A luxurious Daimler limousine custom designed by the wife of the company’s ex-Chairman went under the hammer in Wales on Saturday – raising an incredible £110,140.
The high price fetched by the vehicle is an ironic end to the story of a limousine which nearly bankrupted Daimler and lead to Sir Bernard Docker losing his job. The vehicle was one of six extravagant limousines designed by Sir Docker’s wife Lady Nora to revive the ‘staid’ image of Daimler in the 1950s. Among other features, the Daimler Stardust boasted such indulgences as a royal blue body covered in sterling silver stars, an interior boasting hand-woven silk and crocodile skin and a mascot modelled on Nora’s own body.
Unfortunately, far from heralding a revival of Daimler the limousine failed to succeed in austere post-war Britain, instead becoming a white elephant that nearly destroying the company for good.
The limousine is typical of the opulent lifestyle led by the Dockers in their home at Glandfyi Castle in Wales. At a time when the rest of the country was struggling under rationing, their silver limousines and wild parties with friends like Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco were a world away from the realities most people were facing. However, their charmed lives all came tumbling down once Sir Docker was discovered to have been using company money to fund his lifestyle, and he was forced to leave the company in disgrace.
The Daimler Stardust was found abandoned in a farm building in Wales near the Docker’s home at Glandyfi Castle in the 1980s and restored before being put up for auction at Bonham’s Goodwood Revival Auction.
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