Origin: London, England
Engine: 2.5 Litre Iron-Blade V-8 140 HP
The Daimler SP250 is a sports car built by the Daimler Company from 1959 to 1964. Originally called the “Dart,” but was forced to change it’s name due to the threat of legal action by Chrysler whose Dodge division owned the rights to the model name. With little time to come up with a new model name, Daimer simply used the automobiles project number, SP250 instead. At the 1959 New York Motor Show, the “Dart” was unofficially voted the ugliest car at the show.
Between twenty-six to thirty black SP250s were commissioned by the British Metropolitan Police in London. These sporty vehicles were used by the Traffic Division to catch up with speeders, especially café racers. They found that the Borg-Warner 8 3-speed automatic was ideal for town work and high-speed chases. Law enforcement departments in Bristol, Cambridge, Liverpool, Manchester, Southend, Surrey and even as far as Australia. New Zealand also used this model for police work.
According to a sales committee put together by Daimler, a projection of 1,500 cars was to be sold in the first year, and then 2,000 in each of the second and third years. Also, two-thirds of those figures were expected to be generated from sales in the United States. However, in the models five-year period from 1959 – 1964 only 2,654 were ever manufactured.
The SP 250 has been displayed in many TV shows and motion pictures. “The Saint” television series features the SP 250 and in the opening sequence of the BBC Antiques Roadshow Series 33 incorporates the SP 250. Famous comedian and talk show host Jay Leno also features a 1960, two 1962 and a 1964 Daimler SP 250 in his private collection.