The Old Daimler

Peter Bassett standing outside the vehicle and me looking out the window.
Brian Cordell

This story was inspired by reading Gloria’s memories of Laindon, how are you, its been a long time.

This memory of Fred Rand and the hearse, it wasn’t an actual hearse, it was an ten seater funeral car, Daimler with a six cylinder sleeve valve engine built about 1930. Ten of us brought it between us, the ten being, Brian Cordell, Vic Mansell, Peter Bassett, Nigel Flashman, Peter Collison, John Rowe, Dave Norton, Mick Riches, Keith Adams and Fred Rand. I think the price paid was £30 shared between us £3 each, Vic had to sell his tape recorder to raise the money. Fred being a very important shareholder as he was the only one who had passed his driving test at the time. Also at this time you could get more than 4 gallons of fuel for a pound. So it was cheap to run when we all chipped in. As I said it was a ten seater so we all had a seat. We went all over the place in her, it was a laugh a minute we went to Mallory Park one time for a motorcycle race meeting. On the return journey driving back down the M1 the radiator sprang a leak, we managed to fix it by sticking a piece of wood in the hole.

Fred did a couple of jobs (funerals) with the old Daimler for a local undertaker, the first time he didn’t have a suitable black overcoat for the job. Anyway as luck would have it, that night before the job Vic and Fred were in Southend on a cold and frosty night, when they spotted under a lamp-post a car with a black overcoat covering the radiator to protect if from the cold. Just what he was looking for, he borrowed it for the job the next day. Fred not being that tall it came down to his ankles, but it did the job.

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  • I remember in 1962 a Daimler Limousine from The Locomotive Pub Halstead, for sale at Wests Garage £50. I drove the car, Wilson box, exhaust cut out, front seats grey leather, divider frosted glass, 2 folding and grey Bedford cord rear seats. The roof leaked, I sealed the panel. I regret now not buying this rare Daimler Limousine in 1962.

    By Gordon Taylor (31/01/2016)
  • Hi Rick. Your dad Peter and Nigel where mates as the rest of us having equal shares in the Old Daimler sadly some are no longer with us your dad and Nigel, we had lot of fun in the old lady, as any one of the old crowd would be able to tell you a story about those times if there is any thing you like know about your dad please get in touch as I new him well we had worked together at one time. All the best to you.

    By Brian Cordell (12/02/2014)
  • Cant believe I just found this post on the internet my dad was Peter Collison and my God Father is Nigel Flashman does anybody remember them 🙂

    By Rick Collison (11/02/2014)
  • Hi another little story about the old Daimler, she being in an episode of Z cars a TV cops and robbers programe that was very popular in the old days. 

    They filmed a scene a round the Fortune of War and the old lady happened to be parked on pub forecourt at the time, her claim to fame she appeared in the back drop as a TV extra.

    By Brian cordell (06/02/2012)
  • We saw that episode. My sister used to get off the bus near the Fortune of War on her way home from work. She came in one evening and told us she’d seen the lights and cameras where an episode of Z Cars was being filmed. Apparently, the wide forecourt was exactly what was needed. We watched each week until that episode was shown. It will be worth watching again if ever repeated.

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (06/02/2012)
  • Richard, this car was a legend amongst us and a true insight into a fun loving lot we all were, the devil may care bit in black and white for all to see. 

    I remember going on a Norfolk Broads holiday in a boat. We arrived in Wroxham to collect the boat and had to leave the Daimler in the boatyard car park, caused quite a stir in the village of Wroxham. 

    This was when I first married Fred’s brother David Rand and had Tony 3 years old. All the lads loved him, he got lots of rides on their bike tanks, no health and safety then. He loved those boys everyone called him ‘Ally Rand’ because he used to collect old aluminium saucepans for pocket money.

    Also the boys that fixed their bikes in my kitchen, gave him bits of odd aluminium to store and run in once a month with the help of his dad. 

    Young Tony also loved you boys, I felt safe whenever he went out with you propped on the petrol tank, so grown up with his dad going to Enefer’s for a pop.

    By Gloria Sewell (03/02/2012)
  • Brian, this car was a legend among us LHR schoolboys in the years just below you. Many is the time we would see it in the LHR boys playground in the evenings when the youth club or Friday night dances were on. I remember one particular night when Freddie Rand did a screaming handbrake turn and nearly tore up the blacktop surfacing. Hardly suitable treatment for such a sedate vehicle which made even Fred Sewells V8 Pilot look small by comparison.

    Thanks for your other photos you have put on the site and for your reply on the notice board about another Laindon superstar gone to heaven Georgie Wager.

    By Richard Haines (02/02/2012)

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