Jaguar's principal motive in purchasing Coventry neighbours Daimler had been the acquisition of much needed production capacity without the expense of constructing on a distant 'green field' site. The fact that the purchase also included Daimler's splendid lightweight V8 engines was entirely incidental from Jaguar's standpoint, yet would result in the creation of one of the finest sports saloons of the 1960s.
First seen in the rapid, if controversially styled, SP250 sports car, the 2.5-litre version was judged superior to Jaguar's 2.4-litre XK six and so the opportunity arose to create an medium sized, upmarket model based on the Mk2 saloon, something Daimler's leading distributor, Stratstone, had been crying out for. The job was made relatively easy by the V8's compact nature and the generously sized Jaguar engine bay. Launched in 1962 as the '2½-Litre V8' (later 'V8 250'), the new Daimler came with Borg Warner automatic transmission as standard. More refined than the equivalent Jaguar, the Daimler turned out to be a fine performer to boot, its 110mph top speed exceeding that of an overdrive-equipped, 2.4-litre Mk2 by a wide margin. Not surprisingly, the V8 was soon outselling its Jaguar rival and in due course became the most successful Daimler of all time with more than 17,600 sold up to the end of production in 1969.
Finished in Navy Blue with red leather interior, this automatic-transmission example was purchased new by one Neville Singleton of Gloucester, as confirmed by his letter on file date October 1977 stating that the odometer reading (then 37,000 miles) was genuine. In February 1986, Michael Savidge of Hucclecote, Gloucestershire bought the Daimler from a Mr Taylor, at which time the mileage total stood at 56,000. In 1987 Mr Savidge sold the car to one Ronald Drysdale, from whom it was purchased by the current vendor in 2003. We are advised that the current recorded mileage of 67,000 is genuine.
The car has been repainted at some time but the interior remains original. Many thousands of pounds have been spent on the Daimler since its acquisition. Works carried out include fitting new jacking points, sills, suspension bushes, hubs, brakes and four new whitewall tyres. Related maintenance bills from Auto Classico of Bristol and Malmesbury Specialist Cars are on file together with the aforementioned correspondence, MoT to December 2015 and a V5C registration document. Cosmetically improvable but running and driving well, this low-mileage Daimler V8 is only sold because of its owner's ill health.