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Thread: Daimler Regency (DF304) 1954-1955

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    Feb 2005

    Daimler Regency (DF304) 1954-1955

    The Daimler Regency DF300 series was a luxury car made in Coventry by The Daimler Company Limited between 1951 and 1956. Only 52 examples of the first Regency were made because demand for new cars collapsed just weeks after its introduction. Almost two years later a lengthened more powerful Regency Mark II DF304 was announced but, in turn, it attracted few customers and it was replaced by the very much faster up-rated One-O-Four DF310 announced in October 1955.

    Regency DF304

    The revised Regency DF304 labelled Mark II was announced in October 1954. The new more flowing body was slightly longer with a much longer boot and mudguards and was lower-set. It could now be purchased with a 3-litre or 4-litre engine. Again there was a Hooper version, the Empress IIa and III but now also the Sportsman four-light saloon with coachwork by Mulliners (Birmingham). The (at first only) 4-litre Sportsman with three-piece wrap-around rear window and extra interior luxury features was announced a few days later

    Introductory pricing including tax: 3-litre / 4-litre engine:

    • Regency Mark II saloon: 2,324 / 2,778 with the new Tubeless Tyres fitted as standard equipment
    • Regency Sportsman saloon: 2,650 / 3,104

    The revised chassis was again made of box section steel and was cruciform braced. The side members rose over the rear axle and were not underslung like the Consort. The suspension was independent at the front using coil springs but retained traditional leaf springs and live axle at the rear. Automatic chassis lubrication continued to be fitted, operating "thermostatically every time the engine warm(ed) up", and the propeller-shaft centre bearing was "prepacked with grease" so did not require lubrication. However, the propeller shaft itself was not served by the system and four grease points required "attention every 1,000 miles". Worm and double roller steering was used. The Regency's hybrid Girling hydro-mechanical brakes were upgraded to fully hydraulic during production of the Regency II.


    The British Motor magazine tested a 3468 cc Regency II saloon in 1955 recording a top speed of 82.8 mph (133.3 km/h) and acceleration from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 22.7 seconds and a fuel consumption of 15.7 miles per imperial gallon (18.0 L/100 km; 13.1 mpg-US). The test car cost 2324 including taxes.


    A spacious interior married with "an abundance of polished hardwood, not only for the facia but also for the door cappings, a floor .... covered with thick pile carpet" and the car's driving qualities will have attracted admiration, but purchase tax on cars was high and in 1954 the UK manufacturer-recommended retail price, including tax, for the standard bodied 3-litre Daimler Regency was 2,324. That price included a heater, but customer requiring a radio to be fitted would need to find another 48. In the same year Jaguar's recommended UK retail price for the similarly sized (and very effectively promoted) Mark VII was 1,680. (Jaguar buyers also received the heater included in the price, though they were obliged to find an extra 50 for a radio.) The price differential is probably enough to explain why relatively few Daimler Regencys found buyers but it should be pointed out that the Daimler was a much more substantial and durable product assembled with much greater care than Jaguars of that same day and aimed at quite different customers.


    The Regency Mark II proved little more successful than the first Regency and was superseded in late 1955 by the 3-litre One-O-Four (DF310) which was once again little more than a variant with a more powerful engine. The bigger 4 litre engine went to the new Daimler Regina DF400 or DK400.

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