Jay Leno’s Garage takes the 1962 Diamler SP250 for a spin, and Jay has a few mishaps along the way but makes it home safely. Many of you have probably never heard of the Daimler brand, and with good reason.
Daimler was founded in England in the late1890s, becoming one of the first automakers in the world. The company was originally an offshoot of Gotlieb Daimler’s automotive company, which is today Daimler AG, builder of Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Despite flourishing through the first half of the twentieth century, the company struggled in the post-war automotive market and was eventually bought out by Jaguar.
By about the end of the1960s, the brand had been relegated to making limousines and re-badged Jaguars, before dying quietly when parent Jaguar closed down its limousine business in the late 1980s. A select few Jaguar XJs were available under a luxury Daimler label until Ford sold the company to Tata in 2008.
The SP250 is a relic of a once glorious epoch in British motoring history. Not exactly looking like a compatriot of other British cars of its era like 1960s MGs and Triumphs, the car sports some unique power-train components as well.
The SP250 had a 2.4 liter Hemi V8, which was one of the last engines built by Daimler of its own design. To us, such an engine configuration sounds both strange and awesome at the same time. The particular specimen that Jay bought has an upgraded to a modern five-speed Tremec gearbox and modern brakes.
While the SP250 may be an oddity of a long since forgotten brand, it sure is fun to watch Jay motor along in this thing.