• By John F. Chisholm •
My daughter Kimberley is working in New Zealand. She returned for a week’s visit at the end of November. It was delightful to see her. (What father doesn’t delight in his children?) Making her stay at home even more interesting, she brought me the appended photographs of the Royal Visit Daimler. These were taken at the Geraldine Vintage Car and Machinery Museum on the South Island in New Zealand. “It was so cool, Dad. I recognized the rippled grille right away. I knew what the car was before reading the sign.”
Of course that’s what signature grilles are all about, Packard’s stepped radiators, BMW’s infinity symbol and Bugatti’s horseshoe logo. Rolls Royce takes the concept to extremes ― of course ― with its angular expanse of chrome, distinctive emblem and sculpture.
Still, it was with pleasure that I realized my daughter recognizes Daimlers so readily. I’d never drawn specific reference to the grille of my SP-250. Her feat is a tribute to the talents of long-passed artists, designers and automotive engineers.
The one pictured here is a beautiful example.
The Royal Visit Daimler was purpose built for Queen Elizabeth’s visit to New Zealand in 1954. The tag in the museum ― which Kim thoughtfully photographed as well ― describes the manual steering as, “Very heavy” and includes the interesting fact that the headlamps do not dip. After all, this car is fit for The Queen. Of course those lights ― quite properly ― do not dim!
In his spare time, John works on his own Daimler. You can read about his relationship with his antique car here.