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1955 Daimler Empress Mark IIA by Hooper MkII [DF306]

1955 Daimler Empress MkII [DF306] in A Very British Scandal, Mini-Series, 2021 IMDB Ep. All

Class: Cars, Limousine — Model origin: UK

1955 Daimler Empress Mark IIA by Hooper MkII [DF306]

Position 00:00:20 [*][*][*][*] Vehicle used a lot by a main character or for a long time

Comments about this vehicle


dsl SX

2022-01-06 01:03

Seen extensively across all eps, even early "1947" scenes as Margaret Campbell's car from before she became Duchess through to the end; if the Duke had his own car, it never appears or is mentioned.

Ep1 main and
[Image: 00-20limo.jpg] [Image: 00-20limoclwh666.jpg]

[Image: 00-20limoddaimler.jpg] [Image: 00-20limoe.jpg]

[Image: 00-20limof.jpg] [Image: 00-20limog16yrsearlier.jpg]

[Image: 00-20limoh.jpg] [Image: 00-20limoj.jpg]

[Image: 00-20limok.jpg] [Image: 00-20limom.jpg]

[Image: 00-20limon.jpg] [Image: 00-20limono.jpg]

[Image: 00-20limop.jpg]

Has a quiet time in ep2 ...
[Image: 00-20limoqep2.jpg] [Image: 00-20limor.jpg]

... then a fair bit in ep3
[Image: 00-20limosep3.jpg] [Image: 00-20limot.jpg]

[Image: 00-20limou.jpg] [Image: 00-20limov.jpg]

We've identified this vehicle using the details you provided
Registration number: LWH 666
Body type: Saloon
Colour: Blue
Date of first registration: April 1955
Engine Capacity 3468cc
Mileage 87651 miles

Funny looking thing - seems too short for the styling. Googling the plate to ID the model only found a PistonHeads thread which at various points says it is a "Hooper-bodied Daimler Empress II built on a 3½ litre chassis", a "DB18 Hooper Empress" with their final suggestion being "a DF304 which has a larger engine (3.5) and slightly different chassis than the DB18 (2.5)".

Looks as if real Duchess had something similar in 62/63 for the divorce trial at least

johnfromstaffs EN

2022-01-06 21:08

I am very conscious of not wanting to descend to the level of a guesser, but, on page 50 of S & G, “A - Z of Cars 1945 to 1970” there is a car called a DK400 Regina. A lot of the shapes match well, and the doors are a similar configuration. Were it a Bentley I would have a great deal more confidence (and, perhaps knowledge) with which to back this suggestion, but there you go.

-- Last edit: 2022-01-06 21:11:18

Baube QC

2022-01-06 21:33

DK400 alone gives interesting results on google too... you might consider it as a " guess " but i think you're on something here.. :think:

can't find one exact copy on google but might be some coachbuilder or year matter

-- Last edit: 2022-01-06 21:35:31

johnfromstaffs EN

2022-01-06 21:46

Thank you, we have a Daimler expert here, but he is an irregular rather than habitual commentator. Perhaps he may see this sometime.

dsl SX

2022-01-06 22:09

I'm slightly surprised that googling LWH 666 shows up nothing apart from the PistonHeads thread relating to this programme. To me this looks slightly dumpy and shrunk in the wash, so uneasy with DK400/Regina which was as far as I can gather a big 'un with proportions matching its size, and was a 4½ litre. Of the PH suggestions, DB18 doesn't seem to work as they were 2½ litre and look as if they had simpler bumper. Which leaves Regency II (DF304) and Empress IIA (DF306) as likeliest contenders - not the Empress II (mostly DF302) which seems to be 3-litre and simple bumper, and probably not Empress III (DF308) if Oct 55 launch is correct?? But I don't really understand 1950s Daimlers .....

DVLA says LWH 666 is blue, but DVLA MOT ("Daimler Saloon") says grey, so recent repaint likely, maybe linked to:
Date of last V5C (logbook) issued 12 April 2021 ??

Sunbar UK

2022-01-07 20:20

The best result I can find, based purely on its appearance (and as a non-expert for Daimler) is this 1954 Daimler 3.5-Litre Empress Mark IIA by Hooper on a Regency Chassis DF306. It looks a good match I think

Link to "www.flickr.com"
Link to "www.flickr.com"

But being that precise about LWH 666, it can only be slightly better than a 50:50 guess.

dsl SX

2022-01-08 00:17

Sunbar wrote .... Empress Mark IIA by Hooper on a Regency Chassis DF306 ....

That's similar to where I've tentatively ended up as well. But I'm still confused whether Empress is a model or a body name - so can Empress and Regency both apply together??

johnfromstaffs EN

2022-01-08 08:48

Link to "rmsothebys.com"

Empress used as a descriptor for the style of coachwork. You may see that this car is not a Daimler.


