Lady Docker’s Golden Chariot (Aug, 1956)

I hear that genuine zebra hide upholstery is making a comeback.

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Lady Docker’s Golden Chariot

English milady designed $50,000 car to help cheer up the toiling masses.

BIRMINGHAM Small Arms Co., the owner of the famous Daimler auto works, has among its assets what might be called the world’s most second-hand car. This ivory and gold confection, the only one of its kind, was dreamed up by Britain’s Lady Nora Docker, built to her specifications and forever stamped with her personality. Whoever drives it now will hear people saying, “Look who’s driving Nora’s car!”

How did she lose it ? Not long ago her husband, Sir Bernard Docker, ran into one of those Big Business dramas: the directors of Birmingham Small Arms tossed him out as their chairman and back went the Daimler to BSA. Undaunted, Lady Nora ordered a Bentley Continental, also a plush job.

As for the Daimler’s details—it has an aluminum alloy body and all metal work is gold-plated. The 6-cylinder engine has 167 hp. Roof panel and windshield are of heat-reflecting glass, upholstery is natural zebra hide, carpeting is unnatural nylon fur. Indirect lighting enhances the impression that you’re in a naughty French comedy. All in all, about the lushest piece of transportation since Cleopatra’s Barge—or until Lady Nora designs herself another car plated with platinum.

  1. Michael Patrick says: April 22, 20088:21 am

    Seems to be a common British design to have umbrellas contained within doors. Today’s Rolls Royce has the same arrangement as this 1956 Daimler.

  2. Blurgle says: April 22, 20082:45 pm

    So is she Lady Docker or Lady Nora? Jeez, even back then they didn’t bother to try to get it right.

    Those who don’t like titles should not use them. They shouldn’t go out of their way to use them wrong.

  3. Benzene says: April 22, 20084:37 pm

    The article describes every inch of the pimped ride, but doesn’t say why the car’s World’s Most Secondhand Car. Does she let a different member of the toiling masses borrow it every day?

  4. katey says: April 23, 20088:07 pm

    I think it’s ‘secondhand’ because she wasn’t able to keep it because of her hubby’s job trouble- I think Diamler ended up with it and are trying to sell it.

    I wonder if this thing is still out there, somewhere, or if it ended up junked at some point in the 70s.

    The bar is a nice touch. A bar, and an umbrella holder…. two more things my Chevy Cobalt doesn’t have.

  5. David Bryden says: September 9, 20085:35 am

    The car is now in the Louwman Collection.…

  6. Greg B says: April 22, 20092:00 pm

    Do you have details of the yacht that Lady Docker wanted refurbishing, then refused to pay?
    She must have been a wonderful character..and to think I was in love with Lady Docker’s great niece!..

  7. Christian Marcus Ghisays says: March 4, 20119:12 am

    Hermosa Cove in Jamaica was the holiday home and honeymoon location of the Dockers or so we are lead to beleive. Monroe Flynn Noel Coward Ian Flemming to name a few partied till dawn here they say. The old house is gone know but there are still reminence of stone work and a old pool.Presently the location has been turned into a small hotel you can view it on the owners are looking for a a Daimler from the 1950s to buy also anymore info on the Dockers have found a lot on the can contact me on
    [email protected] or 876 438 3239 thanks

  8. vic parks says: September 20, 201111:25 pm

    “When I were a lad…” it was my understanding that the Dockers flaunted their wealth so much, in very hard times, that it caused considerable resentment from the struggling Working Classes and poor. They appeared to revel in the publicity they sort, (similar to the Kate and Pippa Middletons basking in their acquired limelight?). The mink coats, huge diamonds and lavish cars emphasised the huge gap between the rich and poor.

    Were they not pressured by their peers, in the worried Upper Classes, to adopt a lower profile? Was Lord Docker’s demise as Chair of BSA due to the “gentry’s” fear of possible revolution with the rise of Communism in the East?

    To some extent the parallels are there in contemporary society, with growing resentment of today’s gap between rich and poor. With even more financial austerity forcing down the less well off, should the arrogant rich and affluent be afraid of the incubating anger in the general population? Are the recent riots the tip of an ice-burg and a prelude to things to come?

    Vic Parks (Old, Grassroots Geezer!)

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