Daimler SP250

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Daimler SP250 "Dart"
Daimler SP250 Dart green vl.jpg
ManufacturerDaimler Motor Company
ClassSports car
Body style(s)2 seat open car
LayoutFR layout
Engine(s)2.5 litre V-8
Transmission(s)4-speed manual
Wheelbase92 in (2,337 mm)[1]
Length165 in (4,191 mm)[1]
Width60 in (1,524 mm)[1]
Height50.25 in (1,276 mm)[1]
Curb weight2,070 lb (940 kg)
ManualsService Manual

The Daimler Dart was a sports car built by British manufacturer Daimler in Coventry.

It was launched at the 1959 New York Motor Show, and its greatest success was in the American market. It had a fibreglass body, four wheel Girling disc brakes, and a 2.5 litre Hemi-head V8 designed by Edward Turner. Although really a two seater, the car had a small bench rear seat.

Daimler were soon forced to drop the Dart name when threatened with legal action by Chrysler’s Dodge division, the car was then renamed the Daimler SP250.[2]


  • A-spec

The original A-spec version could do 120 mph (193 km/h), but the chassis, a “14-gauge ladder frame with cruciform bracing” based on the Triumph TR-3, flexed so much that doors came open, marring its reputation.[3]. Bumpers (fenders) were originally an optional extra.

  • B-spec

Jaguar bought Daimler in 1960, and were immediately concerned about the chassis flex. They brought out the B-spec version with extra outriggers on the chassis and a strengthening hoop between the A posts. There were also other detail improvements, including an adjustable steering column.[2]

  • C-spec

There was a C-spec version introduced in 1963 with some additional luxuries as standard equipment.

2,645 were produced.

Jaguar built a prototype replacement (known as the SP252) with a neater body style but decided not to proceed with production.

Ogle Design produced a coupe version called the SX250, but this was not taken up by Daimler and the body design was later used for the Reliant Scimitar.


  • ENGINE: V type, eight cylinder, water cooled, OHV, Bore 3 in (76 mm), Stroke 2.75 in (70 mm), Capacity 153 cubic inches (2547 cc) Single high camshaft operated valves through short alloy pushrods. Double heavy duty valve springs. Aluminium alloy hemispherical cylinder heads. Stiff 5 main bearing crankshaft, dynamically balanced. Compression ratio 8.2:1 Twin SU carburettors. bhp 140 @ 5800 rpm. Max Torque 155 lb·ft (210 N·m) at 3600 rpm. SU electric fuel pump.
  • IGNITION: Coil and distributor with auto and vacuum control.
  • LUBRICATION: Submerged gear type oil pump. Full flow filter. Sump capacity 1.75 US gallons.
  • COOLING SYSTEM: Pressurised radiator with fan, pump and thermostat control.
  • TRANSMISSION: 4 speeds with synchromesh on top three ratios. Provision for overdrive. Automatic optional.
  • REAR AXLE: Hypoid bevel 3.58:1
  • STEERING: Cam type.
  • SUSPENSION: Independent front with coil springs. Half elliptics at rear. Oversize dampers.
  • BRAKES: Discs on all four wheels, hydraulic operation.

See also: Daimler 2.5 & 4.5 Litre V8 Engines

Optional extras

The following items could be ordered to fit on the standard car:

  • Wire wheels
  • Adjustable steering column
  • Hard top
  • Front and rear bumpers
  • Windscreen washers
  • Heater
  • Fog lights
  • Seat belts


A car with hard top tested by The Motor magazine in 1960 had a top speed of 123.7 mph (199.1 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 8.9 seconds. A fuel consumption of Template:Convert/foutmig (Template:Convert/L/100 km mpgus) was recorded. The test car cost £1489 including taxes. [1]

Appearances in films & books

Die-Cast Models

  • Spot-on produced a model of the SP250 in the 1960s, available in a number of colours including red and light blue.
  • Crossway introduced a model in 2007, available in various colours and with or without the hood up.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "The Daimler SP250 sports". The Motor. June 15, 1960. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 [1] UltimateCarPage SP250 Dart (Retrieved 29 November 2006)
  3. [2]Is-it-a-lemon Daimler SP250 (Retrieved 29 November 2006)

External links