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KPS 1st December 2016 07:34

Daimler Tales - 1947 Daimler DB18 Luxury Saloon
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This thread is dedicated to the guardians of a wonderful 1947 Daimler DB18 Luxury Saloon, namely the Late K N Srinivasan, his son and daughter, the Late K S Raman and Ms. K S Manorama respectively. Their passion for this car and its preservation is something to be seen and experienced. The tales of their travels and experiences in this car could keep you awake till next morning, without ebbing one’s interest.

My good fortune in acquiring this treasure has a lot to do with Mr. Sripathi Rao's advice and involvement. He shared a strong intellectual bond with the Late Raman, who was a regular visitor to Mr. Sripathi’s house for discussion and vintage cars. They both worked very closely on the restoration of the 1903 Renault De Dion, with Raman giving all the technical backup.

Many know that Sripathi and I also share a close bond driven by the passion of vintage and classic cars. Along with my father, he has been instrumental in teaching me how to appreciate vintage cars.

Mr. Sripathi’s daughter, DR Latha Tantry is the author of a book on K S Raman – “The Incredible Life of a Viswakarma”, published by Ms. K S Manorama. This book and my discussions with Ms. K S Manorama, has been a significant source of information on the history of the family and the Daimler.

I would like to share the journey of this magnificent car and my fortune on being the current owner.

Daimler DB 18 Luxury Saloon bearing Chassis # DB 50931, Engine # 12376, was produced in the later months of 1947, at Coventry, UK. The first owner was His Highness Maharaja Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar Bahadur, Maharaja of Mysore (18 July 1919 – 23 September 1974), the 25th and last Maharaja of the Princely State of Mysore from 1940 to 1950. K N Srinivasan was His Highness’s collegemate at the Mysore Maharaja's College. It's through this relationship that it is believed that car was acquired by K N Srinivasan, in 1957.

This beautiful painting done by the previous owner, gives you a idea on this wonderful car
Attachment 1581292
picture credit to K S Raman Foundation

K N Srinivasan was an extraordinary person in his own right. After graduating from Maharaja College, Mysore, he joined Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Bangalore in the Engine Department. He was a man of many talents and his passion for flying made him acquire his own plane. After obtaining his “A” License, he acquired a Spinston Sentinel 4-5 LC plane.

K N Srinivasan and his Spinston Sentinel Plane
Attachment 1581286
picture credit to K S Raman Foundation

K N Srinivasan and his wife the Late Rajalakshmi had a huge influence on their children. They instilled a penchant for learning in the kids and exposed them to music, art, photography, books and a love for machines. These influences molded them into multi-talented personalities with a deep respect for knowledge and learning.

Probably the most talented amongst the children was K S Raman. Born on January 14th, 1957, Raman went on to achieve many things in his short life of 45 years, with modesty being his hallmark. After topping National High School, Basavanagudi, he joined engineering with a merit seat at the prestigious Vishveshwaraiah College of Engineering, Bangalore. Being a rank student with a passion for learning, he enrolled for Masters’ Degree in Aero Science from the most prestigious Indian Institute of Science (IISC), Bangalore.

After passing from IISC, he joined National Aerospace Limited. By the time of his untimely death in 2003, Raman had served in NAL for 22 years and his last position was that of Deputy Director. Raman, being inspired by this father, trained to be a pilot at the Government Flight Training School, Jakkur and he emulated his father by flying solo in an Aeronca Super Chief.

With his Private Pilot’s License he also flew the Pushpak and Cessna 152, as pilot in charge.

Raman at Jakkur
Attachment 1581287
picture credit to K S Raman Foundation

Unfortunately, much to the shock and sorrow of all people who knew him, Raman passed away on the morning of July 16th, 2003 leaving behind a shining trail of achievement to inspire the future generation. I feel grateful and immensely proud of acquiring a car that meant so much to this great and humble man.

KPS 1st December 2016 07:38

Re: Daimler Tales - 1947 Daimler DB18 Luxury Saloon
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The multi-talented Raman (1957-2003)

Raman was not only a trained engineer and pilot, but also a sculptor, artist, author, scale-model maker, researcher in automotive history and doll maker. His hobbies included photography, book collection and classical music. What was unique of him was his unflinching desire to be a perfectionist in whatever he did.

Inspired by his father’s sketches, Raman took to painting. Though he did not have any formal training, his keen eye for detail ensured some outstanding works. Raman is credited with more than 40 water colour paintings of vintage cars and aircrafts.

