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The Royal Tours

The Royal Family after WW II made a couple of tours overseas. Two are famously related to Daimler: the Royal Tour to South Africa in 1947 and the Royal Tour to Australia and New Zealand in 1953/54. For these tours a number of DE-Daimlers were used, which were shipped well before the tour and which after the tour partly stayed in the country visited. Below is an overview as what happened to these cars.

S-Africa Tour brochure (1).jpg

South Africa 1947

51156 DE36 landaulette by Hooper, now in the UK but in need of restoration.

51157 DE36 limousine by Hooper, was until 2012 in South Africa and being restored. Originally for the governor of Natal, but was probably lent out for the tour. In 2012 sold to a new owner in Australia.

51158 DE36 landaulette by Hooper, remains were in South Africa until 2012 (the car was scrapped in the early sixties). Remains went to Australia together with #51157 and #51159

51159 DE36 limousine by Hooper, was until 2012 in South Africa and on the road (although then needing new head gaskets). In 2012 sold to a new owner in Australia (same as #51157).

51160 DE36 limousine by Hooper, in South Africa and condition unknown.

51161 DE36 allweather by Hooper. Scrapped.

51164 DE36 limousine by Windover, in South Africa and restorable.

51180 DE36 limousine by Windovers. Returned after the tour to the UK to the high commissioner for the Union of South Africa. After several successive ownership the car was sold in the mid-seventies to a new owner in New York. Further fate unknown.

50004 DE27 limousine by Hooper. Was lent out by Sir Bernard Docker (this was his own car) for the tour. Returned to the UK after the tour, but fate unknown.

South Africa Royal Tour Brochure and photos

Australia 1953/1954

51702 DE36 allweather by Hooper, in Australia. Was bought by the Ajax film company, the rear of the body was removed and replaced by a tray for carrying camera equipment. The engine was replaced with a chevvy and iron "girders" replaced the bumpers. Currently used as a donor car for 51706.

51703 DE36 allweather by Hooper. Although this car was earmarked for the tour, it actually never went to Australia but was sold on by the Australian Government to the Maharaja of Mysore (India) when the Royal Tour was postponed. The car is now in the Pranlal Bhogilal collection in Ahemdabad in the state of Gujrat in India. The car is in very good condition, painted black, and running.

51704 DE36 landaulette by Hooper, in Australia. In disrepair, but restorable and now in the possession of the National Museum of Australia.

51705 DE36 landaulette by Hooper, in Australia. Hasn't moved for 15 years, but seems alright.

51707 DE36 limousine by Hooper, in Australia. Burnt out, unrestorable, but not yet scrapped.

51708 DE36 landaulette by Hooper. Like chassis 51703 earmarked for the tour, but this car never went to Australia and was also sold on by the Australian Government to the Maharaja of Mysore. The car is currently in the Manjusha Museum in Dharmastala, India and is being restored. 

The following story, although linked previously to this chassis, is NOT TRUE: "This car has possibly been spotted in the eighties not too far away from Singleton, New South Wales, Australia, converted to a pick-up. The roof had been cut off behind the front seat and a panel with a window added. The rear part of the passenger compartment looked as if it had been in drop-head form at some time as the bodywork was properly finished across the rear scuttle. Along the sides, inverted U-shaped strips of metal had been riveted, covering the windows and preventing the doors opening. The rear seats had been taken out and the passenger compartment lined with plywood. The car had been brush-painted red with wide yellow pin-stripes on both sides. It was already then a non-runner".

New Zealand

51706 DE36 allweather by Hooper, now in Australia and being restored. The car has an amazing history: first this allweather was converted in the sixties to a hearse (!) and then went into a museum in Geraldine, New Zealand. The museum burnt down in 1979 and a lot of the car went with it.

51709 DE36 allweather by Hooper, burned out near Wellington in the late 1950s..

51710 DE36 limousine by Hooper, in the Geraldine Vintage Car and Machinery Museum in New Zealand and restored..

51711 DE36 landaulette by Hooper, in the Southward Car Museum in Wellington, New Zealand.

51712 DE36 landaulette by Hooper, in the Auckland Museum of Transport and Technology in New Zealand. The car was converted into a hearse in 1955 by W.H. Tongue & Sons, funeral directors, who donated the car to the museum in 1970. This car has now, 2004, been restored in its former glory (as a hearse) and is on the road.

51713 DE36 limousine by Hooper. This car was purchased in the mid 1970's by a timber-man from Oregon, USA. It is still in the hands of the same family and wasn't moved for 30 years. The car is in a very original state, has always been dry stored and is restorable.

Australia Royal Tour Brochure and photos

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