1968 Daimler V8 250 Sports Sedan
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 reorganization 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 monarchy, 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. 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. As it turned out, the SP250 became the last car produced by Daimler before the company was acquired by Jaguar.
Daimler had left the medium sized saloon market in 1957 when it ended production of the Conquest. Daimler was acquired by Jaguar in 1960 and pressed by one of their biggest dealers decided to develop a ‘new’ car using the bodyshell of the Jaguar MK2 and the engine from the SP250. The Daimler 2.5 V8 was born and it was essentially an ‘upmarket’ Jaguar Mk2. The car was first launched in 1962. In October 1967 the car received a few minor upgrades and was renamed Daimler V8 250. According to the Daimler & Lanchester Owner’s Club Daimler built 17,884 2.5 V8’s and V8 250’s (17,157 RHD and 727 LHD) from October 1962 to July 1969. It is unknown exactly how many Daimler V8 250’s were built, however, it is understood that it was fewer than 5,000 cars from July 1967 to July 1969.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale an Australian delivered, factory right hand drive Daimler V8 250 Automatic.
The Jaguar Heritage Certificate on file confirms this ‘matching numbers’ example was dispatched from the Jaguar factory in the UK on 12th March 1968 and was delivered new to Brysons, Sydney. The car’s original colour scheme was ‘opalescent maroon’ with a beige interior. Interestingly, the car was delivered by Bryson Industries Limited, Melbourne and it was first registered as KCK 250 in Victoria on the 10th December 1968. It is understood the car was used as a Bryson’s corporate car before it was sold to Mr Ernest Petherbridge on the 15th of September 1969, who at that time was the managing director of Sidchrome Australia. Mr Petherbridge is therefore noted as the first owner in the original periodic maintenance book.
Mr Petherbridge retired from Sidchrome Australia in 1970 and moved to Noosa, Queensland, where he established his own business, Noosa Auto(motive) & Marine Pty Ltd, which serviced cars and boats in the area. The Petherbridges later retired in the region and around 1989 the car was sold to its next owners Mr Ian Lynch and Mrs Sandra Lynch, who were passionate Jaguar and Daimler enthusiast as well as member of the Jaguar Drivers Club of Queensland. Shortly thereafter, Mr Lynch decided to start restoring the car and commence what turned out to be a 30 year project!
The Daimler was a well used car, but it was still in very good condition. Mr Lynch was an aviation engineer by profession and had restored a number of cars over the years. He wanted to restore this car perfectly and the body stripped to bare metal. Lots of new parts were sourced through the Daimler and Lanchester Spare Parts Club in New Zealand. Progress was slow and it wasn’t until 2012 the car was painted by Rolscar Smash Repairs Pty Ltd in Sumner Park (Brisbane), Queensland at the cost of $22,000. Considerable additional costs were incurred in preparing the car to ensure the panel gaps etc were as good as they could be. New wire wheels and Daimler chrome spinners were purchased from MWS in the UK. The wheels were to be shod with five new period correct Vredestein Sprint Classic tyres acquired from Antique Tyres in West Heidelberg, Victoria. A new wiring harness was ordered from Vintage Wiring Harness in Ringwood, Victoria.
Progress continued, but it was slow and unfortunately Mr Lynch never got to see the finished result of all his hard work as he passed away in 2019. The car was subsequently sold to the current owner who wanted to finish the car to a standard the Lynches would have been proud. There was still quite a bit of work to do, however, with fresh enthusiasm the car started coming together. By 2020 the engine was back in the car, lots of new parts acquired over the years were all fitted and the completely rebuilt 2.5 litre V8 engine was fired up for the first time in 30 years.
There was, however, one big job left to do . . . and that was the interior. Finished in its original colour of ‘opalescent maroon’ the body looked spectacular and the decision was made to redo the interior in its original beige colour to the highest possible standard. A complete trim kit was sourced from Aldridge Trimming in the UK. The owner chose high quality materials, using Connolly leather for the upholstery and Wilton wool carpets throughout. The interior was fitted by respected motor trimmers Annvid Auto Upholsterers in Capalaba (Brisbane), Queensland. As a finishing touch, the front and rear bumper were rechromed by Pacific Plating in Pinkenba (Brisbane), Queensland.