One of his paintings titled 'Himalayan Hunters' depicts a pair of No.20 Squadron's Hunters over the snow clad Himalayan Mountains. This particular piece of art got selected for the 5th Annual Horizons of Flight Aviation Art Exhibition and Competition organized by Simuflite Center in Texas, USA in 1997.

Picture of Himalayan Hunters Painting
Attachment 1581296

Another magnificent painting is 'Gladiator Gale', which was submitted to the Experimental Aircraft Association's Annual Aviation Art competition in 1995. The painting depicts a pair of RAF Gloster Gladiators stationed in Iraq in the late 30's warming up in the morning. This painting was selected for display in EAA's Art competition, and won 'Honorable Mention' award and was displayed in EAA museum for one year.

Picture of Gladiator Gale Painting
Attachment 1581297

Another project Raman was deeply involved in, was the building of "Kitty Hawk" for Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum, (VITM) Bangalore. Celebrating the centenary year of powered flight (1903-2003), he was the team leader for building a full-scale replica of the Wright Brothers' powered plane for the Museum. Raman had worked very hard to build this replica. In fact, he spent his last afternoon at the Museum, working on this model. Unfortunately, he never saw the unveiling on 16th December 2003, having passed away a few months earlier.

I recently visited the Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum and took these pictures of the project.

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There is also a flight simulator, where you could experience flying "Kitty Hawk for Rs. 50!

KPS 1st December 2016 07:44

Re: Daimler Tales - 1947 Daimler DB18 Luxury Saloon
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Raman did some outstanding water colours of vintage cars. He had the rare honour of being the only Indian at that time, to be a member of the World Guild of Motoring Artists. To his credit are paintings on Mercedes, Jaguar, Bentley etc.

Pictures of some of his car paintings
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Bentley racing
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Jaguar on race mode
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Jaguar on the prowl
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Cars and planes was his favourite
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Racing Mercedes is show cased at full speed
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Courtesy K S Raman Foundation

Raman the Model maker started his hobby as a child, with ice-cream spoons. Over the years with experience, he became an extraordinary model maker. He used to describe his method as “scratch building” as all his work was done without using readymade material.

Quoting Raman from an article published in Swagath Magazine (1990-91)
There is nothing ready made that I use. The first stage is acquiring information and drawings of the original car. Sometimes, having hunted locally a vintage car he took pictures from various angles and their measurements. He then used to prepare templates from the scale drawings and make three dimensional patterns. Polystyrene sheets are used for body-building. Some parts are hot-pressed to shape on wood or plastic patterns. Plastic sheets of various thicknesses are used to fabricate the engine and transmission as well as suspension details. Once assembled the cars had to be painstakingly painted.

Some of the masterpieces from Raman includes the model of the original 1907 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost - AX 201. Every piece of this scaled model was done by Raman. Comprising of more than 500 miniature parts, some of which have to be viewed by a magnifying glass. This amazing piece has a transmission brake applied by the foot pedal. Raman carved the steering out of sandal wood to perfection. This scale model was so appreciated that he was invited to the Rolls Royce factory to come and see the actual car!

Raman and his favorite scale model
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One can gauge the size of the model
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The detailing is amazing
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The under chassis show cases the detailing of this project
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Many articles have been written on Raman's model building, like this one by Mr. Manvendra Singh.
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Courtesy K S Raman Foundation

Raman poses in the Daimler with the Rolls model
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Courtesy K S Raman Foundation

KPS 1st December 2016 18:27

Re: Daimler Tales - 1947 Daimler DB18 Luxury Saloon
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Raman, the Daimler and Karnataka Vintage and Classic Car Club (KVCCC).

Raman was introduced to the Daimler as a baby. Being a male child, he seemed to be naturally attracted to this beautiful car.

Seen below is baby Raman at the wheels of what looks like a Morris (probably taken in 1958)
Attachment 1581550
Picture credit K S Raman Foundation

He learned driving in the first year of engineering. He was totally in awe of this car. He ensured that it was maintained in pristine condition. He took care of the car as though it was his own child. The family had strict do's and don'ts around the car. For example, their father had taught them how to close the door gently and this was followed religiously by all.

