Daimler & Lanchester

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Daimler & Lanchester, by Brian Long. Longford International Press, Coventry, £45.00.

Brian Long’s large book celebrates two of the great luxury cars from British factories, the Daimler and the Lanchester, the latter attaining its century this year and Daimler but a year younger. While the story of both these illustrious cars has been told several times previously, here is a significant account of “The Daimler” since its inception, taking in the Lanchester models made during the Daimler/Lanchester amalgamation en route. In the 329 pages, there are many pictures to enthuse Daimler and Lanchester followers, from pioneering times, the war years, with aeroplanes on the Daimler aerodrome, and its amalgamation with BSA, through the vintage period of the great and silent Knight-Daimlers and BSAs, the flamboyant Docker years (which parted the Royal Family from their unbroken allegiance to Daimler motorcarriages, to let in Rolls-Royce) and on to the Jaguar influence, the DS420 limousine and the continuing “Grace, Space and Pace” theme at its highest.

The book is very nicely set out on good paper, and the commercial vehicles are not omitted. The first Daimler history, by the late St John Nixon, was commissioned by the company and some of the early history was omitted and some facts withheld, which Long has now rectified; which is in no way to belittle the interim Daimler histories by Brian Smith. W B