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One Angry Catfish: 1961 Daimler SP250


This 1961 Daimler SP250 supposedly sat on a repair shop rack for 10 years waiting to be restored. The owner ended up falling ill and passing away before the car could be finished. The brakes and engine are claimed to have been gone through, but we think it is safe to assume that this one is going to need a full restoration. These were very unique sports cars though so it deserves to be saved. The biggest challenge might be getting the Saint Louis based dealer who now owns the cars to let it go for a realistic amount of money. Find it here on eBay. A big thanks goes to Jim S. for the submission!


Prior to the SP250, Daimler Motor Company had primarily focused on luxury cars, but when they did decide to enter the sports car market they wanted to do it with a bang. A fiberglass body was constructed with obvious American design influences and the frame came from the tried and true Triumph TR3.


This Hemi-head 2.5 liter V8 was designed for the Dart (Dodge made them change the name) and Daimler even made it worth the expense by sticking it in one of their luxury cars. It was good for 140 horsepower and was quite cutting edge for the time. Disc brakes were also fitted on all four corners to help this lightweight slowdown after reaching top speeds of over 120 mph! All this may sound bland when compared to today’s automobiles, but you must remember that this sports car was released in 1959.


Jaguar had purchased Daimler by the time this car was produced so it benefits from a stronger frame and a few other small improvements. We appreciate that fact, but the seller’s $22,450 asking price does not seem realistic considering the condition of this car. Values have spiked for these recently though, so maybe we are just behind the curve? They are rare and have become a welcomed entrant at many of the top automotive events today, so it will be interesting to see what this one ultimately goes for.


  1. paul

    Daimler Darts or SP250 are so cool, they look & sound great & I like them in BRG. They were always just a bit out of my range for a toy price wise.

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  2. Carguy

    We have a 1962 at the Classic Car Collection in Kearney, NE. The owner who restored it used to race Fiat Abarths back in the day and said he got passed by a Daimler during a race. That’s when he vowed to own one. He found his sitting in a snowbank in Maine and paid $400 for it 20 some years ago. It is beautifully restored and has changed ownership twice before being gifted to us. A great little car. The advertising brochure we found in the trunk says “Built to go places … FAST.”

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  3. rancho bella

    Did you see the Buy it Now price?
    He needs to stay away from the blue stuff on “Breaking Bad”……he’s gone Tuco

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  4. Dave

    At least he says he will come down on the price ! ! ! LOL….I’m cracking up ….

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  5. John Cargill

    Nice car, needs a lot of work. Price too high, parts availability over here may be a problem.

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  6. Jim Watson

    Sometimes I think too many people watch the auto auctions and then they start asking unrealistic prices for cars that need a total restoration………………………

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  7. scottski

    Always admired the drivetrain… but, the SP250 was almost “French”, to me, in it’s homeliness.

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  8. Robert J

    I love these. There, I said it. But, to give you a sense of perspective, an engineering professor out of Long Island sold one of these with a 454 in it and a ton of impressive custom fabrication to boot – all for $11,000. USD (on EBay). Ready to run and absolutely dialed in from years of high quality tinkering… This price is, well…crack pipe.

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  9. Dolphin Member

    The engine bay is the best looking part of this car.

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  10. rustylink

    You could by a driver for less!

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  11. Horse Radish

    on the bright side of things,

    he is promising FREE delivery right to your door….
    ……for the $21,500 that I would be overpaying that’s the least I would expect

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  12. scottski

    Well… there’s one thing:
    Somebody would shell out $100K at Barrett-Jackson for a hemi.
    In an large-production automobile.
    Money, soon parted, from whomever.

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  13. Don Andreina

    Ugly. A cleaner body was made as a one-off, but William Lyons wanted no rival to the e-type, so he let this go. A 4.5 litre version of the V8 from the Conquest was placed in a Mark 10 and embarrassed the xk original, so Lyons canned that too. Still, Lyons is an absolute hero in my eyes for what he did do.
    Two coupe bodies were commissioned on the SP250 platform by a private customer and ended up being the basis for the Reliant GTE. Much prettier than this catfish.

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  14. Don Andreina

    Maybe drop that GSM body on it. He he he.

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  15. Jamie Wallhauser

    Price guides and auction history for this vehicle are all over the place and in an ideal world,the seller wouldn’t be off the mark given the unique and rare nature of this vehicle. Previous comments on this find are indicative of reality however and many folks just consider this guppy downright ugly. A more realistic price would be about half the asking price and after it’s been on E Bay for a few months (or years) perhaps the seller will reconsider.

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    • paul

      This car has a unique design, when I go to a car show it’s nice to see something different , same same gets a little old, I like it for it’s oddity.

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  16. tom

    did`nt Jay Leno have one that he`s restoring?

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