On this day in auto history - August 27th

Fri 27th Aug 2021

It was on this day in 1897 that Daimler made history by becoming the first English manufacturer to sell a car to anyone unconnected with the motor trade.

The pioneering Coventry-based manufacturer - founded a year previously by Harry Lawson - delivered one of its prestigious Cranford wagonettes to a Major-General Montgomery of Winchester - the first of numerous non-trade sales it would make that year.

The Major-General - 68 at the time of his purchase - was a founder member of the Automobile Club and it is believed his strong social connections helped Daimler establish an early foothold in high society.

Within four years, Prince Albert - later to come King Edward VII - had purchased a Daimler and, even though there is no evidence he ever learned to drive, he had soon assembled a fleet of Daimlers, enhancing the prestige of the marque massively.

The King issued Daimler with a Royal Warrant to officially provide cars to the British monarchy in 1902, though it lost that privilege in the 1950’s after being supplanted by Rolls-Royce.