Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 4
The World's Most Popular Small Car
Daimler replaced its elderly Consort model with an all new model, the Conquest, in 1953
. The new Conquest had a shorter overall length and consequently Consort and was of a more modern design, finally leaving the pre-war styling cues behind.
The body was a modified version of that used on the earlier Lanchester Fourteen. The whole car appeared to have been developed within four months after Bernard Docker, then MD of BSA, took on the additional responsibility of MD of Daimler in January 1953
The Conquest had a new short stroke six cylinder engine which developed 75bhp from its 2433cc. saloon chassis and running gear had originated in the 1950 Lanchester Fourteen or Leda. Lanchester was a sister subsidiary of Daimler. The Conquest's appearance was identical to the Lanchester apart from the grille.
The Leda, when known as the Fourteen had been coachbuilt of steel on a timber frame but the Leda's body like the Conquest's was all steel The usual Daimler large cruciform chassis had a double wishbone front suspension, with laminated torsion bars, telescopic dampers and a sway bar, while the rear suspension used leaf springs with telescopic dampers.
Other mechanical features included torsion bar suspension
and old-fashioned hydromech brakes, along with automatic chassis lubrication to 21 points, using a pump controlled by exhaust
heat. Cam and peg steering
was used, and Girling hydro-mechanical brakes. (Hydro - mechanical = hydraulic front, mechanical rear brakes.) The cars had an 2,642 mm (104 in) wheelbase.
In January 1955
it was announced that all new Conquests had four inches more leg-space for rear-seat passengers. In addition doors now opened wider and there were "further interior embellishments". Overall the new Daimler had a traditional feel which included
the compulsory wood and leather interior along with the
famous, upright Daimler grille.
The Conquest Roadster
Around the same time that the new Conquest model was released, Daimler also introduced the roadster version. Sharing the same 2433cc six cylinder engine as the heavier sedan, its lighter weight allowed it to attain a top speed in excess of 100mph. Using the traditional Daimler grille, the roadster looked a little awkward compared to the sedan, looking very conventional at front while putting an emphasis at rear on the then fashionable tail fins.
The lighter Roadster was slightly taller geared; while the heavier New Drophead also was slightly lower geared. Other differences to the Conquest saloon included 1⁄2-inch-wider (13 mm) brakes, and steering that was 2½ turns lock-to-lock instead of 3¼. Production of this all alloy bodied sports car continued until 1955
, with a total of 65 manufactured, when it was replaced by a more serious looking Conquest Drophead Coupe. Production numbers indicated left are in the order Conquest 'Sedan', 'Roadster' and 'Drophead Coupe'.