Lot 267 - 1962 Daimler SP250 Dart 'Metropolitan Police car'
|Estimate||£42,000 - £50,000|
|Result||Sold - £50,000|
Introduced at the New York Motor Show of 1959, the Daimler Dart was a V8 powered sports car with controversial styling. The Dart name was soon dropped after the threat of legal action from Chrysler who had a car of that name within their Dodge division. Consequently, this new sports car was known as the SP250. Power was provided by the 2.5-Litre Edward Turner designed V8 that soon became revered for the smoothness in its power delivery, with 140bhp on tap. Independent double wishbone suspension at the front and half elliptical springs at the rear, with a live rear axle, kept the car on the road with stopping power supplied by hydraulic disc brakes on all four corners. The coachwork was constructed with glass reinforced plastic providing a tough, strong and lightweight shape that enhanced performance with exciting and non-traditional looks. The 120mph plus capability was recognised by the police and were soon being used as a high speed chase cars.
This dart- number 13 of 26- has been recently restored to a high standard under the stewardship of the senior archivist for the Metropolitan Police Museum, Mr John Dorset, who is, incidentally, the owner of number 26. Having served in the Lewisham borough, its first owner on the buff log book is the Metropolitan Police followed by a number of enthusiasts before the car fell into disrepair prior to its rescue by the current vendor, who has spent the past 18 months ensuring the car is bought back to its former splendour and presented as new.
The specialists amongst you would have noticed a few non-original parts but anything that is not 100% correct is purely due to improving the driving experience, including two wing mirrors rather than just one and rack and pinion steering, along with non-original seats which are infinitely more comfortable and can recline unlike the originals, however, they have been trimmed in the correct Daimler style. Present though, is the working Winkworth bell, original Police speedometer, two interior mirrors, original radio in the glove box and other original essential items associated with a high-speed pursuit police car. The odometer reading, as we have been educated is irrelevant, due to the fact that the Metropolitan Police would regularly remove and re-calibrate these before installing them in the next available car.
It has covered just 20 miles since the finish of the restoration and so would need the inevitable running in and odd adjustment. An ideal opportunity to own a piece of English heritage, restored with enormous attention to detail, this SP250 is also offered with a photographic log of the restoration, heritage certificate, original buff log book and various bills, putting the new owner in illustrious company with fellow Dart police car owners.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Buyers are advised to inspect the car in person or use a professional to carry out this service.