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 glassfibre 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 glassfibre coachwork while its ‘C’ replacement, introduced in April 1963, differed only in detail. Sadly, the Jaguar E-Type’s arrival meant the SP250’s days were numbered and production ceased in 1964.
DMY160A is a “B” spec Daimler Dart or SP250 and has undergone a meticulous nut and bolt restoration which includes a complete engine rebuild including pistons, bearings and all new valves and guides to the cylinder heads.
During the restoration, the car has benefited from the mark specialist Robert Grinter’s rear gas telescopic suspension upgrade and the essential rack and pinion steering conversion. There are two 7” electric fans fitted on a thermostat which coupled with the automatic transmission means that the car will be comfortable in the city or on long cruises.
The body has been stripped to the gel coat and has been primed and painted in Jaguar opalescent grey which is very much of the period colour for the Dart, it has a new hood and has been completely trimmed in oxblood leather as can be seen in the photographs. The Edward Turner designed V8 coupled with the Borg Warner automatic gear box will propel the car to 90mph in second gear!
The history of the Dart is interesting, it was purchased new in June 1961 from Stratstone London, (the car still bears the dealer plaque inside the glove box) by a Doctor Derek Ivor Segall a Harley Street Doctor who lived in a fabulously named place “By the Way”, London Road, Stanmore. He ordered the car with all the extras including a very rare automatic transmission and a hard top. It was originally registered with a personal plate which was quite novel in 1961.
Dr. Segall kept the car for 4 years before selling to an Anthony Mitchell who lived in Kensington High Street London who then went to live in Northern Ireland bringing the car with him. The car has been off the road since the early 80’s and has a recorded 63,000 miles which is believed to be accurate.
Selling the car at The Royal Horticultural Halls in Westminster really is bringing the car home and is a great opportunity to own a very rare, usable and appreciating car.
The car comes with a photographic record of the build, a new V5, the original buff log book, a Jaguar heritage certificate and all receipts of the restoration.