1961 Daimler Dart SP250 B-Spec

Delightfully presented B-Spec ex-California car, now right-hand drive after a bespoke restoration.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 model was initially named the Dart, however, that was subsequently dropped after the threat of legal action from the American giant, Chrysler who's Dodge division owned the rights to the Dart model name and, from this point onwards, Daimler would appoint the project number, SP250, as its model designation.The SP250 employed a separate ladder-type chassis on which sat controversially-styled fibreglass coachwork moulded 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.Early cars apparently suffered from a degree of ‘chassis flex’ and to address this the 'B-spec' version was fitted with extra chassis outriggers and a strengthening hoop between the A-posts. The later car also benefited from a number of detail improvements including an adjustable steering column.This lovely 'B-spec' example spent its early life in sunny California before returning to the UK in 2013, without engine and gearbox, and was immediately subject to a complete, body-off, photo-documented, five-year, bespoke restoration. It was converted to right-hand drive and fitted with a V8 250 saloon engine and BW35 automatic gearbox.Pretty is an adjective not normally associated with the ‘macho’ lines of the SP250 but, finished in a lush Bentley Verdant Green with a stylish parchment leather interior, the word may well apply to this attractive little Daimler. Other features include a desirable hardtop, figured walnut dashboard, chrome wires and Speedwell mirrors. Our vendor informs us that he’s also fitted a new mohair hood which has never been used. The car is accompanied by a workshop manual (correct engine and gearbox), parts manual, Heritage record and a wiring diagram.In period, the SP250 was regarded as rather quirky and its shape did divide opinion somewhat, however, with the passage of time, its 'futuristic' lines now look just right and the 'Dart' has evolved into a very desirable classic. SpecificationMake: DAIMLERModel: DARTYear: 1961Chassis Number: 100915Registration Number: 998 XVCTransmission: AutoEngine Number: 7A12546Drive Side: Right-hand DriveClick here for more details and images