Jaguar & Daimler cars
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Jaguar & Daimler
Queensland Jaguar Drivers Club Capricornia Register
photos supplied by Max Parnell
6 1956 Daimler Century Saloon,
Andrew Jones Andrew Jones
In November 1994 I bought my Daimler off a bloke who inherited it from his deceased "Uncle Roy'. Uncle Roy was apparently a well known character around the Daimler club in Victoria and was distinctive by the fact that he only had one arm, and his right arm at that.
The Daimler Conquest was an ideal car for a one armed bloke because it has a pre-select gearbox and the shifter is on the right hand side of the steering wheel. An ideal car for someone who only has a right arm.
'Uncle Roy' was just leaving a Mate's place after Sunday lunch. He hopped in the car, fired up the engine and sat with his foot on the brake and the car in first gear while the engine warmed up he said good bye to his friend. The door wasn't properly closed however and when Roy took his foot off the brake the car lurched forward, the door flew open and Roy fell out onto the tar.
The Daimler chugs along at about 5 kms an hour when its in first gear and there is no foot on the accelerator. So while Roy picked himself up off the ground the old girl headed off on her own.
She went in a straight line down a long hill, with Roy and his mate chasing her, over a roundabout, across a T-intersection, over a nature strip, through a picket fence where she came to rest up against a house. The back wheels were still slowly spinning and the front left guard was damaged from its run in with the fence.
I discovered that damage when I stripped the paint back to bare metal, got rid of the bog and had the panel straightened. I Suppose every restoration has its own peculiar challenges. Mine was getting my pre-select gearbox rebuilt. Apart from that the main difficulty was scraping together cash to pay for everything. I started with a bare metal re-spray and did most of the elbow work myself, while a professional panel beater did the body work and painting.
Getting the grill off was a long and tricky job, but I was keen to get this central aspect of the car's front re-chromed and back to its original glory. The front and back bumpers followed soon after. The interior wasn't hard - for me. The upholsterer who re-sprung and recovered my seats in beautiful Connolly leather swore black and blue about the Brits and their 'over-engineering'. He told me my Daimler would be his last. But he is a perfectionist and did a great job with the seats, headlining and door trims. An auto-electrician helped me pull the dash out and put it back in. A specialist in car wood paneling did a magnificent job on my woodwork which has prompted several of the Daimler club members to ask where I got it re-vamped.
The only engine work the car has had done is in the top half of the engine. Valves and seats etc. The engine has presented no problems at all which has been nice. The fuel tank and line had to be removed and some 40 years of 'gunk' cleaned out and the system made clean once again.
Here is list of work done. I have put a date and name to each area. It is amazing to see what a variety of people are needed to make a restoration like this possible.
The car was bought from Warren Andrews on the 2nd of November 1994
1994 - I paid $3000 The mileage at the time of purchase was 49,985.
1995 - Engine Overhaul by Evans Brothers Motors. They discovered that
I had transmission problems. The pre-select gear box would not
select the reverse gear. I was quoted a rough approximation of
$2000-$3000 to have this problem fixed. At this point I
considered selling the car.
1995 - I met Eddy Fontana, a car upholsterer. Purchased 8 square
metres of Jaguar Connolly leather. The re-upholstery and
re-springing of the seats (front and back) Interior
upholstery - door trims, headlining, carpets and underlay
Nicholls stripped and re-lacquered the woodwork.
1996 - Grill re-chromed by Prahran Platers
1996 - epairs by Joe Burton of the Daimler club: Front end rebuild
& replacement of miscellaneous parts, as well as some minor
1996 - Joe Burton - Replacement Fuel Gauge
1996 - Kevin Barnes "Daimler & Lancaster Spares." Assorted rubber
1996 - Miscellaneous parts from Rare Spares
1997 - Eastern Auto Paints. Peter Redcliffe -
1997 - Paint Job,
1997 - Universal Bolt Bloke - Assorted Bolts -
1998 - The Purple Pig - Radiator hose & Alternator belt
1998 - Horn Assembly -
1998 - Hankook Tyres. Fitted, Balanced & Front End Aligned
1998 - Tuthill (Truck Parts) Custom made handbrake cable
1998 - The Roadworthy Shop - Roadworthy Cert. - $15001999 -
2000 - Bumper Bars - front & back - re-chromed Prahran Plater