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Lot 672: 1965 Daimler V8 250 Sports Saloon

Collectors' Motor Cars and Motorcycles, Bonhams (3 December 2007)

The Daimler V8 250 is such an assured sports saloon that it seems remarkable that it was created almost by chance. Jaguar�s principal motive in purchasing Coventry neighbours Daimler had been the acquisition of much needed production capacity without the expense of constructing on a distant �green field� site. The fact that the purchase also included Daimler�s splendid, Edward Turner-designed, lightweight V8 engines was entirely incidental from Jaguar�s standpoint, yet would result in the creation of one of the finest sports saloons of the 1960s.
First seen in the rapid, if controversially styled, SP250 sports car, the 2.5-litre version was judged superior to Jaguar�s 2.4-litre XK six, and so the opportunity arose to create an medium sized, upmarket model based on the Mk2 saloon, something Daimler�s leading distributor, Stratstone, had been crying out for. The job was made relatively easy by the V8�s compact nature and the generously sized Jaguar engine bay. (A similar exercise was undertaken with the 4.5-litre unit, which was installed in a Jaguar MkX prototype, but despite the Daimler engine�s superiority the latter was introduced with the 3.8-litre XK six).
Launched in 1962 as the �2�-Litre V8� (later �V8 250�), the new Daimler came with Borg Warner automatic transmission as standard. More refined than the equivalent Jaguar, the Daimler turned out to be a fine performer to boot, its 110mph top speed exceeding that of an overdrive-equipped, 2.4-litre Mk2 by a wide margin. Autocar�s S C H Davis, a former Daimler apprentice, declared �This is not a Jaguar with a Daimler radiator grille and name plate. It can stand on its own.� Not surprisingly, the V8 was soon outselling its Jaguar rival and in due course became the most successful Daimler of all time with more than 17,600 sold up to the end of production in 1969.
A direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, King Hussein of Jordan was proclaimed King on 11th August 1951, following the assassination of his grandfather King Abdullah. An accomplished aviator, motorcyclist and racing driver, King Hussein was educated in England at Harrow and the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.
His love of motoring led him to assemble an eclectic collection of classic cars ranging from a Humber 10 to Alvis, Daimler and Bentley cars via examples of American automobiles. Panthers and Mercedes. Ever since the future King Edward VII ordered his first Daimler early in 1900, the Coventry marque has been a favourite with royalty. In the ensuing century, the British Royal Family has owned more than 100 Daimlers and many of the world�s rulers, from the Kaiser to the King of Siam, have numbered Coventry Daimlers among their state vehicles.
But it was enthusiasm rather than the dignity of office that led his late Majesty King Hussein of Jordan, a discriminating collector of classic cars, to acquire this Daimler V8 250, first registered on 16th June 1965, in 1994. Over the next three years it was completely restored to His Majesty�s exacting specification, with �8,500 being spent with the specialist company Taylormead on paint and bodywork, and a further �20,000 on the engine rebuild and spares, quite apart from expenditure on chromework and interior trim. (Some receipts are available for inspection). The condition of the car reflects this significant expenditure. It is superbly presented in British Racing Green livery with light tan leatherwork and beige carpets, the interior woodwork and veneers being restored to perfection. The already generously equipped Daimler V8 250 is in this case complemented by the optional chromed wire wheels. A Pye radio is fitted. The engine compartment is particularly worthy of note, indicating the attention to detail given to all components during the course of the restoration.
Sadly, King Hussein had less than two years to enjoy this Daimler before his untimely death in 1999.
Since the year 2000 this outstanding car has been the property of two noted connoisseurs of fine motor cars, sharing a stable with other exclusive cars and being meticulously maintained. During this time, and indeed since restoration during King Hussein�s ownership, it has covered fewer than 400 miles and will require careful running in. In June 2005, Stratstone carried out a full service and other works at a cost of �3,215.
The current owner purchased the car at Bonhams� Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale on 22nd June 2007 (Lot 395) and is reluctantly disposing of this �too perfect� vehicle after only a few months ownership. Since purchase �EPM 720C� has been re-commissioned and fully serviced, with all fluids changed, carburettors re-tuned and new spark plugs, ignition points, distributor cap and rotor, etc fitted at a cost of �995.
Quite the best V8 250 that we have seen, this car comes with a registration document recording its distinguished provenance; sundry restoration invoices and expired MoT certificates; original Daimler handbook and workshop manual; current road fund licence; MoT to November 2008 and Swansea V5.

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Motor Cars and Motorcycles
Bonhams, Olympia, London,
Lot Number672
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating0
Registration numberEPM 720C
Chassis numberPIA8552EW
Engine number7A9010
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors