1937 Daimler EL24 Limousine
Coachwork by Charlesworth; one of only 710 made; transferable number; runs and drives but in need of recommissioning; an intriguing slice of Welsh history...
Produced from 1937 to 1939, the EL24 range was based on a Daimler rolling chassis on which various coach builders fitted a variety of body styles from saloons and limousines to fixed-head and drophead coupes. The six-light limousine, as here, was usually bodied by Charlesworth and proved popular with civic dignitaries, giving instant gravitas to many a provincial mayor.
The chassis was of latticework box section construction with a cruciform centre bracing for added torsional stiffness. It also featured a built-in lubrication and jacking system with ‘Gilt-Edge’ safety glass fitted throughout. Power came from a torquey 3.3-litre straight-six rated at 23.8hp with push-rod overhead valves operated by a chain-driven high clearance cam, a 7-bearing crankshaft with a torsional vibration damper, SU carburettor and mechanical petrol pump. Depending on body style, the car had a top speed of around 73mph and 20-25mpg economy.
Transmission was via a four-speed pre-selector gearbox with Daimler fluid-flywheel and direct drive top gear. Suspension was by beam axles with semi-elliptic springs and a pair of radius rods at the front and Luvax shock absorbers. Brakes were Girling mechanical with a Dewandre servo. In all just 710 examples of all body types were made.
CNY 442 was first registered in Glamorgan in May 1937 and nothing is known about its early history although the first owner would almost certainly have been a dignitary of some sort. Notes on file state that the rear of the limousine was cut away during World War Two when it was put to use as a hearse, a role it continued to fulfil into the 1950s while owned by Gays of Barry.
In 1975 the Gays premises were sold for redevelopment and while planning matters were being resolved, the staff and some volunteers kept themselves busy by reinstating the D-back rear bodywork and retrimming the interior. CNY 442 then passed into the hands of a local Cardiff family who have kept it ever since, letters on file from various grateful brides and grooms showing that it was being used as a wedding car in the 1990s.
Although the car starts, runs, drives and stops, it has seen little use over the past few years and will need a degree of recommissioning to make it roadworthy. Kept in dry storage, it appears to be basically sound although the rear right wing is coming adrift slightly and will need repair, as shown in the photos. Two old MOTs imply that it was last in use in 2011/2012, neither ticket showing any advisories. A report by a specialist car valuer dated September 2019 states that it has a value of not less than £8,000 and that its early history would merit further investigation.
The car is ‘presentable’ – with a nice interior – and it is envisaged that a competent enthusiast would have little difficulty in bringing it back to a standard where it could earn its living as a better class of hire car. The original CNY 442 number plate is transferable and no doubt has a value of its own.
Who knows what dramas have played out in the cloistered confines of this stately old limo-cum-hearse? If only cars could talk… An intriguing slice of Welsh history, it needs to be preserved for future generations to enjoy.
For more information contact James on 07970 309907 or email [email protected]
Reg No: CNY422
Chassis Number: 43818
Engine Number: 80672
Engine Size: 3310
Docs: V5C; two old MOTs; notes on history; 2019 valuation letter
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