The Daimler SP250 Club of New Zealand

The Daimler SP250 Club of New Zealand was formed in 1970 and has maintained an identity for the Daimler Dart and a focal point for owners and enthusiasts to network and share information.

Regular club events are organised for local members and international members gain access to our highly respected club magazine.

We would be delighted to have you join our club.

The Daimler SP250 Club of New Zealand

The Daimler SP250 'Dart'

A unique concept for a luxury British car maker, the Daimler SP250 was a little controversial from the start. Upon launch, the name 'Dart' was quickly contested by Chrysler - who held rights to the name which was used on their Dodge Dart. However, by that point, the name had stuck.

The Daimler Dart was an attempt by Daimler to break into the illustrious sports car market in the USA. British sportscars were growing in popularity in the States, so Daimler wanted a slice of this Pie.

Drafting in motorbike engine designer, Edward Turner, was a pivotal decision which helped to create the cars that we still love today. Turner engineered a hemispherical V8 engine in two displacements - 2.5 and 4.5. The 2.5 was used in the Dart and the motor is still recognised today as one of the greatest British powerplants of the time.

The styling of the Dart was definitely a point of contention - many saw it as as a poor attempt, others view it as a thing of beauty. The big fins on the rear certainly hinted at its intention to be sold in the USA. Regardless, the lightweight fibreglass body, low slung chassis and relatively powerful engine meant this car was more than just looks.

Performance was better than many would have expected from a small British car - to the point where some Darts were used as highway pursuit vehicles, to allow British police to chase the 'Cafe Racers' on their modified motorbikes.

The Dart is a highly respected sports car today, with an interesting yet short history. Low production numbers mean the car is quite a rare beast, further adding to the interest.