Though I had seen the car many years back, this is probably the first picture I saw of the car in recent times. This is an old picture probably in the 1980's
Attachment 1581551

Raman’s passion for the Daimler is reflected in this painting. Set in the backdrop of the magnificent Bangalore Palace, the painting showcases the majestic car.
Attachment 1581552
Credit to K S Raman Foundation

The picture captures the Daimler in great detail. The only thing purposefully left out is the right fog light, so as to show case the famous Daimler front grill.

Raman joined KVCCC in 1985. The Club was in its nascent stage, having completed around 5 years since its inception. The now Late Ravi Kumar, Secretary of the Club, was a stalwart of the vintage movement in Bangalore. It was but natural that Raman worked very closely with the Ravi Kumar on various projects. Ravi Kumar wanted the Club to have its own office and library. Ravi Kumar, Raman and Girish Naidu spent lot of their time in research and preparing for the KVCCC library. Unfortunately for the Club, the passing of Ravi Kumar and Raman meant that this remains an unfinished dream.

The Daimler meantime was one of the most appreciated British make, amongst the members' cars. For Raman, the Daimler was an extension of his family. They were very proud of her and were totally committed to preserving the car. Manorama recalls that before washing the car, she had to remove her ring and bangles, lest she scratch the paint! She laughingly tells me that the car does not appreciate criticism! She narrated an incident that occurred one evening when Raman and she went for a drive in the Daimler. They were wondering if the Rolls Royce had better lights. Sure enough, the lights on the Daimler stopped working!

Raman, sister Manorama, niece Rekha and the Daimler were a foursome, in all the Club events. The car was always a magnet and attracted visitors due to the approachability of the owners and originality of the car. Raman was never tired of talking about this car and its history. The Daimler always ensured that this modest family was always in the limelight at Club events.

On TeamBHP, this was the first detail seen on this car, thanks Dominator, Karl posted in 2010
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One of the many KVCCC events
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Raman and Manorama were always there with the Daimler for the Club events
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Once during the display of vintage cars, during the Dassera Festival at Mysore Palace, the royal priest stopped in front of the car and stated that he recognizes the Daimler. This car was used to ferry the Queen to Chamundi Hills, for her to pay obeisance to Goddess Chamundeshwari. Much to the amusement of Raman and Manorama, the priest went on to narrate a few incidences relating to the car.

In the year 1990, the KVCCC Team lead by the wonderful Late Ravi Kumar decided to attend a rally in Hyderabad. Of the 7 cars which went for the rally only one went by road. Raman decided that he would drive the Daimler to Hyderabad. Along with Manorama and young Rekha, he set off to Hyderabad. Halting midway for the night, the family reached well in time for the Rally. In Hyderabad the KVCCC Team was well appreciated and won many awards. The Daimler stood out for its originality.

Seen below is the KVCCC Team posing with their awards
(L-R) Ajit (now late), Raghu (Tonrag), Jai Kumar, Ravi Kumar (now late), Raman (now late), young Rekha, Manorama, Girish and Luke.
Attachment 1581556
The cars in the back ground are MG TC, Jeep, Daimler and the big Austin Landaulette

karlosdeville 2nd December 2016 18:07

Re: Daimler Tales - 1947 Daimler DB18 Luxury Saloon
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Congratulations KPS on having the honour to be a custodian to such a lovely and significant car - besides the car itself being in such beautifully preserved and well maintained condition, the ownership history indeed makes this a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I cannot think of a more fitting home for the Daimler.

Do try and dig up as much automobilia as you can from the family, both related to the Daimler and otherwise, and wish you a great ownership experience with this slide of automotive history. Here is a period ad for what I think is the same model as yours, the Bombay dealer is advertised as Triangular Motors Ltd.

Attachment 1581601

We will all be closely watching the recommissioning process. All the best, happy motoring and now the Daimler Owner's Club can start a Bangalore chapter with at least 3 superb cars!

KPS 3rd December 2016 11:23

Re: Daimler Tales - 1947 Daimler DB18 Luxury Saloon
7 Attachment(s)
K S Manorama the guardian of Raman's legacy.

Raman passed away suddenly on the morning of July 16th, 2003. It was a shock to his friends and admirers. The family was devastated. It was unbelievable that such a kind soul, who never spoke ill of anyone should be snatched away in a matter few minutes, as he left home for office.

