At the turn of the 19th century two men, who never met each other, pioneered the invention of the automobile. Each individually driving their own vision of progress, Gottlieb Daimler in Stuttgart and Carl Benz in Mannheim introduced their inventions 1886. It was Daimler that presented his motor carriage; considered the world’s first four-wheeled vehicle. Daimler’s motor carriage was powered by a modified version of the grandfather clock.
Ten years earlier our story takes root in Philadelphia. At the 1876, Philadelphia World Exhibition, William Steinway, makes connections which leads to a meeting with Gottlieb Daimler in the late 1880’s. The result? Steinway secures the contractual right of exclusive representation for the entire Daimler product range in the United States and Canada.
By 1910 through to 1920, Daimler’s were used for royal transport by Great Britain, Germany, Russia, Sweden, Japan, Spain and Greece. The development of the “Silent Knight” engine in 1908 by Daimler caused quite a stir and set the standard until the 1930’s
1912 was a busy year in the United States, William Taft was president and defeated in November 1912 by Woodrow Wilson. Teddy Roosevelt came in second in the election as a 3rd party candidate after surviving an assassination attempt in October (thanks to a folded up speech in his breast pocket.) Roosevelt gave the speech, with the bullet still in him and then went to the hospital.
The year 1912 also saw, New Mexico and Arizona became states, while Alaska became a territory and the RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton England on her maiden voyage for New York City.
The Detroit Tigers went on strike to protest the suspension of Ty Cobb. Detroit’s coaches fielded a team of replacement players so they didn’t have to forfeit a game to the Philadelphia A’s. Detroit lost to Philadelphia by a score of 24-2.
This was the scene that a 30hp 1912 Daimler automobile would have been immersed in. The 1912 lineup of Daimlers would have been affordable only to Aristocrats in a country expanding its borders during an age of invention and industrialization.
Red Horse Motoring Club in Pottstown Pennsylvania is home to a special 1912 Daimler. Daimler’s from 1905-1918 would be considered Edwardian Era. During the Edwardian Era, Daimler licensed and developed the Knight sleeve-valve system. Also during this era Daimler switched from chain to drive shaft, first using conventional gears, and then from 1909, using worm gears.
The 1912 30hp Daimler at Red Horse Motoring Club was in production from 1912-1915 with straight six, 4963 cc and utilized the sleeve-valve system. The 20hp model was the Royal Car to King George V.
However, the model at Red Horse has royalty of its own, Hollywood Royalty. The 1912 30hp Daimler residing at Red Horse Motoring Club was featured in the 1960 Disney film “Pollyanna.” The film was based on a 1913 novel “Pollyanna” by Eleanor H. Porter, placing the timeline square in the era of the 1912 Daimler 30hp.
Red Horse Motoring Club is a private club for auto enthusiasts and working museum fro Automobilia and Petrolia. If you are interested in membership, event rental or public events including Red Horse’s “Pottstown Nights” cruise-in and car show please click here