Which Sixties English Drop Top Twists Your Key?
We’ve featured a lot of roadsters in this feature over the past month or so, of which we’re completely unapologetic—when the weather’s this fantastic, there’s simply no other type of car we’d rather be driving. Six months from now perhaps we’ll be featuring a lot of Ur Quattros or 911 C4s, but then again probably not, as it’s always this nice here in Southern California. Sorry.
Austin Healey is a proper British name, stately, with just the right mix of sounds. They also built proper British sports cars back in their heyday, devices which may not have been at all stately, but definitely emitted an intoxicating array of sounds.
This particular AH dates from 1967, a 3000 MKIII BJ8. Claimed to be a numbers-matching car with 62,000 original miles, and in stunning cosmetic and mechanical condition, it looks like a million bucks in striking red and black over black hides and burl walnut. What it eventually sells for cannot be known, but with just under six days left bidding and reserve not met at $40,000, it likely won’t be inexpensive.
Daimler, on the other hand, sounds a bit like German, which turns out to be completely apt because it is. We’ll spare you the details of how such a British car wound up with a Teutonic name, and rather fill you in on what makes it such a special old thing to drive, instead.
Better known (from 1960 on, anyway) for re-badged, home-market Jaguars, the SP250, or Dart, was Daimler’s first and last deviation from this formula. Equipped with a 2.5 liter, iron block, alloy hemi head, OHV V8, it made roughly 140 HP and was quite quick for its day, with sub 9 second 0-60 MPH times reportedly on offer—it was also said to flex so much that the doors would pop open during hard cornering. The styling of its fiberglass panels is also a matter of taste—a bit of a mixed bag, overall, but a very intriguing one nonetheless.
Which would you have?
1967 Austin Healey 3000 MKIII BJ8
1962 Daimler SP250 Dart