Lot 634: 1960 Daimler SP250 Roadster
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 2.5-litre V8 engine. An outstandingly flexible unit, the smaller of Daimler’s two 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 takeover, 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; its ‘C’ replacement, introduced in April 1963 differed only in detail. The Jaguar E-Type’s arrival sounded the death knell for the SP250, which ceased production in 1964.
The vendor acquired this manual transmission SP250 in July 2003. An ‘A’ model, it had already been up-rated by the previous owner to ‘B’ specification by fitting strengthened outriggers, while other modifications include rack-and-pinion steering; chromed wire wheels; stainless-steel exhaust system; and an alloy sports steering wheel. In addition, the interior had been re-trimmed and the tonneau cover renewed. While in the vendors’ care the car has required no work apart from routine maintenance. It is offered fresh from general servicing and is fitted with a new battery. Included with the vehicle are the original steering wheel; bills for work carried out by previous owners and other more recent invoices; reproduction handbook, workshop manual and parts list; old-style continuation logbook; assorted tax discs, MoTs and SORNs; current MoT/road fund licence and Swansea V5/V5C registration documents.
Reportedly fully restored by one of the previous owners, the car remains very presentable and is said to start instantly and run very well. The interior is excellent and looks like new, while the brightwork is generally good and the chassis is in excellent condition. Everything works as it should. All in all, this is a rapid, sporty driver and quite a head turner.
Collectors' Motor Cars and Motorcycles|
Bonhams, Olympia, London,
|Hammer Price (inc premium)||£19550|
|Registration number||633 EFD|
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