From Academic Kids

1898 Daimler car in Bristol Industrial Museum, England
1898 Daimler car in Bristol Industrial Museum, England

Confusingly, the name Daimler is used by two completely separate groups of car manufacturers. Both trace back to the German engineer Gottlieb Daimler, who patented an engine design in the late 1800s, built (together with Wilhelm Maybach) the first motorcycle in 1885 and the first 4-wheeled car in 1886. This was the origin of the Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft, (meaning "Daimler Motor Company"), which built cars from the 1890s onwards, and also sold licenses of its designs and patents to others. To avoid confusion and licensing troubles, the name Mercedes was adopted for the cars built by Daimler itself in the early 1900s, while the name Daimler was last used for a German built car in 1908.


In 1924, "Daimler Motor Company" merged with Benz to form the Daimler-Benz car company which built Mercedes-Benz cars and trucks. In 1998 Daimler-Benz took over Chrysler to form DaimlerChrysler.


The UK patent rights to the Gottlieb Daimler's engine were purchased in 1893 by Frederick Simms, who formed a new English company. This took the name of the "Daimler Motor Syndicate". In 1896 Simms and Harry Lawson moved into car production in the city of Coventry as the "Daimler Motor Company". From 1910 it was controlled by the Birmingham BSA company, producing military vehicles as well as cars. The distinguishing mark of the British Daimler was that the radiator cowling shells had a series of scallops on the top edge. Daimler produced a variety of cars, before becoming an upmarket (badge-engineered) version of the Jaguar.

Jaguar (and British Leyland)

In 1960 the Daimler name was sold to Jaguar. In a classic case of badge engineering the name was subsequently used for more luxurious Jaguar models, eg. Daimler Double Six Vanden Plas for a version of the XJ 12. Apart from the badge, these were distinguishable from the Jaguars by the scallops on the top edge of the grille. Less luxuriously, the UK Daimler company was also involved in bus production. In 1968, Jaguar became part of British Leyland, taking Daimler with it. This lasted until 1982.

Missing image
1988 Daimler Double Six

Jaguar (Ford)

In 1989/1990 the Ford Motor Company acquired Jaguar and with it the right to use the Daimler name on a car. In 1992, Daimler stopped producing its model 250 limousine, the only model car it still produced that was not based upon a Jaguar. In 1996 Jaguar produced a "Daimler Century" model to celebrate 100 years of motoring. Despite the potential confusion with DaimlerChrysler, the name was still in use by Jaguar in the early twenty-first century.

See also

External links



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