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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

July 8: Gawd awful

 Recognize this grille? I've not shown you much, but just enough to pinpoint this classic British (hint, hint) make. Give up? Well don't feel too bad, since there were no prizes, just a quiet confidence in knowing that your car knowledge is rather good, old chap. This is a Daimler grille and the giveaway is that fluted top. This is one of those traditional features that identify the brand and have done so for many years. Think of the BMW kidneys. Now Daimler is long gone, but even up to fairly recent times, when they were rebadged Jaguars, this fluted grille was the key identifier.......


Actually, it was the only way to spot a Daimler, other than stealing one and checking its registration (ok, you could have also checked the name on the back end, but let's not get picky).

My point today? Over the years, Daimler has had some beautiful designs........


.........like this Double Six (12 cylinder) from the '30's or its stablemate seen at the Pebble Beach Concours.......


Absolutely beautiful, but that design was done many, many years ago. More recently in the '50's (more recently? give me a break, Barry), Daimler introduced other stunning designs, such as this Hooper bodied cabriolet, the "Green Goddess"......


But it's red. Yes, it is, but the first one was green, so no matter the shading, the "Green Goddess" name stuck. Oh, those Brits!

Other Daimlers could be seen conveying royalty or members of parliament (check out the old movies)..........


Or this one, which many of you will recognize from wedding processions.......


I remember seeing one being used by the prime minister of Bermuda. A classic design, that still finds its way into official ceremonies, like this one in Sweden in 2011........


Not every dignitary has to be driven in a new Mercedes (just most of them).

Again, what is my point? Ok, here we go......how can a company with all those years of beautiful designs and a history of elegance come up with this monstrosity..........


The early 1960's SP250 (originally the Dart). Just one gawd awful design, that seemed to be a mix of Packard, Studebaker, Chrysler and whatever, badly integrated into this less than stunning design.......


Even a set of wide white walls can't help this poor child. But note the fluted grille. No matter how bad the design, there is Daimler's key identifier. Although, maybe on this model, they should have left it off. Remember that this design was done around the same time as the classic Austin-Healey, the AC (which became the Cobra) and the Jag XKE. Whatever did those Daimler designers have in mind? Someone trying to get back at the company before they resigned?


And no, this is not the British police arresting the SP250 for bad taste, there were about thirty of them put into police service. That awful design could stop a clock, so why not a speeder?

So, I just don't get it. And Daimler was not the only company, that from among the depths of their great classics, a misbegotten car design emerges to shock and gross out the world. How did it ever get past management? If anyone has the answer, there is a comment section below.

Until next time (I hope I didn't put you off of your lunch)........



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