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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Chassis work

Ian Stewart spray painting the Royal Daimler chassis decked out in his PPE

The Daimler chassis that has been a major presence in the Large Technology lab over the past few months has been moved to another Museum site for painting now that it has been repaired. The painting will be done on the forecourt of one of the stores inside a specially constructed tent, with the team decked out in their personal protective equipment (PPE). Our investigations and helpful information from UK and Australia established that the chassis would have been gloss black; and so it will be once more. Continue reading

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Once in a hundred year event

Centenary of Canberra Heritage Car Rally

Three weeks to go till the Centenary of Canberra Car Rally. This unique event, organised by the National Trust in the ACT, includes a scenic drive from Jervis Bay/Nowra to Canberra on Saturday 19 October and a motorcade along Northbourne Avenue finishing on the lawns of Old Parliament House on Sunday 20 October. Continue reading

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The Royal Daimler is a Canberra Treasure

Treasures of Canberra by Betty Churcher and Lucy Quinn

Treasures of Canberra by Betty Churcher and Lucy Quinn


The Royal Daimler has been classified as a Canberra treasure in a new book by Betty Churcher, ex Director of the National Gallery of Australia, and artist Lucy Quinn.

The book I am referring to is called Treasures of Canberra and has been produced to commemorate the Centenary of Canberra. Last night I was at an inspiring talk by Betty and Lucy where they spoke about their new book and the many treasures that it features. Continue reading

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Fit for a king, a queen and maybe a prince!

News today that William, Kate and George might be heading to Australia to next year. news link

Did you know that the Royal Daimler in the Museum’s collection was originally painted in the little prince’s great grandfather, King George’s, colours? The Daimler was purchased and prepared for His Majesty’s 1949 Royal Tour, but King George never made that journey. The car was then prepared for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s 1954 Royal Tour , and painted over in Her royal colours. All this historic detail is visible on the car.

Help us restore the 1948 Royal Daimler and make it fit for a king, a queen, or prince again! Visit www.nma.gov.au/support_us to make a donation.

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Project team visit the MG Club of Canberra

Monica Lindemann, Peter Dechaineux, Vick Humphrey

On 8 August, Vicki Humphrey, Head of Conservation, and I were invited by the MG Car Club of Canberra to give a presentation on the Museum’s conservation work and the Royal Daimler Project.

We were warmly welcomed by club President Peter Dechaineux and approximately 30 members. Vicki kicked off the evening by demonstrating her motoring bone fides with wonderful photos of herself and the various historic cars in her life, including an SS100, a Riley Imp and a 1934 Singer Le Mans. Not a bad line up for a paper conservator! Continue reading

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Paint and Project Planning

After the excitement of the RACA dinner we are now back into practicalities.

Vicki Humphrey is working with the National Museum’s three conservation labs to coordinate the work on the different components of the vehicle. While the bulk of the work will be carried out by the Large Technology team, there is no denying that there are challenges and considerable work ahead for the Textiles team, who will be treating the upholstery and the textile fittings.

The rich interior presents a number of challenges for the textiles conservators.

The Objects conservators will focusing on the timber interiors and the instrument panel. The Daimler is not the only project the Conservation section has to work on and so the order in which we carry out the work has to take into consideration the optimum workflows for the Daimler itself and the availability of expertise within the relatively small conservation section. Planning becomes very important. Continue reading

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