TITLE: DAIMLER SP250 "DART" Cars at Auto Lemon - Used Car History Check

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DAIMLER SP250 "DART" CAR

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DAIMLER SP250 "DART" (1959-1964) CAR HISTORY

Car review on DAIMLER SP250 "DART"

The SP250 "Dart" was something completely new for Daimler, a company with no tradition of sports cars. The decision to build it came after a change of management in the late 1950s: Daimler was in trouble and the top brass thought a new sport scar would be a fine way to woo American buyers, just as Jaguar, Triu mph and MG had done before them. Using a chassis and suspension layout hastily copied from the Triu mph TR3, Daimler took the then radical step of adding a glassfibre body, a gawky be-finned affair with a guppy-like grille and pop-eyed lights that found few friends.


Its major redeeming feature was its engine, a 2548cc V-eight producing a sweet 140 bhp. Designed by Daimler's managing director Edward Turner — famed for his Triu mph motorcycle engines — this smooth, torquey free-revving engine with its hemispherical combustion chambers and twin SU carburetors could power the unlovely but fairly light SP250 to 125 mph (201 kph). It's acceleration, 0-60 (96) in 9.5 seconds, was not to be sniffed at either, yet the excellence of the performance and the fine, throaty V-eight seemed somehow at odds with the amateurish, hastily designed body and chassis. The critics said as much, but a--a niche filler between the cheaper TR and MGs and Jaguar's big XK150, the Daimler SP250 did make a certain amount of sense, especially as it would do a regular 25mpg. Four-wheel Dunlop disc brakes meant that it stopped well too, but its handling never earned top ranking as the steering was heavy, the chassis somewhat whippy: early examples (up to 1961) would pop their doors open alarmingly on rough roads. "B" specification SP250s - the Dart name had to be dropped because Dodge held the patent — had a stiffer chassis and bumpers as standard, while "C" cars had a few extra luxury touches.


The fate of the SP250 was sealed as early as 1960 when Jaguar took over the ailing Daimler concern to boost its production capacity. Sir William Lyons never liked the Dart, because the styling offended him, but also because it would have been seen as low-level competition for the E-Type. Jaguar made a half-hearted attempt to restyle the car, but it was never really on and Lyons pulled the plug with no regrets in 1964. He was bright enough to see the potential in the SP250's excellent engine, however, and since 1962 had been offering it in a highly successful Daimlerized version of the MkII called the 21/2-litre V-eight.


Today the many flaws of the unhappy Daimler SP250 are seen as endearing and character, and survivors are highly prized.


DAIMLER SP250 "DART"

 

SPECIFICATIONS

 

ENGINE TYPE

V-eight

CAPACITY

2547 cc

POWER

140 bhp

TRANSMISSION

4-speed manual

3-speed auto

TOP SPEED

125 mph (201 km/h)

NUMBER BUILT

2644

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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DAIMLER SP250 "DART" CAR

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TITLE: DAIMLER SP250 "DART" Cars at Auto Lemon - Used Car History Check

Cars Directory: DAIMLER SP250 "DART" Auto, Automobile, Automotive, Car, Cars, Classic, Classic Car, Used Cars, New Cars, Used Car, New Car

Site Description: DAIMLER SP250 "DART" Used Car History reviews and guide on classic and older model cars. Including car designers from Italy and Germany. Learn history of cars from classic, exotic, used, new to prototype model cars.

Cars Topics: DAIMLER SP250 "DART" Classic Cars, Price, Prices, For Sale, Part, Restoration,
Classifieds, Classified ads, pictures, muscle car, picture, and photo , AutoCheck, KELLEY BLUE BOOK, USED CAR HISTORY, VIN number, VIN SEARCH, VIN Check