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A Washington Man Found An Ultra-Rare Collection Of The Ugliest Sports Cars Ever Made

Jalopnik logo Jalopnik 2/7/2018 David Tracy

a red and black truck parked in front of a car: Image: Ralph© Provided by Univision Interactive Media, Inc. Image: Ralph

A Washington car collector named Ralph found a lot of five Daimler SP250s at an estate sale, and now those cars—which had been stored on shelves in a warehouse for quite some time—are for sale on Craigslist.

Ralph told me over the phone that four months ago, his friend found these cars 15 miles from Ralph’s house in Washington and said “You’d better go down and take a look at this.” So Ralph did.

Ralph learned that the previous owner, who had apparently owned a trucking repair company, had passed away, and the five rare SP250s that he’d been collecting since the 1970s were up for grabs, just hanging out on warehouse shelves.

a truck is parked in front of a building: Image: Ralph© Provided by Univision Interactive Media, Inc. Image: Ralph

Ralph was initially only interested in the Hilborn-injected (see those super tall stacks?) 2.5-liter hemi V8 race motor that came with the sale, and which had apparently been used in a sprint car. Ralph’s plan was—and still is—to take that motor out of the sprint car, and put it into a “street rod.”

Image: Ralph© Provided by Univision Interactive Media, Inc. Image: Ralph

But instead of just buying the motor, Ralph couldn’t resist buying the whole lot of SP250s:

a car parked in a parking lot: Image: Ralph© Provided by Univision Interactive Media, Inc. Image: Ralph

There were really only about 2,645 SP250s ever built between 1959 and 1964, but it wasn’t because they were’t amazing vehicles. By many accounts, the hemi V8 engine was among the best British sports car motors ever designed at the time; put under a reasonably-lightweight fiberglass body, and the car was a bit of a hot rod, even if the looks took a bit of getting used to.

The Daimler SP250 Has A Hemi V8 And Was Used As A Police Car In London

The ones shown in Ralph’s pictures are all left-hand drive, which makes them even rarer. According to J. Stein’s book “British Sports Cars In America,” there were only between 639 and 1,210 left-hand drive cars ever built in all markets. So you can imagine how few there are left just in the U.S.

a yellow car parked in a parking lot: Image: Ralph© Provided by Univision Interactive Media, Inc. Image: Ralph

To really understand how amazing these old Daimler sports cars are, watch this video of Jay Leno’s rest-modded SP250:

Ralph, who runs a place called H&H Classic Cars, but who fancies himself more of a collector than a salesperson, is going to let these five cars go, as they’re just too big of a project (and also, he’s rather tall, and doesn’t fit in them).

He’s selling the whole lot—including spare parts—for $65,000, telling me over the phone that that’s not far from what he paid for them. Two of the little SP250s are from 1960, and the rest are from 1962, 1963 and 1964. One of them runs (Ralph sent me a video of it idling), and the rest turn over, Ralph tells me.

a car parked in front of a truck: Image: Ralph© Provided by Univision Interactive Media, Inc. Image: Ralph

So if you’ve got quite a few extra coins in your pockets, and you’re looking for an ultra-rare, V8-powered British sports car from the 60s, you can now buy five on Craigslist.

h/t: Frank

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