An amazing barn-find (or the benefit of being a volunteer)


I was sitting at my desk 3 weeks ago when the phone rang. A person called to book a Swap site for selling parts for historic British motor cars.

During our conversation I said, “I wish I had access to some of your parts when I was restoring a Daimler 5 years ago.” To which he replied, “Are you interested in Daimlers? Just this morning I was in a shed on a farm near Hamilton and saw an old Daimler sitting there. It is a convertible.”

“A convertible!” I exclaimed, “It must be a DB18 Special Sports. Can I talk to the owner?”

That afternoon the owner of the car called me. She had been given my number. She told me that the car had sat in the shed since her father died in 1978 and no one had paid any attention to it since then. I told her that ever since my grandfather had introduced me to Daimler cars as a boy, the DB18 Barker Special Sports drop head coupé was a favourite. I told her that I had courted my wife Ruth in a Daimler DB18 Consort as a young adult and more recently had owned a similar model for a few years. After our conversation she said, “If you are willing to try and restore it, you can buy it from me.” I did not need any more encouragement. Ruth readily agreed, I quickly booked the Club car trailer and was off to Hamilton to collect it. It is now safely in my shed while I work out how to get started on what will be the most exciting restoration of my lifetime.

Already several Club members have given me very generous advice and encouragement by calling and coming around to see the car. I will need much more of that as time goes on, so don’t hesitate to visit.

Approximately 500 Barker-bodied drop head coupés were made between 1948 and 1952. It has a 2.5-litre straight 6 motor with twin SU carburettors. The transmission is a four-speed pre-selector gearbox with a fluid flywheel and final Hypoid bevel drive. Just a few of these cars remain on the road in Australia.

Submitted by David Thorne

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