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
The Dart offered here is the B-Spec or SP250 model and was first delivered to Stratstones in London on 8th May 1961. The current vendor purchased the car in 1990 from Filching Manor (original purchase order can be found in the history file) and undertook a restoration of the mechanics and bodywork. The car was repainted in British Racing Green at this time and as many original parts as possible were kept. The car maintains its original grey leather interior which shows wonderful patina. More recently the car has had over £4,500 spent with new brake callipers fitted, complete exhaust system replaced, radiator core and all rubber pipes replaced; as well as a new hood, tonneau cover and rain cover fitted. The car has been extensively maintained during its current ownership and always stored in a heated garage. Showing 86,000 miles from new, which is believed to be correct, this car is said to be very sound mechanically, with a strong engine showing good compression. There is also a hardtop with chrome fittings which is in need of re-trimming but retains the original rear glass. The car comes complete with extensive history file, maintenance manual, jack and wheel brace, as well as UK V5C registration and current MOT. This car comes from the private collection of a discerning collector and enthusiast, which can be seen in the care taken with this car. A great opportunity to own a very rare, usable and appreciating car.