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273 LNX has been driven over to us from Stillington, York and has covered very little mileage since completion of a body off rebuilt by a top UK Daimler Dart specialist. The Daimler not only comes to us in exceptional condition, it is a car that comes with impressive provenance and early racing history. The original brown ‘buff’ logbook tells us the first owner was Hon. Basil Fielding and according to the Daimler Dart owners club, this is one of two special order cars. The Daimler was raced with some success during the early 1960’s and a photograph of the car racing at Silverstone in 1963 features in the ‘Daimler V8 SP250 ‘ book by Brian Long. The car was first registered on the 6th October 1961 in Warwickshire with the registration mark RUT 5. When the Hon Basil Fielding sold the Daimler in 1969, he paid £5.00 to transfer RUT 5 onto his Jaguar that was also subsequently raced and the Dart was registered 273 LNX.
Having been based in Rugby, Warwickshire from new, in 1969 the Dart moved to nearby Hinkley in Leicestershire and the car stayed with its second owner for fourteen years. It sold in 1983, staying in Hinkley for a further couple of years and the Daimler then spent the late 1980's and early 1990's in Southampton before selling to a long term owner in Suffolk in 1992. 273 LNX stayed with owned in Suffolk for twenty one years before selling to the most recent owner in 2013. A comprehensive history file details service records and maintenance work throughout the 1980's and 1990's and also documents a five year body restoration from 1993 to 1998.
When purchased in 2013, the Daimler was roadworthy but required work and the decision was made to transport the car from Yorkshire to the South East of England to one of the UK's top Dart specialists. The body was stripped and removed from the chassis, the chassis then treated to new outer chassis rails and B posts. The bodyshell was stripped back to the Gel coat and restored as required. Doors and panels were re-fitted, and gaps adjusted and the shell treated to a top class re-paint in Jaguar Midnight Blue. All chrome work was re-plated or replaced, the windscreen rebuilt with new glass and rubbers, a new wiring loom fitted, and all electrics overhauled. The suspension was rebuilt with new polybushes, the chassis fitted with a Telescopic rear suspension kit and front anti-roll bar kit. Wire wheel hubs were fitted for the car to take a new set of chrome wire wheels, new tyres were fitted and a rack and pinion steering conversion was carried out and the car fitted with a Derrington Moto-Lita steering wheel. The braking system was overhauled and upgraded with a servo, the rear axle was overhauled and fitted with new bearings and seals and the gearbox overhauled and fitted with a J type overdrive. A diaphragm clutch was fitted, and the flywheel adapted to suit. The Dart was treated to an alternator conversion, electronic ignition, uprated radiator with Kenlowe fan with thermostatic control and carburettors were dismantled, bead blasted and fitted with new jets, spindles, bushes and needles. The Daimler 2.5 V8 engine was fully stripped down and rebuilt with new pistons, main and big end bearings, re-conditioned oil pump, new water pump, new inlet and exhaust valves, re-profiled cam followers, new core plugs, timing chain and timing chain tensioners. The engine block and crankshaft were machined as required and the engine fully rebuilt to an excellent standard with all new gaskets used on build up. Various aluminium polishing was carried out to ensure a stunning engine bay finish. The interior was subject of a complete re-trim in Grey leather, piped in Blue and Dark Blue Wilton carpets were fitted including in the boot. The Daimler was finished with a mohair hood, hood bag and tonneau.
273 LNX has covered minimal mileage since rebuild and is essentially still running in although the restoration was completed by 2015. The car has driven over to us performing superbly and is quite simply outstanding to drive. The engine pulls beautifully with excellent oil pressure reading 60psi when warm at 2500 rpm and the gear changes are smooth with a lovely soft overdrive engagement. The brakes are improved from standard being servo assisted and the handling is far superior to a standard car with the recommend rack and pinion steering and anti-roll bar. The car is an absolute delight on the road and presentation matches performance. The body is excellent with superb gaps and a glorious paint finish. Chrome work is outstanding, the interior has been trimmed to the very highest of standards and clearly the car has been rebuilt with no expense spared. We are told in the region of £60,000 has been spent on the rebuild and invoices for tens of thousands are present in the file. The engine bay is without doubt better than it left the factory with beautifully finished inner wings and bulk head. The engine has been highly polished and is a true credit to its restorers and recent owner.