Lord Peter’s car is a 12-cylinder (“double-six”) 1927 Daimler four-seater, which (like all his cars) he calls “Mrs Merdle” after a character in Dickens’ Little Dorrit who “hated fuss”.
Daimler Double-Six piston engine was a sleeve-valve V12 engine manufactured by The Daimler Company Limited of Coventry, England between 1926 and 1938 in four different sizes for their flagship cars.
The publication The Autocar reported in April 1927 that the big cars needed no other gears once they were rolling, even climbing a hill. Petrol consumption was not so savage as might have been expected at 10 miles per gallon. “2 to 82 mph in top gear in the highest degree of smoothness and quietness” said The Autocar “. . . fortunate beings will leisurely survey the moving surface of the earth through the windows of their Daimler Double-Sixes as they pass onward in silent dignity”.
They further reported that “when the Double-Six arrives at the door there is no obvious pomp and circumstance. Here is a car that looks clean-cut and aristocratic in its speckless grey paintwork. It is not until one comes close to the car that its great size is realised. The Daimler bonnet is nearly level with the chin of the observer.”