Live Auctions

Rare 1964 Daimler SP250 On Craigslist!

There are all kinds of weird items listed on craigslist every day, but this has to be one of the more surprising cars to see listed on craigslist! This 1964 Daimler SP250 is a rare British sports car, add in the low mileage status and rare hardtop, and you have one heck of a special find. While the $9,500 asking price seems like a lot of money given the lack of information and photos, it could be a steal of a deal given what these Hemi powered droptops can go for in decent condition. Special thanks to Bill C for this tip, which you can find here on craigslist in Kansas City, Missouri.

This is one of those finds that I really wish was closer by! I would be going to have a look, simply to check it out. You don’t see these cars very often, the last one I saw was at the Colorado Grand a few years back. Over the 5-year production span, about 2,500 were built. Being one of the last cars built means this one should have a number of improvements that will make it more enjoyable to drive. Not that these cars are unenjoyable, to begin with. The 2.5 liter V8 is a masterpiece, with its hemispherical heads, and produces one of the best exhaust notes out there.

It’s hard to say what all this one is going to need, but if the frame isn’t rusty, the body is free of any major damage and the engine is complete, this could be a great buy! I just can’t help but wonder why it was parked after just 28k miles though? And I wonder where the title went too?

Comments

  1. Coventrycat

    It’s British – that’s why it’s parked at 28k.

    Like 11
  2. Adam T45 Staff

    These little cars always leave me torn. They have a sweet little engine, although it can be a bit highly strung if not treated properly. With a car of this vintage and rarity, I would want to restore it to as close to original as possible. Having said that, I have seen one of these with the front bumper and grille removed. The improvement in the looks was amazing.

    I’m also not sure what the later ones were like, but the early ones had major issues with structural rigidity if driven in anything remotely resembling an enthusiastic manner. I have seen these flex enough to allow the doors to open of their own accord on twisting roads. However, if the car is treated as a nice little weekend cruiser, they are a great little car.

    Like 5
  3. Beatnik Bedouin

    Adam’s comments about a weekend cruiser are spot on.

    The little Hemi V8 is magical, and if kept in tune, offer reasonable performance. The chassis is nothing to write home about, so think of it more like a British interpretation of a ’55-7 T-Bird and less like an MGA, Big Healey or TR2/3.

    Like 4
  4. Karguy James

    I always wanted to pop that little Hemi in a street rod just to have rodders scratching their heads. I would use the 4.5 liter version from the sedan though.

    This car however always reminds me of a catfish or a carp and ungainly and ill proportioned.

    Like 3
    • Roo HUNT

      I would suggest you compare 1964 C speck with same year Corvette , ???

  5. Wayne

    The later models don’t have the “open door” problems. My buddy has 2 of these.
    THIS IS A SCREAMING DEAL!

    Like 9
  6. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    what Wayne said……….

    Like 1
  7. Howard A Member

    I think everybody is just infatuated with the word “Hemi”. This is a sweet motor, but too much for a car like this ( think Cobra) The styling, like it’s cousin, the Sabra, were just a bit too far out there. Fantastic find, rare as hand signals today. My friend in the 70’s, who was the salesperson at the Fiat dealer ( remember the Multipla story?) claimed to have a SP250 being restored, but I never saw it.

    Like 2
    • Gaspumpchas

      Yea Howard the Hemi’s that came out for the pickup trucks 15 yrs ago weren’t really hemis…they had wedge shaped combustion chambers “yeah its a Hemi”–Duh-no it aint. My Honda civic was a hemi- that had hemispherical chambers. No one ever called it a hemi. Amazing that when you attach a name to something it sells whether its real or not. Not trying to offend anyone, just the facts, Maa’m, Just the facts!!

      BTW that SP250 is very cool—

      Like 2
  8. rmward194 Member

    Listing has been deleted by the author.

  9. thehatofpork

    Hendon driving school (for London Police pursuit drivers) used cars exactly like this one through the 60’s. Maybe this is a Hendon veteran.

    Like 2
  10. Hans Roos
  11. Nick Hockman Member

    I was to late this grab this one. Great deal.

