DE Range

Including DH & DC

Marque Registrar – John Hiscox
(02) 9984 1169(Home)
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Brief History

After the war (1945) Daimler had to revert to domestic motor vehicle building as opposed to all the war effort requirements. As they had done before 1940 they decided to produce a smaller 2.5 litre car and a larger limousine type.

The limousine was in two versions, a 4.1 litre, 6 cylinder and a 5.5 litre,8 cylinder, known respectively as DE27 and DE36, the numbers representing the horsepower rating. The bores were brivadium lined, and as usual the Wilson pre-selector gearbox and fluid flywheel were employed.

Daimler did not build or create the bodies (but see later) as all chassis were contracted out to specialist coachbuilders who were responsible for “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”. Over a period of about seven years to 1952, 205 twenty sevens and 216 thirty sixes were built, the coachbuilders being predominately, Hooper & Co., Barker and Co., Freestone and Webb and Windovers. Charlesworth, Lancefield, Saoutchik, Vanden Plas and Martin & King built a handful, but by far the majority were built by the first four.

Barker had been bought by Hooper in 1938 and then Hooper was absorbed by Daimler (BSA) just after the war, but their coachbuilding at this stage was separate to the car division. The bodies produced could be anything from full formal limousines with electric partition, electric windows, occasional seats or cocktail cabinet, to owner driver saloons. On occasions a landaulette style or an open cabriolet could be supplied if requested by a customer.

The Royal tours of 1947 to South Africa and 1954 to New Zealand and Australia used six DE36’s in each country, being a mixture of limousine, landaulette and cabriolet styles. Of the Australian vehicles only one is still running, another has been burnt out, another wrecked and another in a state of disrepair; the two others are missing.

Apart from the above, the following are known to exist in Australia –


  • one cabriolet by Hooper, not running
  • one limousine by Windovers, not running
  • two limousines by Hooper, both running
  • one cabriolet by Hooper, under restoration (ex NZ Royal tour)


  • two owner driver saloons by Freestone and Webb, both running
  • two owner driver saloons by Windovers, both running
  • one owner driver saloon by Martin & King, under restoration


  • one limousine by Hooper, running

The last mentioned, DH27, was a special order of 50 for Daimler Hire during 1951/2 and was 18ft.9in. in length and weighed almost 3 tons laden. Only one is known to have come to Australia, for the Governor of Tasmania, Lord Rowallan in 1961.

An ambulance version known as DC27 was produced in England, but only one is known to have come to Australia. This was used by Canterbury (N.S.W.) District Ambulance, but after going out of service, was bought by an employee and stripped.