Daimler SP250 Sports Car ‘The Daimler Dart’

STP63147One of Coventry’s oldest established car companies, Daimler, suffered several management and design upheavals during the 1950s, one of which resulted in the birth of the SP250 Sports Car, shown to the public for the first time in April 1959 at the New York Motor Show. The car was officially launched at the Earls Court Motor Show in October 1959.

The chassis was almost a straight copy of the Triumph TR3 layout, as was the gearbox, but there was a longer wheelbase and the Daimler was faster than the Triumph. The body was made of fibre glass as Pressed Steel Limited wanted £100,000 for the dyes to produce a metal body. The moulds for the fibre glass were £10,000. Daimler had experience of fibre glass bodies from their bus operation. At first the build quality was somewhat doubtful but after Daimler were taken over by Jaguar in 1960 matters improved.

STP63148Sales in the USA were never as high as hoped even though an automatic transmission was available as it was, after all, the beginning of the E-type era. Jaguar/Daimler considered a restyle but abandoned it and no further Daimler sports cars were ever built. Production ceased in 1964 after a total production run of 2654 units, which included six prototypes.