Back at Silverstone for the Saloon Car Championship round supporting the British Grand Prix, Sears in the enormous Galaxie slaughtered the Jaguars yet again…”
At August Bank Holiday Brands Hatch, after a tremendous duel with Jim Clark’s sister Alan Brown-entered Ford Galaxie, Jack trickled into the pits with a flat tyre, leaving that year’s World Champion elect to win, beating the Jaguars yet again.
Graham Hill drove the Willment car at the Oulton Park Gold Cup meeting, while Jack drove a Willment Lotus-Cortina. But Dan Gurney was there in another Galaxie, and he won outright. South African driver Bob Olthoff handled the great car at Snetterton, but Jack Sears won that 1963 British Saloon Car Championship title, with points scored in both Cortina and Galaxie. Willment then took the great car to South Africa for the November-January Springbok races, where it won driven by Sir John Whitmore, and even contested the Kyalami 9-Hours endurance classic, shared by Jack Sears and Australian hero, Paul Hawkins…and held third place for much of the time.
Willment then brought the car back to the UK in preparation for the 1964 season. At Goodwood on Easter Monday Jack fought a tremendous winning duel with Jim Clark’s latest works Lotus-Cortina, and his fastest lap was a new record of 1-minute 35.2 seconds, 90.76mph for the historic aerodrome circuit.
He won again at Aintree and May Silverstone, led at Crystal Palace until a tyre burst, and won at August Bank Holiday Brands Hatch. But his chances of a repeat Championship title spluttered away with an ignition problem at Oulton Park. Willment then returned the car to South Africa for another Springbok series. Bob Olthoff took over its driving, eventually bought the car – dominated the South African Championship with it, and retained it until 1989, when he sold it to… Jack Sears in Norfolk.
‘Gentleman Jack’ then had it painstakingly restored to running order, much of the work being done by his former Willment race engineer Mike Brown, and he preserved it for the rest of his long life. Bonhams’ estimated price bracket is £180,000-£220,000 for this iconic Jaguar-killing landmark car from British motor sporting history. That’s right – only around $45 per pound...with that 7-litre V8 rumble thrown in for free.
Photography courteesy of The GP Library.