You will see from this that a Regency can have Empress coachwork, ask the Queen Mother!
The above, of course, assumes that both Sothebys and Wikipedia know their stuff, which may, or may not, be the case.

Pages 91 & 92 of “Coachwork on Rolls-Royce and Bentley” by James Taylor refer to Hooper’s “Empress” design, which was originally called the “New Look” when first seen in Earl’s Court in 1949 on Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith chassis #WGC16, and referred to as design #8234.

“It was also built on Daimler chassis up to 1958, and for most of its life was available as a stylish alternative to Hooper’s more conventional designs.” - James Taylor.

So, it seems that “Empress” was the name of the coachwork design, and you could specify it to Hooper’s for use on any appropriate chassis. Bentley Mk VI and R-types were also so bodied, 14 of the former and 39 of the latter to design #s 8282 (two door) and 8294 (four door). A single Touring Limousine to design #8370 was built on a Phantom IV chassis for the Prince Regent of Iraq, and there were other Phantoms with the “Empress” design.

There may be a possibility that either Daimler or Hooper registered “Empress” as a trade mark, but I have not found any evidence of it.

So, pick the bones out of that!

-- Last edit: 2022-01-08 09:33:04

dsl SX

2022-01-08 14:51

My Daimler bible - an Oxfam cheapo written by Brian Smith in 1970s, so comprehensive but dense text - seems fairly solid that Empress was a model name used by Daimler through several evolutions from 1950 until 1958, which matches the idea that there were Empress Mk1 through to Mk3 phases. Each "new" version paralleled an upgrade of the source saloon (starting with DB18 and then going through the DF3xx sequences).

Sunbar wrote .... Empress Mark IIA by Hooper on a Regency Chassis DF306 ....

is the correct description to match its rung on the ladder and probably becomes Empress Mark IIA by Hooper [DF306] in our system, provided that is actually the correct diagnosis for LWH 666 (which I think may well be the case, but not totally confident) and that we can incorporate MkIIA as the A is significant. This would match some (5) listed as Empress Mk.III as the successor DF308 version, alongside a sixth DF308 Regency Sportsman. We do not have an identified DF306 of any type at the moment.

But we have the initial DB18 version listed as 2½ Litre 'Empress' Hooper which seems a different but sensible way of doing it, sitting nicely with the other 2½ Litre versions. So we are mixing nomenclatures as things stand, and in theory we could come across new Empress versions in the future such as the DK400 Regina cited by jfs. "Regency Empress" as used by wiki seems a convenience description rather than a formal title, but might actually be more useful when we confirm exactly what LWH 666 is, and maybe we should then rename the Empress Mk.III quintet as Regency Empress Mk.III ??

My brain hurts now - time for a lie-down with some gentle soothing music.

johnfromstaffs EN

2022-01-08 15:09

^ chosen especially to meet that criterion….


dsl SX

2022-01-08 19:49

^ Well chosen, very soothing. I can only offer something modern in reply.

johnfromstaffs EN

2022-01-08 21:15

I wonder if there might not be some Grainger influence in Glass’s music. He seems to have a Guide from somewhere. Thank you.

johnfromstaffs EN

2022-01-08 22:03

I don’t propose to get into a swapfest of musical tastes with you, since we are obviously miles apart, but I should just ask you to listen to “Colonial Song” about eight minutes in on this. It is the exact recording that I have, made by Grainger himself in the 20s on a Duo-Art roll, and played back on a 1929 Steinway piano. Grainger died in 1961.


I can also tell you that my copy of Everest X-913 is in considerably better nick than theirs!

-- Last edit: 2022-01-08 22:10:56

daimlere20 WL

2022-01-08 22:11

Looks to be chassis no. 91459. The chassis is of type DF306, the coachwork as stated by Hooper & Co, and the model termed an Empress IIA. "Sunbar" spot on.

-- Last edit: 2022-01-08 22:13:14

dsl SX

2022-01-08 22:59

Chassis no. 78939, Engine no. 91459 comes up as this mothballed grey 1955 auctioned in 2014 without registration.

daimlere20 WL

2022-01-09 09:00

I would say that the figures have been transposed. The first of the Regencies dating from 1951 commenced with chassis no. 82,000 (DF300). The 6xxxx, and 7xxxx allocations of chassis numbers were used by the Co. for post-war Lanchester cars, and only a handful of numbers in the 7xxxx series were ever used. I wonder if the Empress was sold without the registration mark and has been subsequently reunited with it, or if the vendor at that time decided to leave the mark on the vehicle?

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