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SP450andLE

SP450andLE's Dad's Daimler SP450

17 posts in this topic

Nice car

Apparently the Majestic Majors were pretty quick for a large four door, it must be crazy fast in a small fibreglass 2 seater

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Yeah, they were apparently the fastest production car at the time or something? Or maybe just the fasted production limousine.

And yeah, this car is crazy fast. We stopped using when my parents broke up when I was little, so I don't remember too much about the car, only that it was the fastest car in Mangawhai at the time :lol:

Oh, and it is roughly a 4-seater. But the back seats can only fit kids or anorexic people or very super squished up average sized people :rolleyes::lol:

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Oh, and it is roughly a 4-seater. But the back seats can only fit kids or anorexic people or very super squished up average sized people :rolleyes::lol:

'Occasional' rear seats :wink:

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Oh my god!!! SO jelly, I learn't to drive in a Majestic Major, very rare car and even rarer engine. My dream has always been to stick one of these motors into a Daimler 2.5 V8 with a manual box. Dart's are cool cars too, please give up on it and sell to me :)

Did the doors fly open at speed in this one?

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DEFINITELY not selling it. Or giving it away.

It survived through my parents separation, so isn't going to be let go very easily :lol:

Nah, the doors are fine on this one, it's a b-spec, not the flimsy a-spec :lol:

Oh, and I'm SO jelly that you learnt to drive in a MM! That would have been so cool!

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moved from your build thread.

Hi. In 1985 I was working for Don Henshaw at Rally Sport Cars at Upper Queen St when this dark blue Dart with a white bonnet rumbled in.First thing I noticed was the two bulges in the bonnet so I opened it to have a look.I knew they were for the carbs but didn't know why. Don pointed out that he had installed the rack and pinion steering instead of the usual box and that it was the Majestic Major motor.It was owned by a fireman on the North Shore. Don said that the owner wanted the motor rebuilt so I said 'it's mine'.

We decided to lift just the motor out as the Borg Warner DG 12 auto was huge. I had to hole saw about 4 holes in the fire wall to get at some of the bolts! The motor was in good condition and is a work of art. We re-ringed it, installed Mazda 626 guide seals that pressed onto the valve guides and fitted either a new set of bigend bearings or mains. I can't remember which but the ones we didn't replace were unavailiable.The originals were barely worn and we were comfortable in re-using them. We had the crank, pistons and rods balanced by someone on the Nth Shore. After first start up I took it to the end of the Nrthwestern motorway for it's initial run accelerating up and down to give it a good bed in. I had no drive shaft cover in and the shaft is right next to your elbow so dust and crap flew everywhere but the car felt gooood.Gave a good burst up the Newton off ramp and she stuck here nose in the air and gave that throaty sound it has.We stuck some shock absorbers on the front to stiffen her up and replaced the 1 1/2" blocks between the S.U.'s and the manifold with 2" ones I got from David Oxton off a Jag. I wired in a solenoid on the gear box that meant you could select 2nd gear which had been redundant, first gear had a free wheel facility so no engine braking!I did'nt give it back to the owner for about 2 weeks as I used to take it home at night becaused I loved driving her.

I took a number of peole, one who had a normal SP 250 and one who had the daimler/jag v8, for rides and they just couldn't believe the acceleration.

I sadly gave it back and I heard he had beaten an XJ12 at Meremere in a low 14 without going over 5000 rpm.I heard about 15 years ago that someone was going to fit a Ho lley carb and I nearly wept. Sacrilige, the SU's are beauties, far superior.One thing you may not want to hear but I think the gear on the cam shaft that drives the oil pump and distributor is worn on one side. Pull the distributor and turn the engine over by hand and have a look.Sump holds about 10-12 litres of oil also!If it hasn't run for a while remove the plugs and crank it over till you get some oil pressure before you fire her up, save the bearings.

The rev counter is a SP 250 one and if I remember correctly it red lines at 6500. The 250 develops her max at 5800, the 450 at 5500 so I'd avoid the red line.It goes well enough at 5000.

Hope this has been of interest to you, this car sticks in my mind more than any other that I have worked on . Funnily I was in Warkworth only 3 weeks ago and was telling a friend about her only to get back to Gisborne and find your site!

Enjoy her and I would love to see her some day.

cheers

Ian

P.S I think if it still has ignition points that it's a make and break circuit, probably a .0015 thou gap. Best set on a dwell meter.

Keep the carb bulges, part of it's character and heritage.

Ian

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My boss has an sp250 that he races. I think he will be doing a hill limb next month near motueka. I wanna go watch as I think these cars must sound lovely. He did a rack conversion too and reckons most have been converted over from the horrible steering box.

When you say this is only one of five- is it actually a genuine factory made 450?

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Nah, it's just an aftermarket conversion.

I've been in contact with a fair few of the other 450 owners, and it seems that the real number of 450s is going to be hard to find out, with some of the cars seeming to disappear off the radar, and new ones popping up occasionally.

Oh well, I know this is the only one in NZ 8)

EDIT:

Seeing as one 450 was thought to have been made from the factory, Tony Roberts (of hampton downs) said we could probably run this as a prototype in the classic series. Would be some good competition for him in his corvette.

Good thing is that Tony is an old friend of Dad's, and used to own an SP250, so could probably get us into the series quite easily :D

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Sure the battery is not flat? Would explain why it won't crank, most have a torque lockout or something like that.

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Nah it aint flat, I had just pulled it from the mini. And everything else works

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Saw this bad boy at the Concours show on the weekend :) It was parked not far from my car, which was on the Club Lotus stand :) It looks like it'll be quite the ship when done... bet it'll make a nice noise, those 250 V8s were always one of the sweetest sounding 8 cylinders around! :)

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smack starter motor with hammer, sounds like its stuck engaged/notengaged (cant remember which is which).

or pull it out and bench test for engagement

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Oh i didnt see your lotus there. Mind you i barely got a chance to walk around haha. And yeah, dad said it sounds real sweet, even better than the 2.5!

And yeah i gave it a quick tap with a hammer but couldnt really get to it enough to hit it properly. I may try again tomorrow though...

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