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 V8’s 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.
This Daimler SP250 Dart is a very early, first-year production car, supplied new in November 1959 by famous Birmingham motor dealers Reeve & Stedeford. This early model Dart is the eighth right-hand drive example built, just two after the British Motor Show example (100576). This rare car has been in long term ownership with only one previous owner listed on the log book, it comes complete with heritage certificate, workshop manual, original owner’s handbook, and a history file of invoices and previous MOT’s.
This model has been cherished, and this is evident from the factory supplied tan leather interior, which is free from rips or tears. The Ivory Paintwork looks stunning, just recently benefitted from a £5000 repaint that was taken back to the gel coat. The brown convertible cover and the cream tonneau cover both appear in great condition and compliment the paintwork nicely.
Mechanically, the Edward Turner designed 2.5 litre V8 is described as reliable and said to start with no hesitation and idle with ease. This is of no surprise, as the vehicle has had a recent service including a new dynamo and fuel pump. No expense has been spared, with even the wiring loom being replaced in recent years for peace of mind.