    Like 1
  12. Jim22

    This is so weird. I pass one of these on a local road sitting outside of a mechanic shop. I’ve been wondering what it is and thought about taking a picture of it and posting it here to see if anyone knew what it was. And now, someone finds a different one and posts it.

    Like 1
  13. mikec

    I had a 1968 MK2 Daimler Jag version of this motor – brilliantly smooth V8 motor. Sadly caught fire and was a write off.

    Like 1
  14. Wayne

    Jim22,
    Where is it??

    • Jim22

      Wayne,
      South of Albany, NY

      • Gaspumpchas

        that Gentleman in Ravena has a bunch of those Daimlers; if you see him at the shop stop and chat with him Cool guy and longtime friend, his name is steve. Might even sell u one!!

        Cheers

        Like 1
  15. Martin Horrocks

    @Beatnik Bedouin

    I thought that the chassis of these Daimlers was pretty much a copy of the TR3 frame, but agree that the SP250 has no reputation as a sports car, an engine looking for a car. Probably the best ones were in the US, where I believe some were raced in SCCA.

    One of those cars which was wrong from the first. I have never had the slightest desire to find out if they are better than they look. Common sense says they would have to be better than they look.

    Having said all that,this car looks quite interesting in its faded black and hardtop, deserving a good home.

  16. Steve Harding

    Originally they were to be called Dart, until Chrysler stepped in a reminded Daimler that they owned the rights to the Dart name. So then it got the unimaginative name SP.

  17. Chinga-Trailer

    I understand that a major weak point on these is cylinder heads, and they probably haven’t been made in decades. Wasn’t this engine designed by the same man who designed the Triumph Bonneville motorcycle?

  18. Sirpike

    1000+ bhp on a good day , cute little hemi !

  19. Wayne

    I never heard that the heads were a problem. It was (I heard) designed by the same guy that designed the Arieal (sp?) Square Four. (Saw one last week and it was cool looking!) The Daimler 2.5 is an interesting design. The oddest thing is that the push rods are almost horizontal. (since the camshaft is mounted up high in the block) The second odd thing is the rear main “SEAL?” It is 2 or 3 steel rings like piston rings that ride in grooves in the crankshaft. So like most other things British. It will mark it’s territory even when perfectly assembled.
    The cooling fan/pulley set up is so heavy. That Daimler people call the fan assembly the second flywheel!
    Also installing the 4.5 into a Dart is a headache. It is physically larger and will not clear the the hood if “stock style” carburetion is used.
    BUT Yes there is plenty of room to install an LS motor! But if I was going to do a transplant I would choose a prettier car.
    These cars are an interesting mix of exotic (engine) design (for the time) and piece together (chassis is a stretched TR4) what ever you can find.
    The fiberglass body is ALMOST on par (weight/thickness wise) of a Corvette of at the time. But much better than the average kit car of the time.
    The exhaust note on these cars is just absolute music. Which is hard for me to comprehend since the head pipes (6″ after the exhaust flange) is stainless steel flex pipe and the mufflers are glass packs. Followed by 1.5″ diameter tail pipes. Even Jay Leno’s SP250 sounds almost as nice as stock with less back pressure.
    These are not sports cars. These are Grand Touring Cars. Also known (back then) as the British Corvette.

  20. Wayne

    Hey Jim22 and Gaspumpchas,
    Can you get me the name of the shop and/or the phone number?
    Thanks

    • Jeff Lavery Staff

      Wayne. Google is your friend. I found a “Steven Busch, Ravena, New York” listed on several of the Lime Rock Vintage Festival’s pages where he is mentioned as showing a 1962 Daimler SP250. I’m sure you can continue to search to find a shop name and/or phone number. Facebook might be a way to make an intro without intruding.

  21. Rex Rice

    A salesman friend had one on his lot & let me drive it. Ugly but smooth & fun to drive. Is this the same V-8 used my MG?

  22. Wayne

    No, not by a long shot. It also would not fit. You might be able to shoehorn it in there with a 10,000lb press. But then you still would not be able to close the hood.
    Interesting idea though.

  23. Wayne

    Thank you Jeff!
    Much appreciated!

  24. Ozzsp250

    If you want to see a fast Daimler Dart in action view here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLQbsZcIxas

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