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1960 Daimler SP250 ‘Dart’ Restoration

Part 1: A Unique Opportunity

This Daimler SP250 Dart was brought in for us to get back on the road after 25+ years of sitting outside in Southern California. The car had seen better days. When this car was first brought to us, our customer thought that she might just like to sell it because of the cost and time required by such a project. After thinking it about it for a while, she changed her mind because it was her father’s car and the car in which she learned to drive. We love doing restoration projects for people like her; people that have a real connection to the vehicle. There’s nothing like completely restoring a car and seeing the owner’s face when they come to pick it up for the first time.

Daimler SP250 Dart Restoration

Part 2: Getting Down to Business

The first step in this restoration was to see what we were dealing with. We managed to get the car up-and-running and driving after all those years sitting idle. Much to our surprise, the car ran great and showed no signs of needing a rebuild. The second phase was to get the car stripped and off to the soda blaster to see what we were dealing with under the paint. We chose soda blasting because it is very soft and would not damage the fiberglass like sand would.

The most difficult part of restoring this car was repairing the body. After years of sitting out in the California sun, the fiberglass had cracked and distorted badly and needed to be built back up with resin and filler primers.

Daimler SP250 Dart Restoration
Daimler SP250 Dart Restoration

Part 3: The Home Stretch

For the paint and body we once again turned to Ken’s Body Shop located here in San Luis Obispo. Ken’s has been doing all of our paint and body for many years. Jeff and his crew at Ken’s are very talented and take great pride in what they do.

Putting all of the chrome and rubber on the vehicle really made the gorgeous color stand out. We also did a complete chrome wire wheel conversion with period correct redline tires. The stock wheels for the Daimler Dart are not very attractive, so the chrome wires really made the car look great. They are definitely not cheap, but well worth the money spent.

Daimler SP250 Dart Restoration

SLIDESHOW

Click on any of the following thumbnails for full-size photos. You can navigate through the slides by clicking on the right and left-hand arrows on the photo or using the < and > keys on your keyboard.

If you have any questions about this car or any other classic car restoration projects we have in the shop, we would love to hear from you. Make sure to visit our British Sports Cars Blog to get the most recent updates on what’s going on in and around the shop, and to see all the photos from this project.

Cheers!