Floated in 1896 by H. J. Lawson, Daimler of Coventry began production a year later with a 4 hp two-cylinder car based on the Panhard: one of these was the first car to travel from John O'Groats to Land's End. Over the next five years, a complex range of two and four cylinder cars was turned out under the aegis of J. S. Critchley. These were succeeded in 1902 by a three-car line-up designed by Edmund Lewis. One of the first buyers of the new 22 hp model was King Edward VII, whose purchase of a 6 hp in 1900 had marked the start of a long Royal patronage for Daimler. Up to 1908, fours and sixes of 3.3 to 10.4 litres were produced: then Daimler exchanged performance for refinement with the adoption of the Knight sleeve-valve engine. A merger with BSA in 1910 saw some rationalization of the two ranges.
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The post-war range (DB18 2.5 litre and DE27 4.1 litre sixes and 5.5 litre eight) was based on pre-war designs. A 3-litre six appeared in 1950; a four-cylinder variant, used in a new Lanchester 14, was the basis of the 1953 Daimler Conquest. A performance version, the 100 bhp Conquest Century, was current from 1954 to 1958. Also launched in 1953 was the 3 litre Regency, developed through a 3.5 litre version into the 3.8 litre Majestic of 1958, and Majestic Major 4.5 litre of 1960.
In 1960, Jaguar bought Daimler, and the marque thereafter (apart from specialist models like the glass-fibre-bodied SP 250 sports designed by Edward Turner) was largely based on contemporary Jaguar bodies and running gear, though the pre-merger engines were used for a number of years. A V12 Jaguar engine powered Daimler's 1973 Double-Six, while the limousine had a 4.2 litre XK power unit.