1959 Daimler 'A Spec' SP250 Dart

Make: Daimler
Model: 'A Spec' SP250 Dart
Year: 1959
Registration Number: YGA 250
Chassis Number: 100575
Engine Number: 89051
Transmission: Manual
Steering: Right Hand Drive
MOT Test Expiry: Exempt
Guide Price: £35000 - 38000
Sold For: £36300

Lot No: 291

Launched at the 1959 New York Motor Show, the SP250 Dart was a new venture for Daimler, having had little experience of sporting motor cars. The futuristic styling and grand V8 engine stood out from its competitors in the late Fifties and the model appealed greatly to the American market, with 45% of the total production exported to the USA. The chassis was based on the Triumph TR3 and was clothed in a striking body of glassfibre with its now iconic tail fins and purposeful grille and lights combination. The jewel of course in the Dart’s crown was its powerful 2548cc V8 unit; it was designed by Edward Turner, of Triumph motorcycle engine fame, and could produce 140bhp and achieve up to 125mph. Early ‘A-Spec’ models were equipped with two chrome-plated 'whiskers' each side of the grille, with a full bumper offered as an extra, and ‘B Spec’ motor cars of the early Sixties had full bumpers as standard. At that point, the ‘Dart’ was dropped from the title due to a dispute with Chrysler’s Dodge. Interestingly, the SP250 was the transportation of choice for Metropolitan Police, with thirty automatic black models supplied to the force. Production ran only until 1964 because of the perceived competition with the E-Type; however, the engine was utilised in Daimler’s incarnation of the Jaguar Mk II, the 2 ½ Litre V8. The SP250 ‘Dart’ today has a loyal following who highly prize the relatively few remaining examples.

We understand that ‘A Spec’ YGA 250 came off the production line on the 14th October 1959 and, according to factory records, was the fifth right hand drive model to leave the Coventry factory; as a pre-launch model, the motor car was equipped with extras such as the full-length bumpers. Daimler dealership Wylie & Lochhead of Glasgow then received the vehicle and registered it on the 29th November of the same year; the motor car’s dispatch to Scotland is thought to have coincided with the launch of the SP250 at the Earls Court and Scottish Motor Shows. Documentation supplied with the Daimler reveals that ownership passed to a Mr Stewart Whyte in the mid-Sixties (who later stated that YGA 250 was demonstrated by Wylie & Lochhead at the 1959 Scottish Motor Show), and the RF60 registration book details the period from 1969 until 1972. Having been off of the road since the early 1970s, YGA 250 was purchased by its current custodian in 2008 from its former keeper, who had stored the Daimler in Cardiff for some twenty-five years. A thorough restoration to the original specification was carried out in 2012, which was accurately documented online as it progressed. We understand that the Dart now is in exceptional condition both mechanically and cosmetically, having clearly had time and expense lavished on it, and was proudly displayed on the Daimler SP250 Owners’ Club stand at the NEC Classic Car Show in 2012. The vendor is offering the rare motor car for sale only to reduce his ‘stable’ in order to make room for another project.

The history file contains the original production record certificate (30011) and a laminated copy, a 1959 Daimler SP250 sales brochure, a first edition 1959 Daimler Sports Car owners’ handbook, a copy of ’The Motor’ Magazine dated November 1959 featuring the Scottish Motor Show, the RF60 registration book, a pre-launch Daimler SP250 workshop manual, a Wylie & Lochhead magazine advert dated September 1965, the previous and current V5C registration certificates and other sundry paperwork. Also included in the sale is a replica Wylie & Lochhead showroom advertising board.

Auction Date: 19 March 2015