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J & M Classics Daimler Roadster

This review of the J & M Classics Daimler Roadster model appeared in The Diecast Collector magazine. June 2011.

White Metal

Richard Carlson returns to tell us about some of the recent releases from the world of hand built models.

Daimler Roadster

Daimler Sports, from J & M Classics

The latest addition to J & M Classics’ range of Daimler Conquests is the Sports Roadster, a much photographed car in its day but quite an unusual one to see ‘in the flesh’ both then and now.
 
The Sports Roadster was introduced in October 1953 as a 2-seater and was Daimler’s first sports model since 1908.  Based on a design by Lanchester, who Daimler had recently taken over, it was developed to rival Jaguar’s successful XK120 and, perhaps, to give the marque’s staid image a lift in those austere times – this was also the era of the flamboyant ‘Docker Daimler’ motor show cars and of the huge straight-eight ‘Green Goddess’ models which had similar aims in mind.
 
Alloy bodied, the styling of the Roadster was striking, the small tail fins especially so, it shared the 6-cylinder 2443cc engine with the rest of the Conquest range, but this had been modified to increase power from 75 to 100 bhp to deliver a more sporting performance – 100mph and 0-60 in 14.5 seconds – at a price of £1,673.  Handling was very good and the car could cover long distances in comfort.
 
However, performance though good was not a good as the Jaguar XK’s and the lines did not carry the appeal of its rival.
 
In 1955, the Roadster was given a third side-facing rear seat and wind-up windows, and renamed the New Drophead Coupé, replacing the saloon-based Conquest Convertible (also modelled by J & M).  In this form, it was produced until 1957, though just 119 examples were built: 64 Roadsters and 55 Convertibles.  There was no direct immediate successor, but the rather more successful SP 250 came in 1959.
 
The J & M Classics model is a very fine one, with an excellent casting that replicates the unusual lines and stance of the original very well indeed.  All the plated details are there, down to a front mounted badge bar with full complement of badges.
 
The finish is flawless and there is a choice of authentic colours as can be seen in the picture above – Ivory, Red, Light Grey, Powder blue and British Racing Green – with authentic interior and hood colours.  There is also a choice between open and top-up versions.

Daimler Roadster

Interior detail is very fine with correct-pattern seats, a finely-detailed dashboard and steering wheel, complete with column-mounted gear lever and interior door panel fittings.
 
The baseplate carries the usual detail of the chassis members, drivetrain, axles and exhaust system, with the tailpipe extending out under the bumper.
 
A top-class model of an unusual British sports car that previously had only been modelled in crude forms.  It is excellent value for a model of this quality, at around £125, and available from specialist stockists.

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