1956 Daimler Drophead New Coupe Reserved

A unique opportunity to acquire a very rare and beautiful drophead British Classic. A car of distinction with elegant sweeping bodylines and undoubtedly the most striking design ever produced by the Company. It has a higher roof and wider doors than most other sportstcars which gives very easy access, this appealed to the more dignified Daimler driver.

Launched as “The New Daimler Drophead Coupe” with the slogans “100 MPH and all this greater comfort” and “Power in a Velvet Glove“. They were all handbuilt and consequently so expensive that only 54 were built between 1955 and 1957 of which 46 have been traced worldwide by the DLOC, an amazing survival record. They were built specifically for the rich and famous, Jags and Mercs were ‘ten a penny’ compared to these exclusive Daimlers.

The car offered was Number Three off the Production Line and it is believed to be the only one fitted with Factory-installed Borg Warner Automatic Transmission, making this car super rare! Usual Daimler gearbox was the Wilson Pre-Select system.
It also has Electric Windows, a very unusual factory option. Standard models had wind-up side windows (earlier roadsters had clip-on ones).

It has an novel transverse sideways-facing single rear seat, making it a 3 adult seater. This seat is easily detachable if required for the carriage of bulky items.

This car has had very little use due to last owner’s medical problems and it is possible that the 65,000 miles recorded presents the total covered from new. The alloy and steel body is well preserved, and has undergone a refresher repaint to high standard. The washable and lined hood and weather equipment are fully serviceable with Hoodbag and Tonneau cover provided. Brightwork is A1. The leather seats have recently been re-Connolised and consequently look new, the period carpets are still in place and look set for many more years of use.

The car starts on the button and pulls well, the automatic transmission is smooth and responsive. All tyres look good. Electronic ignition has been fitted instead of coil.

This matching-numbers vehicle represents a very good investment opportunity as future values can only increase substantially. You won’t find another…It’s a unique car and you could be one of the lucky few to enjoy the rare qualities of the Daimler New Drop Head Coupe a ‘big name’ the car lives up too.

Comes with a copy of the superb book “Daimler Conquest Roadster & New Drophead Coupe” by Mynard & Wilson which features this car and confirms it was the only one built with the BW Automatic box. Inside the book there is a delightful publicity shot of Jayne Mansfield with one of these models. What a dish! She wasn’t too bad either!

Note. A similar black Daimler DJ254 made a world record £50,000 at Bonhams Auction not so long ago.

Some Historical Info

The Autocar Daimler advert from October 1955 proclaimed vivid performance, powerful braking and outstanding road holding for the Drophead, quite a statement for such a big (over 14.5 feet long) and heavy car. Then there was the price tag of £1927 (Autocar Oct 1955) comparable to the average UK house price at the time which ensured the 100mph/21mpg Daimler was never going to be produced in large numbers.

During 1956 the luxury car market, especially coach built models from Daimler, started to suffer from competition with rivals Jaguar incorporating mass production techniques. The XK140 being £280 pounds less than the Conquest DHC forced Daimler to drop the new car price by 12% in April. The Suez Crises hit and during the summer petrol rationing came into force, by September another 12% reduction made the DHC better value for money; the model was however dropped from the new car line up the following year. Unfortunately the same crisis increased the manufacturing costs and even with the introduction of their own Edward Turner designed V8 and the new Dart model Daimler were in trouble and Jaguar took over the company in 1960.