The restoration of this Daimler V8 250 has just been completed, some 32 years after it began! The current owner of the car has recently taken an overseas work posting and made the difficult decision to sell the car. He committed to finish the project started by Mr. Lynch and now achieved that, but he will unfortunately not get to use and enjoy the car. That will be for its lucky next owner.
Not surprisingly, this Daimler V8 250 presents exceptionally well today. Whilst the car was repainted some 10 years ago, the quality of the paint work is magnificent. We think ‘opalescent maroon’ is the absolutely perfect colour for this car and it is complimented beautifully by the chrome work, wire wheels and Daimler wheel spinners. Overall the chrome is in very good condition. It looks as though some of the trim may be original and whilst it is in good condition it is not ‘perfect’. The windscreen surround and a few small pieces of trim show some very light pitting. All of the external trim, including the badges, lights and lenses are in excellent condition. The glass in the car may well be original and it is in good condition, though there are a few light scratches and marks on the windscreen.
The underside of the car has also been fully repainted and rust proofed. A new stainless steel exhaust system was sourced in Germany and is quite frankly a ‘work of art’!
The car has been rebuilt mechanically, including the engine, gearbox, differential, suspension, brakes and more. A wheel alignment and final suspension check was recently completed by Fulcrum Suspension in Stafford (Brisbane), Queensland.
Open the door and you are immediately impressed by the quality and workmanship of the interior. You really could be back at Bryson’s showroom in 1968! The devil is in the detail and you can quickly see the differences between the upmarket ‘luxury’ Daimler and the Jaguar Mk2. The smell draws you in and the reality is that the car is probably better finished than what it would have been back in 1968. There’s not much better than Connolly leather and Wilton wool carpets, oozing quality synonymous with the Daimler brand. The instruments have all been refurbished and along with the stunning timber work and classic steering wheel complete the picture. The headlining is also new and complements the upholstery and the carpets perfectly. A nice touch is that this car still retains a period ‘His Master’s Voice Radio’ which is in working order.
One could sit inside this car and overload the senses all day, but there is also a strong desire to get it out on the road for a test drive!
Once comfortable behind the wheel you turn the ignition on, wait for a few seconds to let the fuel pump do its work, press the starter button and the 2.5 litre V8 engine immediately bursts to life. You can immediately tell this engine hasn’t done many miles. It sounds really good and it almost immediately settles into a smooth idle. With your foot on the brake, move the delicate gear lever on the right hand side of the steering column to select D2. There is only the slightest drop in revs to indicate the car is now ready to go. Take your foot off the brake, gently press the accelerator and the car will just glide forward. It goes about its business in a refined and efficient manner – just as you’d expect. That said the car does have an edge. The automatic gearbox, a Borg Warner type 35 D2/D1 is a three speed and like similar cars of that era takes off in second gear when you select D2. It therefore holds second gear just a tad longer than you’d expect, hence, starting to wind up the V8 engine. That’s when you notice ‘that edge’ as the car has a raspy exhaust note, reminding you that it is a ‘sports saloon’! The V8 engine, whilst only of 2.5 litre capacity, has more than enough power to ensure the car will keep up with modern traffic and engage the driver. The gear changes are smooth and out on the open road this car is an absolute delight to drive. The suspension is firm and the car is incredibly tight. The steering is not power assisted and whilst heavy at parking speeds ii is ‘just perfect’ at cruising speed.
This car has an exceptional history file, including a Jaguar Heritage Certificate, its original book set (the periodic maintenance book has entries through until 20/07/1972 @ mileage 47,147 miles), Spare Parts Catalogue, receipts & photographs of the restoration, tool kit and jack.
Today the odometer reads 00154 miles, which is the mileage travelled since the car was restored.
This Daimler V8 250 has been beautifully restored to a very high standard at great expense. It would be hard to find a better example. Given it has literally just completed a 30+ year restoration there will be some post restoration bugs that appear. We have found a few minor things that need to be addressed, which can be discussed with its new owner.
- Australian, delivered factory RHD example.
- Three owner car.
- Matching numbers and finished in its STUNNING and original colour scheme.
- Beautifully restored to a very high standard over a long period.
- New interior with Connolly leather and Wilton wool carpets.
- Full mechanical restoration, including an engine rebuild.
- Daimler V8 250
- 00,138 miles