What A Mess! Daimler SP250

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I’m afraid that this eBay listing is even worse than most craigslist ones for photos, but I’m still glad Peter R. sent it in to us. The SP250 is an odd duck at best, with looks that, well, are challenging to love. This particular one is located in Astoria, New York and is at one of the more well known “flipper” dealers. It’s listed here on eBay at a price of $12,950 but I’m betting that’s negotiable. It better be, considering the condition!

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You’d be forgiven if you glanced at this picture and thought Triumph TR3, or even MGA. Apart from the gauges and basic seat structures, I think you’ll be replacing pretty much everything you see, though.

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As a matter of fact, the Daimler’s frame is remarkably similar to the TR3’s. Let’s take a closer look with some pictures of other cars. Can you guess which one is which? The Daimler is actually on the left, TR3 on the right, which makes sense as the Daimler’s fiberglass body probably needs a little more support on the sides, especially since I’ve heard stories about its doors opening up under aggressive cornering. Not the way to encourage friends to take second rides with you!

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Of course, the main attraction for any SP250 is the small hemi-head V8. I didn’t think these originally came with alternators, so that had me looking closer. Guess what? It’s not the original engine at all! A little research has me believing that this is a Ford V6, possibly out of a Capri, Pinto or Mustang II. Ok, now I’m sure this is overpriced! I guess you could make it into a driver, but I’ll tell you, I want that sweet little V8–that’s what the car was created to highlight in the first place. What about you? What do you think this hybrid is really worth, and if someone gave it to you, would you try to find an original drive train?

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Comments

  1. RayT Member

    Jamie, I’m pretty sure SP250s were built on TR-3 (or maybe TR-4) chassis. Not sure what, if any, changes were made to fit engine or body.

    That’s DEFINITELY not the original engine! The Daimler hemi looked similar to other hemi-head engines, in that the spark plugs were centered in the combustion chamber, and thus were smack in the middle of the valve covers. Also, they used SU carbs and generators.

    The bodywork is restorable — fiberglass is good for that — but this is going to be a costly, time-consuming project. Calling it an “original California car” borders on fraud.

    • Bill McCoskey

      I’ve owned a SP250, and several TR3 cars, both A & B, along with TR 4/5/6 too. Daimler Darts [the original name for the SP250 until Chrysler claimed the name for automotive use] had their own frame and suspension parts. The only items that interchange with the TR series cars are electrical items from Luckless [Lucas]. I have a British version similar to Hollander’s interchange manuals, and taking a quick look at the listings, nothing I checked will interchange.

  2. Jumping g

    I wonder what lake this was in.

  3. John K

    From the ad: “It comes very complete and structurally sound. For only $12,950.”

    Sorry, but a $250 junkyard motor in its place of the little jewel of a hemi doesn’t qualify it as “complete” in my book, unless they mean completely worthless.

  4. Dolphin Member

    At one time I made the mistake of thinking that Peter Kumar of Gullwing Motorcars might be OK to do business with if he had a car that I wanted for an OK price, but this Ebay listing is so bad that I would never have anything to do with this guy.

    Calling this car “an excellent original California car” and “very complete and structurally sound” is fraud because it isn’t excellent, or original, or complete. My guess is that it’s probably not structurally sound either, but I can’t tell for sure because there isn’t enough information or photos in the auction listing.

    And anyone who is thinking of bidding on this needs to read this guy’s feedback to see some of the post-auction things he is said to have done by some of the people who have won his auctions.

    • Bill McCoskey

      As someone who had a Vintage car dealership and restoration facility for 25+ years, I can say that there are certain dealers who tend to “attract” customers who are not as savvy as we are, who fall in love with a car & pay way too much. Just sayin’ . . .

  5. Steven C

    I do actually love fords, but that motor in an sp250 ruined my lunch break. A total atrocity.

  6. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    I think the seller’s price is a little optimistic, to say the least.

  7. Andrew S Mace Member

    Ok, remove the incorrect engine. Remove the, ahem, rear fender flare enhancements. Wait, just remove me from any possible interest. Hopefully, it doesn’t end up only as a parts car, but….

  8. bcavileer

    Whatever are they are smoking up there?? Wish they would share. Lol. Bought a running, decent example from Arizona for half that price. Including the transport east. That is just rediculous.

  9. Ron

    I believe someone is confusing the word hybrid with abortion.

  10. Geoff A

    This is a joke.The guy borders on fraud just like his west coast counterpart BHCC these 2 guy’s are taking advantage of people, both buyers and sellers. Barn Finds needs to stop giving both of them free advertising

  11. jimbosidecar

    If you’re looking for a fairly original and complete SP 250 there is one parked in Hotchkiss, CO. I don’t know the price but I did take a few pictures of it.

    • sundaydriver

      jimbosidecar, is it for sale? I would be interested.

  12. rotag999

    My best friend’s Dad had one of these when they came out in the 60’s they look better in person his was red with tan interior that motor sounded amazing to my young ears. This one is in sad shape and that motor might be ok in a Alpine.

  13. Fred W.

    I once called that company about a Gullwing I spotted locally because they offer a finder’s fee . Never heard another word and always assumed it was a fiberglas repro of no interest to them, but who knows?

  14. adkpaul327@gmail.com PAUL

    Just FYI , —— THIS VEHICLE Is not in Ansonia N.Y. , Although the Seller Is .

    It is in California .

    That would be an Issue for us east coast guys for transport Expenses .

    Paul .

  15. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    These were unique with a pretty hot engine for the time in the UK.

    Always thought there were way too many styling cues that they tacked on as what looked like an afterthought.

  16. Howard A Member

    I agree, this is kind of a shame. I’m sure the engine went in a hot-rod years ago ( that would look cool)This is pretty tired, and probably just a parts car now. I think the only stranger ( spelled cooler) looking car, was it’s cousin, the Israeli Sabra, also built on a British chassis, I believe. http://www.conceptcarz.com/images/Sabra/62-Sabra-Sport-DV-13_CbS_08.jpg

  17. Howard A Member

    Can you believe, this is what that gorgeous interior used to look like.
    http://13252-presscdn-0-94.pagely.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/338125-620×465.jpg

  18. zero250 jeff s

    An SP250 appears in the background in a scene in VIVA LAS VEGAS……..it also is disguised to stand-in for the Ferrari 250 GT when the Ferrari crashes in the road race at the end of the movie…..

  19. Joe Howell

    Poor thing was beaten with the ugly stick when new and has been beaten some more along the line. Can’t see someone putting that original engine in a hot rod, too little displacement in American eyes. Maybe it wound up in another sports car but I would guess parts problems and associated costs were the reason for the Ford transplant.

  20. Tim Lewis

    This car is grossly overpriced given the original engine is not included in the sale. The 2.5 V8 Hemi engine makes the car – it’s exhaust note is beyond incredible. I just finished a 3 year restoration of an SP250 that was in rough shape, but had solid bones and complete originality. The look of the car can be polarizing, but I think they are gorgeous when they are returned to roadworthy condition!

  21. Tim Lewis

    …and here is what the SP250 engine should look like – it’s an amazing sight when you pop the hood on one of these cars!

  22. rotag999

    Nice one Tim Lewis !

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