Model: SP250 Roadster
Transmission: 4-Speed Manual
The Daimler SP250 was first introduced at the 1959 New York Auto Show as a sporty fiberglass-bodied 2+2 with a potent Hemi V8 under the hood. Intended primarily for the US market, it was available in a host of colors with a variety of interesting options. The Hemi V8 was an Edward Turner design and was ultimately one of the reasons for Jaguar enveloping Daimler and nixing the SP250 so as not to compete with its to-be-introduced E-Type. It was originally penned as the Dart, but later changed its name because of Chrysler’s trademark on the name. Daimler built three iterations, each getting better and more comfortable with age, and ultimately 2,645 were built, including 50 black automatic cars for the British Metropolitan Police. The last SP250 rolled off the assembly line in Coventry in 1964 and there was no successor.
This car was purchased in the early 1980s by an English gentleman in Michigan whose intention was to restore the car to its former glory. It was the recipient of a fully documented and very generous restoration that ended in 1988. At this point, it was taken to several judging events including the Midwest Concours d’Elegance in Chicago where it won best in class. It was taken to the Jaguar Club of North America regional meet in Ft. Wayne, Indiana and received a score of 971.40 out of 1000, yielding a 97.14%, which generally equates to top honors at most judged events. He drove the car regularly throughout the 90s and early 2000s and it was in the late 00s that he decided another restoration was in order for the car. This time, the car was taken down to its frame, with pictures to document a full rotisserie job. The car received a fresh set of chrome wire wheels, new weather stripping, rebuilt instrumentation and a rebuild of all worn suspension components with an alignment. The car also received a stainless steel exhaust at this time. It was partially reassembled and was heading to the paint shop when the owner got a job offer to return to the UK. He did so leaving the car mechanically fantastic but in need of a repaint and chrome. Upon arriving here, the car was stripped and finished in Bright Red with all bumpers and bumperettes replaced with stainless steel versions from England, as well as new chrome, gearshift knob and custom convertible top boot, restored steering wheel, and re-detailing of the chassis and polished engine.
The car is now finally complete. As a result of its exclusivity, it will be far less likely to find an SP250 at your local vintage car rally. The car is currently showing 57,831 miles, which we have every reason to believe is original to the chassis. The paint and brightwork are literally like-new and the interior would also make for a wonderful place to find yourself. The motor feels very strong and when accompanied with the stainless steel exhaust sounds rather mean for a tiny British car. Furthermore, nearly everything in the engine bay has a gloss finish that should make for quite the show car. It is a fully functional automobile that should make for an exhilarating Healey or Jaguar alternative.
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