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
‘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.