Roi des Belges
Chassis #: 4766
Daimler, one of Britain's oldest car manufacturers, became the official transportation of British royalty in 1898, after the Prince of Wales was given a ride on a Daimler by John Douglas-Scott-Montagu, later to be Lord Montagu of Beaulieu.
This rare 48-horsepower Daimler has Roi des Belges or tulip Phaeton coachwork, a style first seen in 1901 when King Leopold II of Belgium decided to buy a new car. The king visited Paris to discuss his idea with Ferdinand Charles of Rothschild et Fils, a coachbuilding firm belonging to the famous banking dynasty. To improve passenger comfort they decided on richly upholstered tub-chairs then in fashion. With these hand-beaten, tulip-shaped seats and a graceful, pinched-in waist, the 'Roi des Belges' body style caused a sensation when it was unveiled in 1902, and remained in fashion for several years.
Daimler's 'silent supercar' features an almost silent 9.5-liter engine capable of over 75 mph, four-speed transmission with direct drive on both 3rd and 4th gear and an almost noiseless dual chain drive with the chains completely enclosed in cast aluminum cases which protect the chains from road debris and run in clean molasses like grease.
This Daimler is one of the rarest models produced by the Coventry works as the 48 horsepower four-cylinder sleeve valve engine was only produced for the last few months of 1908. Only a few of the large four-cylinder cars were made with this car being one of the earliest models produced and is thought to be the experimental car as the engine is denoted with 'X' in several places. This being the only Bradshaw Family, of England, from 1937 to 1979 and David Ryder Richardson, of England, from 1979 to 1997. Due to their efforts it remained active in VSCC events from the first hill climb in 1937 to countless events and films through 1997.