1934 Daimler 15 'Rye' Cabriolet by Martin Walter

Make: Daimler
Model: 15 'Rye' Cabriolet by Martin Walter
Year: 1934
Registration Number: AYW 133
Chassis Number: 35675
Engine Number: 62471
MOT Test Expiry: Exempt
Sold For: £11440

Auction Date: 5 December 2013
Lot No: 239

AYW 133 was built on a 1933 D15 Lockheed hydraulic braked chassis with coachwork by Martin Walter in the long vanished WW1 airship hangar at Capel le Ferne near Folkestone in Kent. The vehicle was finished off in the Tontine Street factory, prior to the company’s move to Cheriton, where they became better known for their Utilicon and Dormobile trade names.

Early history indicates that the motor car was parked in its garage in a residential road in New Malden, when a doodlebug exploded on the main residence on 6th November 1940. Photos of the incident are on file. The current owner acquired the car in about 2005 as boxes of bits and set about a five year restoration. Being probably the only ‘Rye’ known to exist, much research was needed to ensure a faithful reproduction of a Martin Walter two door Cabriolet. The company provided many four door bodies for the likes of Vauxhall, but a two door example was rare indeed. In fact it is believed that Martin Walter only built one two door coupe on a Daimler chassis. The Laurence Pomeroy designed 1805cc engine was known to have been rebuilt around 1978, but was running very roughly. A further rebuild by the vendor transformed the motor, which now runs well and is amazingly quiet. Transmission is via fluid flywheel and pre-select gearbox which we are told provides smooth progress.

The original chassis would have been supplied to Martin Walter by Daimler with their own wings and bonnet in steel. From the bulkhead back it was all ash frame and aluminium. The rear is particularly curious. To prevent a large overhang of the folded hood getting in the way of the boot, Martin Walter designed an ingenious wind-out drawer, which is cantilevered so as not to spoil the stylish rear. The lid comes up to the vertical and cases are clamped into the boot by winding the drawer back in. A removable handle is provided. The substantial lined hood is of German Glaser design (originally for Mercedes Benz) but was licensed to Martin Walter.

An interesting motor car indeed. We have only digested a small part of the comprehensive files of history, which accompany this car. There is surely more to learn and we applaud the time and trouble invested not only in the careful restoration, but in the detail contained in these files, inspection of which is highly recommended.

The Daimler comes with a V5C registration certificate and a mass of old MOT test certificates, correspondence and photographs, which are contained in the aforesaid files and fill a large box. Interestingly, the motor car was featured in ‘The Automobile’ in the March 2011 edition; a facsimile of the article is included with the history.