Buy Win­ston’s ride


SIR Win­ston Churchill’s car is go­ing un­der the ham­mer.

The 1939 Daim­ler DB18 Drop­head Coupe was used by the Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter dur­ing the 1944 and 1949 elec­tion cam­paigns and is ex­pected to fetch up to $400,000 at auc­tion at Brook­lands on De­cem­ber 4.

World War II in­ter­rupted pro­duc­tion and only eight of the pro­posed 23 DB18 Drop­head Coupes, due for 1939, were built.

Four were de­stroyed dur- ing the Blitz, a fifth so badly dam­aged it was scrapped and the where­abouts of two un­known.

Chas­sis 49531 re­mains the only dis­cov­ered sur­viv­ing 1939 model.

Af­ter Churchill, the Daim­ler has been to the US, Ger­many, Bri­tain and was even owned by an Ira­nian Prince for a time.

Ger­man re­storer E. Thiesen of Ham­burg has spent $192,000 restor­ing the car with sil­ver and black coach­work, three-po­si­tion cabri­o­let hood, green leather seats, wooden dash­board and Jaeger in­stru­ments.

Rolling off the pro­duc­tion line in the same year mo­tor rac­ing ceased at Brook­lands, the DB18 was ca­pa­ble of a top speed of 122km/h and hit 0-80km/h in 17.9 sec­onds.

Al­though the DB18 has man­ual trans­mis­sion, the car uses a four-speed Wil­son Pre-se­lec­tor gear­box in tan­dem with the Daim­ler Fluid Fly­wheel, al­low­ing the driver to se­lect the next avail­able gear by hand be­fore us­ing the ‘‘change pedal’’ to shift gears.

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