Most of us knew that Raman and his sister Manorama shared a very deep bond. It was but natural that the person who was impacted the most was her. Deeply shaken and grieving, she eventually found her balance with the support of her niece Rekha. What upset her most was the lack of sensitivity of people to her sense of loss and bereavement.Many known and unknown people started knocking on her door with some pretext or the other and offered to buy the Daimler. For Manorama, the Daimler represented Raman and all the memories associated with him that she so desperately wanted to keep. Such callousness hurt her so much that she completely shut down and resolved that the Daimler will remain out of the public eye until she could think clearly about the fate of the car. She requested Sripathi to come and prepare the car for long term storage. Sripathi and my father went, jacked the car up and removed water from the radiator. Manorama, then stitched a cloth cover herself and shut the car out from everyone outside the immediate family.

Attachment 1582069

Being used to Raman's movements in the garage, clutter of tools, opening and shutting of the car doors, the deafening silence in the garage was very painful. The car became her salvation in more ways than one. She ensured that the car was cleaned regularly; even the cloth cover was washed twice a year. A well ventilated garage meant a well preserved car in Bangalore weather. Her homage to Raman was reinforced by the care to the car. She referred to the car as her daughter and ensured it was maintained in storage to the best of her ability.

In the mean time Manorama and Rekha started the K S Raman Art Foundation to show case his paintings. With the help of DR. Latha Tantry, they set up a museum to show case his scale models. Manorama also published a book, authored by DR. Latha Tantry on the life of K S Raman. The book "The Incredible Life of a Vishwakarma" was released at a grand function on 24th November, 2014. The book describes Raman's skills and hobbies covering his paintings, sculptures, model making, book writing, doll making, his passion for the Daimler and many articles and pictures.

Attachment 1582076

The creation of the Foundation, setting up the museum and release of the book, ensured that K S Raman would not be forgotten. For Manorama, the only thing not settled was the Daimler. She felt it was time for the car to find a new home. She carefully considered her options. She wished to give the car to someone who would appreciate Raman's involvement with it. She needed to know that the car would always keep Raman's legacy alive. She toyed with the idea of donating the car to a museum both in India or abroad. She checked out some other options before she sought the advice of Sripathi. He pointed to her that this is a historically important car from Karnataka, with a hard-to-find MYB number and most importantly known for its association to Raman. Should the car be sold outside Bangalore, Raman's and the Karnataka connection would eventually fade away. She agreed to his views and sought that the car be sold to someone in Karnataka, who would never forget Raman's association to this car. Sripathi, suggested my name, giving my background and my passion for cars and that I always document history of ownership. Fortunately, she agreed to his suggestion and I was called to meet her and see the car.

My first sight of the car probably after more than 15-20 years. She was in a time warp. The chrome was in unbelievable condition.

Keeping in times, the mandatory selfie
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The condition of the car was amazing and the original chrome was spotless
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She is a beauty. The well ventilated garage is seen and could be accessed through two doors from inside the house.
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Body line was superb
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Not a nut was missing
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We agreed on the terms of sale and I promised to keep the car as best as I could, never forgetting her family's pride and commitment to the car. She then went on to instruct and demonstrate to me how gently I should close the car doors, recollecting the instructions from her father!

I could not have been more happy at this outcome. All of us had achieved our goals, in our own ways. I could not wait to go back home and inform Dad. I was sure he would be thrilled.

Even today, people ask me what did I do right to get this car, considering so many had tried to acquire it. When I think back, I guess it is because we never offered to buy the car. We respected Monorama's right to grieve for her most beloved brother. Even when she found peace and decided to let go of the car, we never jumped the gun. We waited for her to decide when it was appropriate and let her invite us to meet her. Sripathi's presence throughout the transaction was very important in this period.

KPS 4th December 2016 10:19

Re: Daimler Tales - 1947 Daimler DB18 Luxury Saloon
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On the designated day, Sripathi, Dad and I went to pick the car. We had called the flatbed truck at 2 pm. This is would give us ample time to open the garage for the first time in 13 years! Got the car off the jacks, checked the tyres, and prepared the car to be taken out. Since the car has mechanical brakes, we were sure it would not be jammed. Manorama and Rekha had prepared a special South Indian lunch for us. It was really a wonderful experience.

