one-off hArD toP DArt UP for GrAbs
Electro-hydraulic retractable roof makes it a £50,000-70,000 car
A one-off 1960 Daimler SP250 with a retractable hardtop roof stars at the Goodwood Revival next month – and it’s up for sale!
The unique SP250 is offered at Bonhams’ Goodwood Revival Sale on 10 September with a £50,00070,000 estimate.
The car has remained in the same family’s ownership since the conversion was carried out by Antony H Croucher Precision & Prototype Engineering Co Ltd in the early 1960s.
AH Croucher, the vendor’s father, first applied the idea of an electrohydraulic retractable hardtop roof to a Riley 1.5 in 1950. With the patent set to expire in 1964, the new Daimler SP250 was bought in 1960 as the glassfibre-bodied car was considered ideal for conversion.
In addition to the retractable roof, the converted Daimler was made into a four-seater and given a larger boot.
The car was finished in 1963 at a cost of more than £30,000, with 1948 hours spent in the drawing office and 3030 man hours taken up on the engineering side.
The AHC roof could be raised or lowered at speed, whereas other systems require the car to be stationary. Although the conversion received good press coverage, nothing further became of the system and, in 1969, the vendor purchased the car from his father.
Originally the car had been carrying an orange and white paint scheme, but was re-sprayed silver grey. Sadly, when the coachworks completed the re- spray they were unable to get the roof to operate properly and, as it has to be shut to refuel, was temporarily fixed in the closed position. It appeared in this condition at events including the SP250 50th Anniversary event at Gaydon in June 2009, and has also appeared at the Goodwood Revival.
The vendor’s brother managed to get the retractable roof back in working order, and the Daimler comes with the inventor’s original notes outlining the concept.
one of a kind – the 1960 daimler/ahc sP250.