Buy­ing Guide Daim­ler V8/250

Its Jaguar cousin may have grabbed all the head­lines, but that Daim­ler badge and flut­ing means you can bag a lux­u­ri­ous and more af­ford­able op­tion

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - WORDS Chris Ran­dall PHO­TOG­RA­PHY Magic Car Pics

‘It still has plenty of feel­good fac­tor the bet­ter part of 50 years on’

Jaguar’s suave Mk2 has rightly gained a loyal fol­low­ing among buy­ers look­ing for a smart and slightly raff­ish sports sa­loon, but good ones aren’t cheap. So if you want to save a wedge of cash, let us point you in the di­rec­tion of its equally ca­pa­ble but much more af­ford­able Daim­ler sta­ble­mate.

It ar­rived in 1962, three years af­ter its Jaguar sib­ling, and was es­sen­tially the same car but for one ma­jor dif­fer­ence – in place of the lusty straight-six en­gine was a cul­tured Ed­ward Turner-de­signed V8 that had al­ready seen ser­vice in the SP250 sports car. It was a de­cently brisk per­former de­spite its stan­dard au­to­matic trans­mis­sion, reach­ing 60mph in a whisker un­der 14 sec­onds – but the brand’s slightly fusty im­age at the time likely at­tracted own­ers more in­ter­ested in smooth, re­laxed progress than sport­ing prow­ess.

Still, the op­tional man­ual gear­box that ar­rived in 1967 cer­tainly made the most of the V8’s 140bhp and the same year’s mild facelift brought with it a new name – V8 250 – to­gether with slim­mer bumpers, up­graded electrics and de­tail changes to the in­te­rior trim.

That lit­tle lot saw the 250 through to the end of pro­duc­tion in 1969 af­ter 17,884 ex­am­ples had been made. Its lux­u­ri­ous cabin was in­tended to feel a lit­tle plusher than the Mk2’s, and it still has plenty of feel-good fac­tor the bet­ter part of 50 years on.

It’s dif­fi­cult to avoid the hack­neyed old ‘gen­tle­men’s club’ ref­er­ences but the V8’s in­te­rior re­ally is very spe­cial. Fac­tor in that smooth and mel­liflu­ous en­gine and the fact that Daim­ler val­ues still lag be­hind the equiv­a­lent Jaguars and you have a com­pelling case to go shop­ping for one.

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