The Royal Daimler stripped back

Conserved Chassis in the Hall

The chassis of this grand old car is now on display in the Museum’s Main Hall until 27 July 2014. Don’t miss this last opportunity to see the ‘craftsmanship behind the car’ before it goes back to the workshop for final conservation treatment. Continue reading

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Donations are growing

The Royal Chassis


Thanks to many generous Museum visitors making a contribution to donations boxes in the hall of the National Museum, the Royal Daimler Project fundraising total has now reached $41,078.80!

With less than $19,000 to raise we are feeling very confident of reaching the $60,000 target by the end of June, Her Majesty’s birthday month! Continue reading

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A little bit of bling and some very fine work!

Compare this to the before photo in our earlier post: What is it?..and why does it affect our treatment approach?


The excitement is building as we prepare the Daimler chassis for a public viewing for the Queen’s birthday weekend. And the Daimler is getting its bling on!

We decided to keep as much of the original chrome work as possible – we discovered a good polish brought it up beautifully. There is some evidence of pitting but as there was no underlying corrosion, the chrome work is sound and important as a record of the original craftsmanship. Unfortunately there were some parts that had underlying corrosion and needed treatment. The ongoing corrosion would have resulted in continuing loss of chrome and deterioration of original parts. For these reasons we had to treat the metal and have it rechromed. Continue reading

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Crankshaft – the story so far

The crankshaft started life as a solid steel cylinder

The crankshaft started life as a solid steel cylinder

On the 7-8th April, Ainslie Greiner and Ian Stewart travelled to Melbourne to visit Crankshaft Rebuilders. They took the original block from the Royal Daimler with them. The idea was to get the block line-bored and the new crankshaft test fitted to the block – this allows for finalised fitting to the bearings. This also provided Ian with the necessary information to manufacture a new rear main oil seal carrier on his return to the Museum.

Ainslie and Ian were very impressed with the work to date on the crankshaft. It has been made from one piece of metal (billeted) and is a precision piece of engineering. Continue reading
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Filming the Royal Daimler

Filming the Royal Daimler chassis at the conservation lab, photo by G Serras

The Museum’s Royal Daimler is the subject of a new feature film called When the Queen Came to Town that celebrates the 60th anniversary of the 1954 Royal visit.

The film looks at the legacy and the impact of this Royal visit on Australian popular culture and features the Museum’s Royal Daimler car. The film includes footage of the work the dedicated conservation team at the Museum have undertaken to bring this special car back to its former glory. Continue reading

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The Australian Six

The ‘Australian Six’ is a new acquisition by the National Museum of Australia.
This elegant vehicle represents one of the earliest attempts to establish an automotive manufacturing industry in Australia. In the wake of the First World War and amid growing worldwide interest in automotive technology, Australian entrepreneur Frederick Gordon was among the first to recognise the financial viability of importing cheap vehicle components for local assembly, rather than importing expensive complete vehicles from overseas. Manufactured in the United States in 1918 by American Motors Corporation of New Jersey, this car was imported to Sydney as a partially assembled prototype intended to showcase Gordon’s novel experiment. Continue reading

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Interview with the conservators

The Royal Daimler Project is speeding along and we are getting close to our fundraising finishing line.

We have developed a video documenting some of the work we have been doing with the support we have received from members of the public. This video includes interviews with the National Museums’ automotive engineers and conservators and gives a sense of the work involved in bringing the Royal Daimler back to its former glory.

We need to raise a further $30,000to reach our goal of $60,000 by July this year.
Help us get the car over the line and become a Royal Daimler Conservation Partner.

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Joan Richmond

Joan Richmond with her car racing trophies, 1936

Joan Richmond with her racing trophies

This is for all those girls who are into fast cars!

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we are presenting this story about the Australian racing car driver Joan Richmond who was at her peak on the international racing circuit in the 1930s.

Her racing career is the stuff of great adventure. You can read more about Joan on the NMA website , or you can see the exhibition about her racing career in the Australian Journeys Gallery at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra.

The above image is from the website dedicated to Joan’s racing career www.joanrichmond.com.

A book about her life is also available from this site.

You can also try speed queens for more information about Joan Richmond.

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When the Queen came to town

This year, 2014, marks 60 years since Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s first visit to Australia as the young reigning monarch. About 75 per cent of Australia’s population caught a glimpse of the newly-crowned Queen on her 1954 Royal tour.

A feature documentary, When the Queen Came to Town , is being produced in celebration of the 60th anniversary of this event. The producers of the film are seeking to hear from members of the public who took film footage of the 1954 Royal tour with 8mm or 16mm home movie cameras of the time.

Be part of history
If this sounds like you, please contribute your story here.
Continue reading

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Rolling out the royal cars

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RACA members at the NMA

The dust covers came off, the conservation team were on hand and the engines came to life at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra.

It was one of those rare moments when the spark of history is tangible. Where the smell of old engines conjures bygone stories and brings history racing in to the present. This was the rare experience witnessed by the members of the Royal Automobile Club Car Motoring Enthusiasts Group who came to Hear History Hum at the National Museum. Continue reading

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