Jay Leno's latest finished project is a British sports car designed for America that Americans didn't like at all at the time. Hemi or not, does it feel like putting lipstick on a pig today?
Daimler only made 2,648 Darts, roughly half of which ended up in the U.S. rebadged as SP250s because Chrysler held the rights to the Dart name. The amazing thing about this car is that while most of the competition used four cylinder or straight-six engines, Daimler jammed a 2.5 Hemi V8 in the SP250 designed by legendary British engineer Edward Turner.
That made it so fast that the Metropolitan Police ordered 30 cars (with automatics instead of the four-speed with an overdrive) to be able to keep up with those speed maniacs at the Ace Cafe.
Leno's car was rotting in a garden for forty years and got upgraded during the restoration with a Tremec gearbox, Weber carburetors instead of the stock Solex setup, and enough Dynamat to keep the engine heat where it belongs. It still ran hot during its first test drive, but that was only due to a faulty radiator cap.
Sounds amazing, no doubt about that.