The Daimler 2.5 V8 was built between 1962 and 1967, continuing under the new designation of 250 until 1969. The well balanced and airy body of this 4 door saloon, clothing a monocoque chassis with front mounted engine driving the rear wheels, was styled by William Lyons.
The 2.5 V8 was developed after Jaguar’s acquisition of Daimler, being initially investigated as an alternative to the parent company’s Mark1. However it eventually emerged as a variation of the Jaguar Mk II. Daimler’s 2.4 litre V8 engine designed by Edward Turner was swapped in for the usual straight 6 to create a car aimed less at the sporting driver and more at the executive. Externally Daimler badges were applied along with a new version of the chrome radiator trim featuring their signature fluting. The suspension is provided through twin wishbones and coil springs at the front with a leaf sprung live axle at the back, the spring rates differing from the Jaguar due to the change in weight distribution.
Although the Daimler 2.5 V8 was intended for a sedate market it could still out run the lesser Jaguar Mark II. It also came with the advantage of a generally higher spec list, most also having the optional power steering fitted. The atmosphere of the more refined executive express is aided by the front seat being of the ‘bench’ variety rather than the more sporty bucket seats.
Whilst the new XJ6, in development in 1967, saw a downgrading of the Jaguar Mark II’s interior the Daimler 250 introduced in that year had slight cosmetic design changes but retained its high specification. This remained in production until 1969.
Throughout its life the 2.5 V8 / 250 was powered by Daimler’s in-house V8. It has alloy heads mounted to an iron block and a capacity of 2548cc. The engine is fed its air and fuel mixture through a brace of SU carburettors. The three-speed Borg Warner automatic gearbox was fitted as standard with the Moss four- speed manual gearbox and overdrive offered as options from 1967. In 1964 the Type 35 automatic gearbox was replaced by the D1/D2.
The Daimler 2.5 V8 and 250 combine a smooth and powerful motor with a luxurious interior giving a refined yet rapid driving experience. The brakes can be a little heavy but they are effective. It is a spacious four-seater with a useful boot, a suitable classic for motoring with friends through the countryside for a picnic.
As with all cars of this era rust is the main enemy. The sills, floorpans and door bottoms are of particular concern and can be costly to rectify. The engines are reliable but the water passageways towards the back can silt up. The popularity of this design means that there is a comprehensive supply of replacement parts and panels.
With such little variation in the Daimler 2.5 V8’s production life desirability comes down to condition, fashionable colour combinations and rare options being fitted. In particular cars with manual gearboxes are sought after.
If you are looking for an alternative to the Daimler 2.5 V8 then the Rover P6, the Jaguar Mark X and NSU Ro80 were aimed at similar customers.