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National Museum of Australia

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Collection Explorer


1948 Daimler landaulette, used in the 1954 Royal Tour of Australia


1948 Daimler landaulette, used in the 1954 Royal Tour of Australia

Object information

Physical description

A black and blue Daimler landaulette with a partially soft top. The car has three windows along each side. There is a bench seat in the front and back as well as two seats that fold away in the middle. The front bench seat is leather whilst the back is fabric. The monograph 'D' appears on the hub caps and there is wooden detailing inside the car. The front of the car has two large and two small head lamps and a place on each side for spare tyres. Only the left side currently has a spare tyre. Technical specifications include: an 8-cylinder, 36hp, 5460cc engine; a 85.09mm bore, 120.01mm stroke cylinder block; a Wilson preselector gearbox; and vacuum-assisted drum brakes.

Statement of significance

This Daimler DE 36 landaulette came to the attention of National Museum of Australia curators during research into transport used for the Royal Tour of Australia in 1954. The Museum acquired the car from a private collector in South Australia in August 2009. This impressive four-ton vehicle is coachbuilt by Hooper and Co. on a Daimler 'straight eight' chassis. At almost 6 metres long, it is finished in black with Royal blue side panels and red pin-striping. Luxurious interior fittings include cream cord and blue leather upholstery, a walnut dash, silk window blinds and engraved glass light fittings.

Primarily an iconic reminder of the Royal Tour, this vehicle has strong relevance to broad areas of Australian history and can be used to address the themes of royal transport, the monarchy in Australia and innovation in the motor industry. The vehicle's subsequent ownership ably illustrates other aspects of history, such as Daimler's fall from favour and the lasting impact of the Royal Tour on a generation of Australians. This acquisition is representative of a remarkable small number of vehicles to be fabricated for the Royal Tour and as such is extremely rare.

Object information

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