1963 Daimler SP250 ‘Dart’ ***Under Offer - Settlement Pending***
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale a lovely 1963 Daimler SP250. This is a UK delivered, factory right hand drive, early model ‘C’ spec example.
According to the documentation on file, this car was ordered on the 17th April 1963 and delivered on the 23rd or 28th of April (the date is not clear in order book) to Jaguar House (Oxford) Ltd. The exact delivery date and first owner is not known. It is documented that in 1964 the car was registered in Birmingham with the registration number 6798PP. It is understood the car was owned by Allan Lupton in the UK from 1973 through until 1977. It was then sold to Timothy Farr from Hitchin, UK. Farr kept the car for about 7 years before selling it to Tim Jeffrey in 1984. When Jeffrey moved to Australia, he brought the car with him. It arrived on the ship Resolution Bay on the 21st January 1987. At that time the car was still wearing its original colour scheme of green with a beige interior.
Jeffrey intended to restore the car so decided not to register it. He dismantled the car and started working on the chassis. Unfortunately, the purchase of a house and the arrival of children resulted in the project grinding to a halt.
The current owner acquired the car from Jeffrey in June 2005. It was completely disassembled and generally in poor condition. He then embarked on a comprehensive nut and bolt restoration. For most of the work he engaged the services of Sydney Vintage Car Restoration in Crookwell, NSW.
At the start of the restoration, a decision was made to sympathetically upgrade the car to make it a safer and more usable usable classic. A Mazda RX7 gearbox was sourced and installed, the seats were replaced with more modern seats from a Mazda MX5, the steering was upgraded to a rack & pinion set up, the rear shock absorbers were upgraded, the cooling system was upgraded (which included fitting a large aluminium radiator) and electronic ignition was installed. A removable roll bar was also installed. Importantly, a correct, but not the original gearbox and the original seats will accompany the car.
The final decision was to choose the colour to finish the car. As you will see from the photos, the car has been finished in red and the interior trimmed in magnolia leather.
All the work was completed around 2008 and the end result is stunning.
Despite being an older restoration, the car has been used sparingly since and as a result it still presents beautifully. The paint work on the car is vibrant with a high gloss and strong depth of colour. Overall, it is still in very good condition, though there is a small stone chip on the bonnet. Upon closer inspection there are also a few minor imperfections visible in the paint, which are consistent with an older repaint on a fiberglass body. The chrome work on a Daimler SP 250 is a feature and it is all in very good condition. The lights and lenses are also in very good condition with no chips are cracks evident. The glass is likely original and whilst in good condition, there are signs of wear consistent with age. There is some delamination in the lower right corner.
A new soft top was fitted when the car was restored and it has hardly been used if at all. It is an excellent fit and essentially presents like new. There is also an ‘as new’ hood cover that fits snuggly over the soft top when folded down.
The car is fitted with Performance Minilite wheels which are shod with Continental Premium 195/65R15 tyres on all four corners. The tyres are date stamped 4017 (week 40, 2017). The wheels are in excellent condition with no sign of any kurb rash.
The interior of this car has been beautifully upholstered. Everything presents like new and is very well done. The timber steering wheel and Smiths instruments delicately placed in the upholstered dash are a real feature. The brown carpets, which are also in excellent condition are a perfect colour choice to compliment the magnolia upholstery.
Both the engine bay and boot are extremely well presented. The boot has been carpeted identically to the interior of the car and looks to have never been used. In the boot you will find the spare wheel, which is an original steel wheel.
We have a real soft spot for these cars and have been fortunate to sell quite a few of them over the journey. It was immediately obvious that this is a really good car and it was with great anticipation that we were able to take it out for a test drive.
The Mazda MX5 seats are extremely comfortable and supportive. You immediately feel right at home behind the steering wheel. On a warm Spring morning in Brisbane the car did not require the choke to start. The engine burst into life at the first turn of the key and almost immediately settles into a smooth idle. The small V8 in this car produces a great sound that lets you know this car means business. You just know this is going to be a great car to drive! After patiently giving the engine a little bit of time to warm up, you engage first gear and hit the open road. First impressions are good . . . in fact, they are really good! The car feels solid on the road and it handles steers and stops as you would expect. This particular example has disc brakes fitted all around which provides ample stopping power, pulling the car up efficiently and in a straight line. The engine feels strong and the gearbox is smooth with a very precise shift. The Mazda RX7 gearbox really suits the car and the short shift makes it an absolute pleasure to use. During our test drive all the gauges looked to be in working order and all the vital signs were healthy.
