Jack Sears proved the doubters wrong he took to the touring car grid with his enormous Ford Galaxie. Nobody believed a car so large could be competitive against more nimble cars like the Mini and Lotus Cortina, but the leviathan proved surprisingly wieldy. Its straight line performance was also more than capable of seeing off the competition, and he claimed the 1963 title having driven the Galaxie, Lotus Cortina and Ford Cortina GT all in one season.
‘Gentleman Jack’ had already won the inaugural 1958 British Saloon Car Championship before contesting the big Ford and, while he made a name for himself in tin-top racing, it wasn’t the only discipline of motorsport in which he excelled. He also competed in AC Cobras, and his was his high-speed test runs on the M1 that famously led to the introduction of the 70mph speed limit. Thanks for that, Jack!
Now 84, Jack is still involved in the sport. He’s highly supportive of his son David’s activities, whose Super Nova team is a force in Auto GP. In the 1990s, the same team won International Formula 3000 titles with the likes of Ricardo Zonta and Juan Pablo Montoya.
Jack still owns the Galaxie he raced in 1963, and at the Festival of Speed he will get behind the wheel of Bill Shepherd’s example (pictured here at last year’s Revival). He won’t be alone as a former BTCC champion at FoS. Others who will be present include Andy Rouse, John Fitzpatrick, Gabriele Tarquini and Frank Biela.