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Homepage. This page: A very smart mid-1930s Daimler cabriolet parked in front of what looks like a new sectional garage.

1934 Daimler 15 Rye cabriolet.

Many old motoring photos turn up, and often a look on the DVLA site shows no record of the car(s) in view, suggesting that the subject had long since been scrapped and turned into a fridge. However better news with this picture of a pre-war Daimler motor-car. A search for AYW 133 confirms that not only is it still in existence, but that it's currently taxed and on the road. The registration date is given as June 1934, the engine capacity as 1939cc (presumably linked to a pre-selector gearbox in the usual Daimler fashion), and the colour as Black. The exact model I'm not sure about - perhaps a Daimler 15 drophead coupe (dhc) or tourer? The spare wheel can just be seen mounted within the n/s/f wing. The AYW registration code was first used, in the London area, in May 1934.
1934 Daimler touring car
The drophead Daimler is shown parked on a driveway, with what looks like a new pre-cast concrete garage in the background, probably dating this photo to the late 1950s or early 1960s at a guess. Certainly the car looks to be in good order given it's age by this time - the tyres appear to have tread, and the hood looks to be in good order. The only possible hint to the car's age is the drooping driver's door handle, not uncommon on cars after a few years of regular use.
With a little luck, the current owner of this pre-war Daimler will chance on this page and be able to provide an update on the car.

More news on this rare pre-war Daimler.

Cedric got in touch early in 2010 - he stumbled across this page whilst perusing various pre-war car photos on the site. Not only does he recognise the model, he owns the actual car shown above and sent in some recent pictures of it.
"I have appreciated a quick dip into your Old Classic Car website on several occasions but recently spent some time going through it more thoroughly, and as the owner of an Austin 7, a Lanchester 10 doctors dhc, and two Daimler 15 convertibles I looked at the DB18 entry and then onto the mentioned Daimler 15 drop head coupe. I was pleasantly surprised to see the Martin Walter Daimler 15 Rye cabriolet, the first time I have seen a period photo of this model in spite of considerable searching, but not only this but to find it is my own car AYW 133 which I have spent the last 5 years restoring from boxes of parts and very rotten and worm eaten body sections (particularly the plywood). The car was being sold off as spare parts as the owner was emigrating.
You requested the present owner to contact you and I am happy to send some current and restoration photos.
Daimler 15 Rye Cabriolet
The restoration was difficult especially as no other Daimler Rye is known to exist, but it is a two door version of the Martin Walter Wingham cabriolet with four doors. Don's Vauxhall 14/6 is one of these and the fact that it came from a lady who worked for Martin Walter probably confirms this - it was a highly successful model for the company and a photo exists in the A to Z of Coachbuilders with many in course of construction in the old Airship hanger at Capel le Ferne near Folkestone in the early 1930s. This body was adapted for several makes of car including Rolls Royce.
The Rye has some unusual features. The main one is the easy to operate fully lined and padded hood. Your picture of my car shows it had at that time a normal British type hood and had a massively enlarged rear window presumably of plastic and not glass. There was no hood material when I bought the car. The design of the original was by Glazer of Germany (who licensed it to MW) and the same as on many Mercedes Benz cars of the 1930s.
Martin Walter bodied Daimler 15hp under restoration
When open, the hood overhangs more at the rear than a normal one so a hinge-down boot lid would be trapped in the open or closed position. Mercedes therefore had a lift up lid, which is awkward, but Martin Walter designed an ingenious wind-out drawer which is cantilevered so that as the boot drawer comes out of the stylish rear (there is no bumper to spoil it) the lid comes up to the vertical. Cases are clamped into the boot by winding the drawer in. A removable handle like a starting handle is used to operate it. The whole thing is rather a nuisance and obviously did not get copied by other coachbuilders.
A look at this pre-war Daimler's hood
The car also sports what must have been early front opening quarterlights. They are fitted to the windscreen and therefore conflict with the doors when getting in and out of the car especially in a narrow garage. I had in mind re-designing the boot and quarterlights but as they are unusual and developing features in car design I decided to live with them.
The car does have the Daimler fluid flywheel and preselecter gear box which makes it lovely to drive (three of my four prewar cars have this system which bears testimony to what I think of the system). One puzzle I had was that the car was taken off the road in 1978 only 500 miles after an engine overhaul. I decided to strip the engine before trying to start it and am glad I did, as the 5/8th inch gudgeon pins were found to be running in 16mm small end bushes - must have been a noisy 500 miles and presumably the overhauler was saying that is would get quieter!! I could not get the right bushes either so had to ream the pistons and replace the gudgeon pins with some 16mm items - in fact Honda motor cycle racing engine units - still nobody can see them. The o.h.v. power unit now runs well and usually raises nice comments on arrival at shows such as "Can't hear the engine".
Thanks so much for getting in touch Cedric, it's unusual to receive an update on a car featured in the vintage photo section so your recent photos are much appreciated.

One of the Daimler's former owners gets in touch.

In May 2010, just a few months after Cedric dropped me a line regarding the car's current status, I received an email from John about the car's earlier life. Amazingly, not only did he run this Daimler in the 1960's, but his father purchased it secondhand prior to WW2. It even survived a near-miss from a passing V1 "Doodlebug", as John now relates...
"I idly googled this vehicle and was astonished to see my old car AYW133. You may wish to pass this info on to the new owner. My father bought the car 2nd hand before the war. It was in the garage of his mother's house in New Malden when it was hit by a V1. Under the war damage scheme I believe that a rebuild by a company in Croydon was carried out, but my father did a lot of work himself, including an extensive engine rebuild in about 1960.
Someone tried to break into the car & broke or damaged the drivers window so that I drove it in the mid 1960's with a permanently open window, wearing scarf & gloves in cold weather. By now the fabric roof had split along the points where the metal pram mechanism rubbed & a replacement covering was fitted by a company in Theale Berks. This made the top weatherproof but the drophead could not be lowered. My father died in 1971. Soon after I was filling the car with petrol but found, when it gushed out of the filler, that a rear bar on the suspension had fractured & the car was sagging on to 1 side. As I was in the army at the time I had to quickly dispose of the car as undriveable. I think I just left it with the car breakers at Binfield Berks, who were next door to the filling station. They no doubt sold it on at a good profit.
Around the same time I also got rid of the 1924 Douglas 350 motorbike my father rebuilt. The petrol tank, although externally smart had rusted through inside. The total loss oil lubrication reservoir, which was at the front of the petrol compartment, was leaking oil into the petrol & lumps of rust were blocking fuel flow to the carburettor. I gave or sold this to the sewage works manager at Bracknell Development Corporation, it is possible he also had the Daimler, I can't remember. If the owner is interested I might be able to scan some pics of AYW133 when we used it as our only family car."
I've put John and Cedric, the Daimler's present owner, in touch with each other, so hopefully more of the car's earlier history can now be recorded. One of John's photos, showing AYW 133 in the early 1950's, is shown below.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
The Daimler in 1952 or thereabouts
Return to Old Motoring Photos Page No. 9. The story of a 2-door Daimler 15 Coupe from 1934 that I bought can be found here.

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