I will let the pictures do the talking

Before we arrived, Manorama had paid respects to the wonderful car, which represented so much to her.
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Symbolically, Rekha opens the garage for the first time since 2003
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Sripathy, yours truely and Dad were watched upon by Manorama, as we carefully open the garage
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First direct sunlight in 13 years
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Sripathi cleans the garage door slide, while we check out the tyre pressure. Since the car was jacked, the tyres were in great shape.
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The inbuilt jacks on each wheel.
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It is amazing that even after the 13 years the jack system was still so free and easy to work with. Rekha unjacks the car under the watchful eyes of Manorama
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She peeps out for the first time
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Sripathi poses next to the car, as Dad takes the wheel.
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Ready to load on to the flatbed
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She is securely loaded
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We cover the car with Manorama's custom stitched cover, to keep prying eyes out!
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A new parking and a new journey for a precious car.
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Safely covered at home
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Now that the car is safely home, she will wait whilst we plan out the next phase of action.

Hope you enjoyed the story so far.



KPS 4th December 2016 10:43

Re: Daimler Tales - 1947 Daimler DB18 Luxury Saloon

Originally Posted by GTO (Post 4102533)
Congrats on the beauty, KPS :).

Thanks GTO. She is indeed a beauty. She checks all the right boxes - Good marque, Ex-Mysore, limited production, very original car with a great history.


Originally Posted by karlosdeville (Post 4102965)
Congratulations KPS on having the honour to be a custodian to such a lovely and significant car - besides the car itself being in such beautifully preserved and well maintained condition, the ownership history indeed makes this a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I cannot think of a more fitting home for the Daimler.

Thanks Karl. I feel honoured.


Originally Posted by karlosdeville (Post 4102965)
Here is a period ad for what I think is the same model as yours, the Bombay dealer is advertised as Triangular Motors Ltd.

Fantastic. Seems to be the same period as my car.


Originally Posted by karlosdeville (Post 4102965)
We will all be closely watching the recommissioning process. All the best, happy motoring and now the Daimler Owner's Club can start a Bangalore chapter with at least 3 superb cars!

In Karnataka, we are fortunate to have three DB18's Saloons, one DB18 Consort, one DE27 and one DE36. Of the 6 cars, 3 cars are Ex-Mysore clap:



ajmat 4th December 2016 18:22

Re: Daimler Tales - 1947 Daimler DB18 Luxury Saloon
Congrats Subbu, I had heard about this car a long time ago from a friend who worked with Raman in NAL. It could not have gone to a better person!

GTO 5th December 2016 11:29

Re: Daimler Tales - 1947 Daimler DB18 Luxury Saloon
Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Classic Car Section. Thanks for sharing!

An outstanding car comes to an outstanding owner clap:clap:. Heartiest congratulations again!

ariesonu 5th December 2016 12:15

Re: Daimler Tales - 1947 Daimler DB18 Luxury Saloon

Originally Posted by KPS (Post 4103545)
A new parking and a new journey for a precious car.
Safely covered at home. Hope you enjoyed the story so far. Cheers KPS

What an amazing car & what an amazing people who took care of her. It is unbelievable that she was hibernating for 13 good years in such an excellent condition. Needless to say that though we are congratulating you but deep down we are extremely JEALOUS of you. :D

Congratulations and looking forward to see her on your famous casual drives.


KartikeyaL 5th December 2016 13:35

Re: Daimler Tales - 1947 Daimler DB18 Luxury Saloon
Congratulations on a great car and an awesome thread.

Have you fired her yet and if so how was it after such a long time ?


srikrishna717 5th December 2016 14:20

Re: Daimler Tales - 1947 Daimler DB18 Luxury Saloon
Congratulations on acquiring a beauty clap:
I really loved the story of the owners, very inspiring family

Automaton 5th December 2016 15:54

Re: Daimler Tales - 1947 Daimler DB18 Luxury Saloon
What an amazing story, and thanks for recounting it all so painstakingly here with appropriate pictures and anecdotes.

Well deserved @KPS, and now along with the selfie of the times, how about a video or two to show us more of the workings of this beauty. I'm sure with you and your father's attention to detail things will only improve for the car and will be out shining in full glory.

Do keep this thread going with work in progress.


vanam 5th December 2016 16:41

Re: Daimler Tales - 1947 Daimler DB18 Luxury Saloon
Congratulations KPS. This car in your hands will do justice to the memories of Mr Raman. KSR to KPS is a good move for this car. Seeing your dedication to restoration and preservation of the Plymouth and the Dodge, am waiting with bated breath to see how this turns out. Please do keep this thread alive with work in progress. While parting with the Dodge must have been hard, it is for a genuine upgrade in car and is testimony to your and your father's mantra of two cars at a time. A great home for a great car. Hat tip to Mr Sripathi for his involvement in the process.

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