the early models, which is repeatedly quoted at 15 m.p.h. I can assure you that my car, despite, or possibly because of, hot-tube ignition, will do 22/24 m.p.h. any time on a level road and in still air. With a favourable tide and following wind I have done 28 m.p.h. hut this gets interesting and is not recommended for people of a nervous disposition. Resulting from a weight of 26 cwt. and only four rather elderly horses, acceleration is hardly sparkling, with the result that I accept 16 miles run in one hour as about the best which can be expected. It also dislikes hills intensely and this manifests itself in a deceleration to about 5 m.p.h. and after this just nothing will stop it reaching the top. The most I have ever done in one hour is 21 miles but this was on the Autostrada between Turin and Milan.

I am loath to confess that Denis Flather’s Daimler is anything like as good as mine but I have to admit there have been times when I have had to pedal quite hard to pass him, so I can only assume that his car WO will do considerably more than 15 m.p.h. I restored my car just 25 years ago and have not seen the inside of the engine since then. At that time I put in new rings hut the pistons and bores are original and I must have done at least 10/15,000 miles in it. As I could almost get a matchstick between the exhaust valve and its guide I did once make a new valve and guide. However the Daimler didn’t like this at all and I had to put the old one back. It has absolutely no comoression worth mentioning, with the result that it will tick-over quite smoothly at 75 (seventy-five) r.p.m., from which it will accelerate to its awe-inspiring maximum of 750 r.p.m. as sweetly as a pneumatic drill.

Meysey Hampton. E. D. WOOLLEY

[Perhaps in those very early days Daimler emoted ton speeds in terms of miles you could expect to Cover in one hour, rather than in m.p.h. -Ed.]