An unusual departure for a firm more noted for its stately limousines, the SP250 sports car was Daimler’s final fling before its acquisition by Jaguar. Aimed at the North American market and launched in 1959, the SP250 employed a separate ladder-type chassis on which sat controversially styled fibreglass coachwork manufactured by Daimler themselves. Four-wheel disc brakes were an unusual feature at the time but unquestionably the car’s biggest virtue was its magnificent 2.5-litre V8 engine. An outstandingly flexible unit, the smaller of Daimler’s two Edward Turner designed V8s produced 140bhp, an output good enough to propel the SP250 to a top speed of 125mph. In keeping with the demands of its intended market, automatic transmission was available as an option. The model survived Jaguar’s 1960 take-over, benefiting from its new owner’s attention that resulted in the much-improved ‘B’ version. Introduced in April 1961, the SP250 ‘B’ boasted a stiffer chassis and thicker fibreglass coachwork.
This 1961 Dart has been the beneficiary of a “total restoration” over a two year period, and as you can imagine is presented in beautiful condition. During the restoration the chassis and suspension were powder-coated and many smaller items were galvanized. The Daimler was finished to a high standard, with a number of improvements such as the fitting of optional overdrive, servo-assisted braking, and all new weather equipment in mohair. Amazingly never driven after being restored, this is effectively an as-new out of the box Daimler.