1960 Daimler Dart / SP250
MODEL: Dart / SP250
PRICE: £44,995.00 – ONO
We all love a fizzy engine and it isn’t often you can call a V8 small and fizzy, but Daimler managed to make just that, a beautifully made, balanced and surprisingly punchy little unit which sounds as good as anything you’ll hear with much larger displacement, thanks to the new full stainless steel exhaust system. These wonderful cars were used by the Police in period as they were about the only production car to reach over 120mph, in order to keep up with the new school hot-rods leaving the Ace Café, there wasn’t a lot that would keep up with a Dart / SP250 in their day.
Flick the key and even from a cold start with no choke, this delightful engine starts and eases into one of the smoothest idles ever, let alone for such a great sounding V8, super healthy is the only way to describe it. The bodywork is in lovely all-round order as is the interior. The car has a new Mohair hood and tonneau cover to boot, making every aspect of this car just so. Something you can really be proud of and show with pride.
On the road the car is smooth with rifle-bolt style gear changes, one of the best gearboxes you’re ever likely to encounter and not far off that of the Maserati 3500GT, almost unequalled.
The beautiful throaty roar emitted from the twin exit exhaust must have been a true shock to those around in the 60’s as we Brits are renowned for making great straight sixes, but this delightful revvy little V8 makes such a great sound you’ll never tire of it. The chassis is nicely balanced, the ride and suspension, not too firm and irons out the roads nicely. The steering is standard and besides being a bit of a workout at carpark speeds, as soon as you’re above 5mph it is really nicely weighted and very communicative, instilling a great level of confidence. The brakes are sharp and keep the rapid acceleration in check. Overall, just a delight to look at and drive.
This particular car shows all the of the signs of love and care lavished upon it over the years, with full history and three folders brimming with all of the invoices and correspondence over the past six and a half decades, there’s little wonder the car behaves so well. Having had every component rebuilt at some stage in its life of long-term ownerships, the engine, body, gearbox and the interior all having been addressed with minimal and careful usage since, the body was resprayed in the 1990’s and again in 2006 hence the lovely shine and quality you see today.
Upon arrival at HPC Classics, we assessed the car and have carried out a service, changing the oil, plugs and one throttle linkage rod, besides that it was very hard to find fault with the car, an ideal candidate if you’re looking for a rare fibreglass lightweight British car that has performance to stick with the big names, noise and character that are head and shoulders above.
With strong oil pressure from the first turn of the key, the car runs like a sewing machine using the electronic ignition. In fact, it idles so well, it will make you wonder if it is even turning over. Until you touch the throttle that is! The original steering box is still tight and leaves nothing to the imagination, you know exactly where the car is pointing at all times, such a tight and well put together example really is a delight to behold.
Weighing in at under a ton, it is clear to see why the Police chose these cars, it really is a great car to drive, with very brisk performance for a car of its era, thankfully these cars are finally seeing their values rise too, as they are a very rare and unequalled experience, with quirky styling, engine design and amazing dynamics, with only two previous owners, now must be the time to dip your toe in the water!
TOTAL NUMBER OF PREVIOUS OWNERS: 2
TRANSMISSION: 4 speed manual
Engine: 2548cc V8, 16 overhead valves
Power: 140bhp @ 5800rpm
Torque: 155lb ft @ 3600rpm
0-60 mph: 8.9 Seconds
Top Speed: 124 mph
PRICE: £44,995.00 – Open to sensible offers
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