Mixed Feelings and a Very Big Engine

It's a big engine - ready to be fitted into the chassis.


It was with both a sense of regret and considerable excitement, that the Large Technology team completed the assembly of the motor for the Daimler.

Ken Houlahan (l) and Ian Stewart (r) fitting the sump to the engine block

Regret – because our beautiful crankshaft, with rods and pistons, installed was going to be covered up and would no longer be visible. Everyone involved in the project really wanted to be able to see it in operation. Ian Stewart fantasised about fitting a Perspex window to the sump so that the crankshaft remained visible. The new crankshaft is Ian’s baby, so he more than most people was sad to see it disappear from sight.

With the cylinder head fitted, a nearly complete long motor.

Excitement – because this is yet another milestone marking progress in the project. Furthermore it is a milestone that heralds even greater milestones in the near future.

Now it is assembled it is ready to be fitted into the chassis and mated with the transmission.

Watch this space, we are anticipating more good news very soon.

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New Year, New Conservator, Forward Planning

Nathan Pharaoh, Large Technology Conservator and Prue Castles, Senior Objects Conservator examining damaged areas of paint on the Daimler body

Happy New Year.

Work is continuing on the Royal Daimler and we are hoping to provide more updates in the coming weeks. We have made progress with the engine and more detailed planning for work on the body is gearing up.

But first, an update on our team. We are delighted to announce that we have a new conservator heading up our Technology area. Nathan Pharaoh started work at the Museum on 2nd February. He is working closely with our engineering contractors Ian Stewart and Ken Houlahan who are currently focussed on the engine and commencing more indepth investigation on the wiring in the body of the car. Nathan is also meeting with the the Museum’s senior Objects and Textiles conservators to plan the work on the Daimler body. So moving into this year we will have an expanded team working on the Daimler.

Please keep visiting our blog to see what is planned, what we have achieved and to keep up to date with the dilemmas we face and decisions we make in the project.

Thanks also to those people who continue to contribute to the project – financial contributions, advice and thoughts and your interest and support, all gratefully received.

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The Queen is in town

When the Queen Came to Town, poster

When the Queen Came to Town, poster

It was 1954, post depression, post World War II and the visit of the young and beautiful Queen Elizabeth transfixed the nation. Continue reading

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Testing, testing

Crankshaft test fit.


The much-awaited test fit of the crankshaft has happened. Ian Stewart has fitted it, checked and blueprinted the bearing oil clearances and the thrust clearance. All clearances have been set to standard Daimler specifications. The new main bearing has been line bored to suit these specifications. Continue reading

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A bit like Christmas

There was much excitement amongst the Daimler team when a large package arrived from Crankshaft Rebuilders – a bit like kids on Christmas morning. Continue reading

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More love for the Royal Daimler

Merv McDonald and Vicki Humphrey

Donation from DLOCCA for the Royal Daimler

The Royal Daimler Project might be over but the work and interest in car continues.

It was great to see so many members of the Daimler SP250 group at the Museum on Saturday. Travelling to Canberra from various parts of the east coast of NSW, all arrived to the Museums’ offsite campus in Mitchell to see the Museum’s Royal Daimler car.

The SP250 is a V8 sports model produced by Daimler between 1959 and 1964. According to Alan Hunt’s article in the book Travelling in Style Daimler and Lanchester and Australia, over one hundred SP250’s were imported into Australia. Continue reading

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Farewell to the Royal Daimler

A close up of the Royal Daimler chassis

A close up of the Royal Daimler chassis

The Royal Daimler has left the building!

After a short sojourn in the Museum’s Hall, today the Royal Daimler returned to the offsite conservation lab for ongoing work. Continue reading

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Thank you

In 2012, we set out to raise $60,000 by July 2014 for the Royal Daimler Project. It might have looked like a blue-sky target back then, but I am happy to say that due to the overwhelming support we have had from our Royal Daimler Conservation Partners, and all the Royal Daimler Project followers, we have not only reached our target, but we have exceeded our goal and have raised $61,863.80. Continue reading

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Movie matinee picture gallery

Audience, When the Queen came to Town premiere

Audience, When the Queen came to Town premiere


Maurice and Mat

Maurice and Mat

Continue reading

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Remembering an Australian legend

Sir Jack Brabham, bust on view at the National Portrait Gallery

Over the weekend I took the opportunity to visit the National Portrait Gallery to view the very impressive bronze sculpture of Sir Jack Brabham. Until I was informed by one of our Royal Daimler Project partners, I hadn’t been aware that it was on display. If you attend the Gallery, you’ll find Sir Jack very prominently positioned at the enterance to the main gallery.

Below is a transcription of the text panel that accompanies the Bronze, acknowledging Sir Jack’s incredible sporting achievements. Continue reading

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