Marque Registrar – Merv McDonald
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The Daimler SP250 in Australia
In May 1958 the Board of the BSA Group of Companies initiated a feasibility study relating to the construction of a Daimler two door sports car. The study was based on a superb new 2.5 litre V8 engine designed by Edward Turner, already famous for the Ariel Square Four and the Triumph Speed Twin motor bikes. The engine was matched with a slightly modified Triumph TR3 chassis, a fibreglass body and 4 wheel disc brakes. The business plan that was adopted was based on building 7500 cars over 3 years.
The SP250, briefly known as the Dart but renamed after the Chrysler Company pointed out that they had registered the name for Dodge, was launched at the new York Motor Show in April 1959 where chassis number 100010 was exhibited. Daimler SP250s were build during the next 5 years with the last car, chassis number 104456, being built on 29 September 1964. Of the total 2654 cars built 1453 were RHD and 1201 LHD.
There were many small and some major improvements in chassis rigidity made to the car during the five years and production was loosely divided in to A Spec, B Spec and C Spec. It is sometimes difficult to classify particular cars because some changes were not fitted consistently from a particular chassis number. Some B spec cars were produced from Chassis 102627 but cars were not consistently B Spec until chassis 102731. The first C Spec appeared with Chassis 104162.
SP250s had an extensive and successful competition history in the UK, USA, New Zealand and Australia. The most significant win in Australia was achieved by brothers, Leo and Ian Geoghegan who on 30 September,1962 won the 6 hour Classic Race at Bathurst. They won by 5 laps or approximately 20 miles.
SP250s remain popular with classic car enthusiasts with several competing vigorously in Australian historic events and classic rallies. Of the approximately 100 cars that came to Australia, 57 are known to be in the hands of enthusiasts with 34 in running condition.