Daimler DB18 1947 "Royalty Owned" - What lurks in the various out-buildings, barns and garages of Essex never ceases to amaze us and is one of the joys of being a car lover doing this job. Not just the fantastic cars but their history and their owners themselves. This car is a perfect example of that. Its not every day you open a door on a non-descript pre-fab garage in the back garden of a house in a sleepy Essex village to be greeted with not only a 1947 Daimler DB18 that has been owned by its current owner for 30 plus years but one that was owned and registered from new to "Her Majesty Marie of Yugoslavia"!!
KKJ 333 was registered to her on the 13th of October 1947, she kept it right through to when she died in June 1961. In October of that year ownership transferred to her son "His Royal Highness Prince Andrew of Yugoslavia". Then on the same day (02/10/1961) it was given to and ownership transferred to what is thought to of been her Equerry "Colonel M. Prosen OBE". According to various sources, below are the various titles she was known as. Note: She adopted "Marie" which was her mothers name rather than Maria, when she moved to England.
6 January 1900 8 June 1922: Her Royal Highness Princess Maria of Romania, Princess of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen
8 June 1922 6 January 1929: Her Majesty The Queen of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes
6 January 1929 9 October 1934: Her Majesty The Queen of Yugoslavia
9 October 1934 29 November 1945: Her Majesty Queen Maria of Yugoslavia, The Queen Mother
29 November 1945 22 June 1961 in pretence: Her Majesty Queen Maria of Yugoslavia.
The current owner of the car, himself of "advancing" age, last used it in 2009 when he also MOTd it. Since then it has sat on blocks in his dry garage and has survived miraculously well. To the point that when we offered to collect the car he said "Why? I will pump the tyres up and drive it over!" It is a time warp car, one that has never been restored and looks to be 100% original. Yes the interior now needs some restoration to the leather seats etc but it is 70 years old! The dash is very good as are the roof lining and door cards. It would almost be a shame to do any more than just the bare minimum to the interior, that way saving the originality.
Body work is in its original black finish and very solid, no nasty holes of anything like that, no its not like new its "old" and all the better for it. Not that it wouldnt respond well to a deep polish we are sure.
Mechanically? Well the vendor is driving it to the auction so that speaks volumes but we would still recommend an amount of recommissioning to be on the safe side. He says the 2.5Litre straight 6 engine runs very well and the gearbox selects correctly. Tyres are useable but are getting old. Electrics function.
This really is a bit of Royal History, rare to the point that it is thought to be the only one registered to a Yugoslavian Queen and rare to of survived so well. Value? Who knows with this history? The vendor has set what he feels is a fair reserve and we have valued it accordingly.