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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Riding in Style

Chris van Schaardenburgh (left) and Stuart Wilkinson (right) with the Daimler de 36 at Coventry Transport Museum.


On the 13th February, I had the good fortune to visit the Coventry Transport Museum to see the Daimler de36 Landaulette in their collection. Many thanks to Stuart Wilkinson, the Chairman of the Transport for organising the visit, driving me there and accompanying me throughout the visit. As usual with the vehicle community, he was really generous with time and information and has continued to chase up Daimler related things for us. Thanks also to Peter Grant for putting me in touch with Stuart. This really is a car community effort.

Thanks also to Chris van Schaardenburgh, the curator of vehicles at the Museum. Continue reading

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Remembering the 1954 Royal Tour

Queen Elizabeth Royal Tour 1954

Welcome to our Royal Visitors 1954, Perth


In February, 60 years ago, HRH, Queen Elizabeth II, came to Australia. It was 1954, a mere five months after her coronation and the first tour by a reigning monarch.

The Queen’s Royal visit was a two-month journey across Australia. An estimated 75% of Australia’s population were able to catch a glimpse of the young Queen as she travelled to 57 cities including regional centres such as Cairns, Lismore, Shepparton, Whyalla and Kalgoorlie. Continue reading

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A Gem from our Archive

Risk Management was alive and well in 1948 during the manufacture of the Daimler….. it was just expressed a bit differently as can be seen from this charming memo from Hooper & Co (Coachbuilders) Ltd.

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What is it?..and why does it affect our treatment approach?

This strange looking object is just one part of the Daimler that represents the balance of pure conservation and minor restoration that will be characteristic of the work we are doing. In many discussions with visitors and on our blog we have mentioned our desire to stick – as far as possible – to a conservation approach. That is, retain and reuse as much of the original as possible. However, we always knew that there would be parts that would have to have extra work along with some that need to be replaced – the crankshaft is a fine example of the latter.

Continue reading

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the ‘olden Holden

Footballs, Meat pies, Kangaroos and Holden Cars.
A salute to the early years of Holden construction in Australia.

FX Holden 1946

FX Holden, Holden Protoype Car No1. 1946

Continue reading

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Car rally fashions on the field

The overall winners with the Isetta and the judges

The overall winners with their Isetta and the judges

It was my pleasure to be one of the judges at the Centenary of Canberra Car Rally for the fashion on the field parade along with Nathan and Mel from Librarian Chic.

It was a tough decision picking the overall winners. Many wonderful entrants dressed in period costume to match their cars. Continue reading

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Royal Daimler at the Car Rally

Chris, Laster and Kathi at the Canberra Car Rally

Chris, Laster and Kathi at the NMA Stand

The Centenary of Canberra Car Rally was a great outing for the Museum’s Royal Daimler Project. On Sunday 20 October Chris, Laster, Kathi and I were on the lawns of Old Parliament House with the virtual Royal Daimler, our mascot – the waiving Queen, and lots of National Museum enthusiasm, balloons and lollipops.

The Rally
The Centenary of Canberra Car Rally on 19 – 20 October was organised by the National Trust . Participants in the rally travelled from Jervis Bay to Canberra on Saturday. On Sunday, they paraded their cars on the lawns of Old Parliament House. There were many stunning cars on display. A few photos are included in this post. Continue reading

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Visiting the Royal Daimler

Visiting the Royal Daimler in Canberra

Daimler car club in Canberra

There were some very beautiful Daimlers parked at Mitchell recently when members of the Daimler & Lanchester Owners Car Club of Australia, DLOCCA, were in Canberra to visit the National Museum’s grand dame, the Royal Daimler. See more pictures below. Continue reading

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Spinning with the Royal Daimler

Spin Canberra's Weekend on Wheels

Spin Canberra's Weekend on Wheels


A Virtual Concourse D’elegance for the Museum’s Royal Daimler
This Sunday, 20 October, the National Museum of Australia’s Royal Daimler will make a virtual appearance at the Centenary of Canberra Car Rally on the lawns of Old Parliament House.

The Royal Daimler has been completely disassembled by our expert conservation staff in order to bring her back to her former glory. The Museum aims to raise $60,000 by July next year in order to help with this major conservation project and make the Royal Daimler fit for a queen again. Continue reading

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