The famous Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost had a Barker body. Fallen on hard times, in 1938 the company was taken over by Hooper which was swallowed up in 1940 by BSA, hence the Daimler connection.

Like all Daimlers of the era the DSS  has a Wilson preselector gearbox and fluid flywheel. A sort of early attempt at an automatic. There’s no clutch as such, instead a gear change pedal where a clutch pedal would be. The driver selects a gear on the quadrant, column mounted, lever and then lets the change pedal in and out for the selected gear to be engaged. It sounds odd but aficionados love them. I’ll have to get to grips.

Although a resolutely British car, my DSS spent time in New Zealand before coming home to England in 2012 and, in 2014, being painstakingly restored. Since then it appears, she has led a quiet life with just under a thousand miles in a dozen years. The sheaf of MoT certificates show no advisories.

Just how I’ll get on after my initial problem (see Blog 28) I have no idea; I guess it will be either love or hearty dislike – watch this space. The idea is to allow us to travel en famille, whether we ever will, is a moot point. In any event, the Learmonth Jaguar family now has a questionable relative, a Daimler, conceived  and built before the Jaguar takeover in 1960.

1952 Daimler Barker Special Sports

      Above: Good looking top down stance

Left: Nice clean engine bay. Right: Odd rear seat arrangement.    Below Left: Top up; nice two tone paint job. Below Right: Imposing fronal view.

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We didn’t have a four-seater but quite a few cars that seated only two, so I compromised and acquired a three-seater. Knowing my predilection for being just a bit different, I am now the proud owner of a relatively rare 1952 Daimler Barker Special Sports (less than 500 produced). Frankly, there’s nothing ‘sporty’ about the Daimler. Although a substantially aluminium, coach built car, she’s quite heavy (32cwt, 1920 kg) with just 2½ litres of 85 bhp grunt to haul along its occupants and luggage. I think ‘leisurely’ is the term used by commentators of the time.

The British coachbuilder Barker and Company had a long history starting in the early 18th century. In the twenties and thirties they provided bodies for Rolls-Royce, Bentley Daimler, Napier, Packard, Cadillac, Duisenberg and Mercedes.

It’s not been all plain sailing since acquisition. A minor but potentially serious fault in fitting resulted in the throttle sticking open at 2000 revs when first gear was selected and the accelerator depressed. I realised at one that something was very wrong but had no idea what it might be, Fortunately, the problem was spotted and corrected by my old pals at West Hoathly Garage. I’m hoping to put some miles on her in the next few months.

I’ve fitted my customary, plumbed in battery conditioner and ,not without a little difficulty, also fitted a battery cut-out switch.