Accompanying this car are the original seats, an unrestored hard top, a set of new rubbers for the hard top, a correct but not the original gearbox, the removable roll bar, a good history file, an owner’s manual and a parts manual.
This car is ready for its next owner to use and enjoy.
The Daimler SP250 is very unique, it is quirky and it is very cool! These cars are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts alike. They are also tightly held and cars of this caliber seldom come to the open market.
- UK delivered, factory right-hand drive, ‘matching numbers’
- Presents as a freshly restored car.
- Rare factory hard top (unrestored).
- Beautifully presented car in a stunning colour scheme.
- Ready to show, use and enjoy.
The history of Daimler dates back to the late 1800’s. In 1893 the British businessman Frederick Simms established the Daimler Motor Syndicate Ltd in London, however, at that time the company neither manufactured vehicles nor engines. In 1895, Henry Lawson provided an investment capital and Daimler Motor Syndicate Ltd became British Motor Syndicate Ltd, as a subsidiary of the Great Horseless Carriage Company, a company founded to promote the new vehicle industry and acquire licenses and patents. Next the company acquired the British Daimler and Maybach patents. The following year, on 14th January 1896, Henry Lawson founded the Daimler Motor Company Limited which acquired the rights to the Daimler patents from the British Motor Syndicate Ltd. In 1897 the Daimler Motor Company Ltd. started production in Coventry (UK) making it the oldest British automobile factory.
For the foreseeable future Daimler remained the only automotive brand operating throughout the British Empire. As a side note, Henry Lawson and Frederick Simms also founded the Motor Car Club of Britain in 1895, which held its first London to Brighton car run, the ‘Emancipation Run’ on 14th November 1896. This event is still being held today.
The early years were not easy. The first Daimler engined cars left the factory in March 1897. By mid 1897 Daimler in Germany were in financial difficulty. They began asking for accounts to be settled and refused to send working drawings of their new engine. These financial difficulties led to a reorganisation of the company in 1898 and again in 1904. A new company was founded with a new board of directors which acquired the old company and paid for its debts and wind up costs.
In 1900 Daimler sold its first car to a member of the British Royal family, Edward VII. The car was a 6hp, 2 cylinder, 1527cc fitted with a ‘mail phaeton’ body. When King Edward bought his second Daimler, he granted Daimler a Royal Warrant to provide cars to the British monarch, a privilege it kept until the 1950’s.
Like most manufacturing companies, Daimler was significantly impacted by both the first and second World Wars. In 1937 Daimler introduced new saloons with a fresh new design. These cars were quite successful and they continued to produce limousines for the royal families of Europe as well as various embassies and consulates. The public however slowly started to turn away from Daimler. Its cars were perceived as boring and expensive compared to some of the other manufacturers like Jaguar for example which seemed to know exactly what the public wanted. Daimler continued to struggle through difficult times right through until the late 1950’s
As a last attempt to save the company, Daimler decided they needed something different. They had many talented engineers, one of them being the group automotive managing director, Edward Turner. He, together with Jack Wickes, were given the task to come up with a radical new design. In addition to designing a new car they ended up designing two legendary new V8 engines, a 2.5 litre and a 4.5 litre. The latter was used in the Daimler Majestic and called the Majestic Major, which was an interesting car in its own right. The second smaller engine was to be used in an all new Daimler V8 sports car.
Daimler’s new sports car made its world debut at the International Automobile Exhibition in New York on 4th April 1959. The car was christened the ‘Dart’, however, Chrysler objected to Daimler using the name as they had previously registered this name for one of their own cars. Daimler then decided on a new name and in line with the company tradition, named their car the SP250. Surprisingly its new car was built with an all fiberglass body. The Daimler SP250 was built from 1959 until 1964 and a total of 2,654 cars were built. As it turned out, the SP250 became the last car produced by Daimler before the company was acquired by Jaguar.
- Daimler SP250 'Dart'
- 5,044 miles