1932 Daimler 40/50 Double Six Sport Saloon

The long hood is a bit like a padded medieval codpiece

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This 1932 Daimler Double Six 40/50 Sport Saloon is, without question, one of the most imposing automobiles ever constructed by the legendary British marque-or any maker of exclusive luxury vehicles. While only 26 Double Sixes were built over a decade, the vast majority had a smaller displacement and short chassis. Among this rarified group, this 1932 Daimler Double Six stands out. It is a second-generation, long-wheelbase example fitted with the revised 40/50 engine that allows for a top speed in excess of 80 mph.

The extravagant sport saloon was designed by Captain H.R. Owen. He is most famous for his creation of Gurney Nutting’s three-position Sedanca, and was one of the premier Rolls-Royce and Bentley dealers. Upon completion of the chassis, Owen’s design was realized by Martin Walter Ltd., which had gained a reputation for building high quality, prestige bodies for Britain’s luxury marques.

Soon after delivery, this Daimler Double Six was shown by its original owner, Mr. A. Webber, at the 1932 Eastbourne Concours d’Elegance, where it received the Premiere Award, the equivalent of Best of Show.

After steady use by its original owner, the car was sold to the Isle of Man, where it remained for several decades. At some point, that owner removed the complex Double Six engine and replaced it with a Buick straight-8; however, the integrity of the chassis had not been compromised and the original engine remained with the car.

The car and the original engine were later purchased by a U.S. collector and brought to the United States. After being returned to its original configuration, the car made its debut at the 1999 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and was awarded Best of Show.

Today, this 1932 Double Six Sport remains show worthy in every respect. The intricately detailed Double Six has been carefully maintained since restoration; the stunning black paint is outstanding throughout, and the interior shows not even a hint of use. All the details are stunning and deserve careful examination, as the car abounds with fascinating features. It is one of the ultimate automotive statements and is one of only a handful of cars ever to receive Best of Show at Pebble Beach, placing it in exclusive company.

Simon Kidston

Simon Kidston - SCM Editor at Large

Simon is from an old British motor-racing family. He started his career at Coys, leaving to co-found Bonhams Europe in Geneva. Over the next decade, he staged high-profile auctions around the world, branching out on his own in 2006 to found Kidston SA, a consultancy responsible for some of the larger deals you rarely hear about. Simon also judges at Pebble Beach and is “the voice” of the Villa d’Este Concours and the Mille Miglia.

Posted in English