In the early days of motoring innovations quickly followed each other. Building cars under the Mercedes name, Daimler was one of the leading manufacturers in those early years. In 1908 the loud chain drive was replaced by the much quieter propeller shaft. It was first introduced on the 35 hp model, but quickly found it's way onto the smaller 15/20 hp model. This model indication reflected the nominal output and the effective output. In 1909 the naming policy changed and the nominal hp figure was replaced by the fiscal figure, the 15/20 hp was renamed 10/20 hp.
Production of the of the shaft driven 15/20 hp model lasted from 1908 until 1915, dubbed 10/20 hp from 1909 to 1913 and 10/25 hp in the last two years. Little changed to the 2.6 litre four cylinder engine, which consisted of two blocks of two cylinders. On the original model upright valves were fitted, but they were replaced by more modern overhead valves for the production model. As was the tradition in the day the 10/20 hp was delivered as rolling chassis for the many coach builders to body.
Featured is a stunning 10/20 hp from 1912, bodied by Berlin's Erdmann & Rossi. It was delivered to a Polish nobleman, who used it for well over a decade. He sold it to a goldsmith, who used it until 1935. Possibly to safe it from the brutalities of WW II, it was walled-in in a house. After sixty years of hiding, it was discovered by the current owner, who completely restored to its original state. Today is one of the finest examples from the Edwardian era in the world.
It is pictured here at the 2004 European Concours d'Elegance, where it was awarded the 'Best in Class' in price.