British Dart: 1963 Daimler SP 250

1963 Daimler Dart Front Corner

Update 7/6/11 – Sold at $44,450!

In the 1960’s Daimler Motor Company’s sales were less than satisfactory. When Edward Turner, who had previously been a motor designer at Triumph, was put in charge of the company he set out to turn the company around by targeting the sports car market. The car that was meant to do this was the Daimler Dart or SP 250, after legal problems with Dodge over the Dart name the company changed it to SP 250. The SP 250 set many firsts for the company, with its sports car styling, fiberglass body, and its new hemi head 2.5L V8. This Dart is currently listed on eBay with a BIN price of $44,450.

1963 Daimler Dart Side

The Dart was a very controversial car for the Daimler Company, receiving considerable criticism for its unique styling. Many critiques felt the rear wings were too pronounced, while others just criticized it because it wasn’t a limousine. Considerable design cues were borrowed from Triumph, including Triumph’s TR3A’s chassis and suspension design.

1963 Daimler Dart Engine

Edward Turner’s engine design for the Dart drew heavily on his knowledge of motor cycle engines and used a hemi head. The engine, while not the most powerful, was more than powerful enough to move the fiberglass bodied car down the road fast enough to keep up with Jaguar’s E-type. The Dart’s engine actually proved too powerful for the initial body and chassis design, so in ’61 the model “B” dart was released with a stiffer body and chassis and in ’63 they released the “C” model with improved trim work.

1963 Daimler Dart Interior

The Dart doesn’t have the most elegant of interiors, but it’s practical and simple. This Dart is in original condition and only has a few problem spots with the paint and interior. This car is either a “B” model car or a “C” model with the bumper removed. It doesn’t have the convertible top, but does include a hardtop that needs refinishing. We really like the styling of the Dart, some might find the styling to be too exaggerated, but it really sets this car apart from other cars of the era. The $44,450 asking price might be a little high for the condition of the car, but the seller might be willing to go a little lower so try making an offer. We wonder which you would rather have the Daimler Dart or the Dodge Dart?

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Comments

  1. Wheezer

    A decade ago, three of us were sitting around the grille at Mid-Ohio discussing the question "Why are some styling efforts universally loved, while others beg the question 'Did anyone realize what this thing looked like before they built one?' " I only mention this because the examples of former and latter that we used for the sake of discussion were the E-Type and the Daimler Dart.I've driven well-sorted SP250s and they're great, far better than the TR chassis would lead one to expect. But they look like a catfish on roller skates.Give me a good Dart GT. Dodge Dart Gt.

  2. Marty

    Neat. Hey that thing have a hemi. LOL

  3. Chris

    In the early 60’s Duncan Black, son of Black & Decker founder, bought and successfully raced a SP 250. Black’s first race was a 12 hour Sebring where he finished 7th in class. He then raced in SCCA Class E but after a dominating SCCA E class National Championship he was moved up two classes to Class C with Corvettes and hot Porsches. However the car was light, around 2000 lbs, and Black also won the Class C SCCA National Championship. They came with a limited slip differential whch really helped Black get all the power down. The car was very reliable and competitive in SCCA regional races into the mid 60’s, but eventually retired and sold. The Black car eventually made it’s way home to England, and was completely restored for vintage racing. I look at SP 250’s as serious sports cars with a great history. I’d like to see one again at a vintage race track like Pittsburgh or Watkins Glen. Look up Duncan Black SP 250 race car for more.

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