Senior Specialist, Head of Department, UK
One M H Daley of Charles City, Iowa was the man responsible for this obscure and short-lived make, which has one of the shortest entries in The Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile. According to the latter, Daley was a maker of disc and lever harrows for agricultural use, who also harboured ambitions to become a motor manufacturer. 'In 1895 he built a very light 2-seater weighing only 195 pounds (88kg) and powered first by a rotary engine and then a more conventional 2-cylinder unit. The front wheels were held in bicycle-type forks, and could rise up to 12in (305mm) on uneven ground. He announced production in December 1895, the cars to sell at $500 each, but he built no more than six. In 1898 he informed The Horseless Age that he was "still at it" and may have made one or two more cars, but his main business was farm equipment.'
Both the rotary engine and the conventional 700cc twin-cylinder unit that superseded it were designed by Daley, who is quoted in the Standard Catalog of American Cars as stating that the latter's advantage over a single was that 'one explodes while the other is compressing, giving an explosion every revolution, whether little or much power is used.' Fuel consumption of 100 miles per gallon was claimed.
The twin-cylinder Daley quadricycle offered here is the sole survivor of the marque. Previously owned by John Barker, for whom Bill Ellam carried out work on the engine, it has participated in several London-Brighton Runs, the last occasion being some 20 years ago, and is an early starter. After spending some time in a museum collection it was acquired circa 15 years ago by the current vendor and since acquisition has been carefully stored but not used. Believed never to have been restored, this unique vehicle is offered with VCC Dating Certificate and various videos recording its participation in the London-Brighton Run. Thorough re-commissioning will be required before it returns to the road.
Whilst in his ownership John Barker carried out all mechanical work on this car himself and not Bill Ellam.
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