Three years ago in Express (a UK newspaper), a photo was published of what was believed to be the first ever wedding car. The vehicle (known then as a ‘horseless carriage’) was found in Somerset museum and was an 1898 Daimler Wagonette built by British automaker Daimler between 1898 and 1899. This was a two-cylinder engine with an estimated output of 6.5 horsepower and could reach a very slow top speed of 18 km/h.
The engine interestingly enough did not feature any spark plugs, but instead featured a ‘hot tube’ ignition to ignite the petrol. The vehicle also did not have an accelerator, which meant that the engine ran at a constant revolution speed which was controlled by a governor (fancy word for speed limiter). The power of the engine was transferred through a sliding pinion gearbox which had four forward gears and four reverse gears and drove the car through the rear wheels.
Now traditionally, before the production of the much loved vehicle, the bride and groom would be transported to the wedding in a horse drawn carriage. The bride would ride with the individual who would be giving her away (a father, uncle, mother etc.) whilst the groom would ride with the best man. This would obviously signal the singular journey that each individual would take to the alter before emerging out the church as a married couple who would board the same horse drawn carriage and ride away together. Most of these carriages would either have cans tied to the back, in an effort to scare of bad spirits, or have a baby shoe tied to the back as to promote fertility to the newlywed couple.
Today, this tradition is somewhat continued but mixed up with a range of different traditions and customs ranging from religion to religion. So we decided to come up with what we think are the best wedding cars to arrive in and also depart in with your new bride or husband.
Horse Drawn Carriage
The first known horse drawn carriage/coach dates back to the 15th Century, these carriages/coaches were used to transport people from A to B. The carriage was especially designed for private passenger use and for comfort or elegance. One of the great innovations of the carriage was the invention of the suspended carriage or the chariot branlant, this carriage was suspended by chains as opposed to leather straps as had been believed.
Why the traditional carriage? Well, it’s simply charming and was the first means of transportation used to get to a wedding, unless you preferred walking back then.
1928 Bentley Speed Six
Bentley introduced the regular 6½ and the high-performance Bentley Speed Six which were sports and luxury cars and were based on the Bentley rolling chassis which came into production from 1926 to 1930. In 1928, Bentley introduced the Speed Six which went on to become the most successful racing Bentley, with two (owned by Joel Woolf Barnato) going on to win the Blue Train Race of 1930, which were a series of record-breaking attempts between automobiles and trains in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The Speed Six’s engine produced 180 horsepower at 3500 rpm and had a single-port block, two SU carberattors and a high-performance camshaft.
Why the Bentley Speed Six? It’s obviously the perfect car to arrive at the wedding at in a blaze of glory with your best man. It’s also a very luxurious car that’s perfect to sail into the sunset with.
1963 Aston Martin DB5
Who knew that an Italian and British collaboration would bring about such a glorious masterpiece? The Aston Martin DB5 is a luxurious grand tourer that was designed by Italian coachbuilder, Carrozzeria Touring Supperleggera and released in 1963. The DB5 was an evolution of the DB4 and had an all-aluminium 4 litre engine with a five-speed gearbox and three SU carburettors. The engine produced 282 bhp and had a top speed of 233 km/h. This DB5 also featured in the 1964 James Bond film, Goldfinger.
Why the Aston Martin DB5? Not only is it classically elegant, fast and an easily recognisable car but it also boasts modern day comforts. It has full leather cabin, electric windows, twin fuel tanks (in case of long journeys), reclining seats, wool pile carpets, and chrome wire wheels just to mention a few other features. It’s also a great way to say goodbye to the single life!
1960 Corvette Convertible (C1)
Chevrolet produced probably the most elegant Corvettes as the era of the 1960’s was all about shiny chrome and sleek refined lines. Chevrolet also introduced four headlamps to from the 1958 model and also introduced prominent grills, the most unique pieces of the 1958 models was a faux-louvered hood and chrome trunk spears. In typical American fashion, Chevrolet introduced optional engine choices which included twin carburetors (including a 270 hp (200 kW) model with carter 2613 and 2614 WCFB four-barrels) and two with fuel injection. Power output for the highest rated fuel-injected engine was 290 hp (220 kW). These models came with factory fitted seatbelts as the previous models came with dealer-installed seatbelts.
Why the Corvette Convertible (C1)? It is an American classic and a very rare vehicle to find with the rarest being the 1959 model as it was the only year a turquoise convertible top colour could be ordered. As your marriage is a memory that will be cherished forever, driving this vehicle will be just as cherish able.
1967 Shelby GT500 (aka Eleanor)
The GT500 range was first built in 1967 and was based on the 1967 Mustang Fastback. The Shelby GT500 was made of several fibreglass pieces such as the side intakes and bonnet, probably best of all was that the car came with a mammoth 7.0 litre Cobra Jet V8 engine. Its sleek grey paintwork with two black stripes made it stand out from the rest and in 2000, this car was propelled to global fame in the action film, Gone in 60 Seconds starring Nicholas Cage.
Why the Shelby GT500? I do not think this warrants a reason. It’s Eleanor… and like the DB5, it’s the best way to enjoy the last seconds of your single life.
2015 Rolls-Royce Dawn
Power and elegance in one package that is the Rolls-Royce Dawn which is a convertible 4 seater that comes with a direct-injection twin-turbo 6.6-litre V12 with a power output of 563bhp with a limited top speed of 250 km/h. It is a luxurious and extremely comfortable vehicle and the perfect send off into the sunset and the best way to enjoy your first drive/ride as newlywed couple.
Why the Rolls-Royce Dawn? It’s an exclusive car that is bound to get heads turning and needs no introduction. It also comes in a bespoke orange interior that we must say really looks good.
So, we have been through six options for the perfect wedding car. All that you need to do now is choose which one best suits you and your life partner to be.