Okay, it was Sudley Castle in 1976 and the event was th JDC’s XK Day.
That’s 42 years ago and Duncan Hamilton was the guest who presented awards. Ian Cummins from Sydney was there finding suppliers from whom to purchase parts in order to restore his D-Type XKD510 which had been broken in half by a tree in a fatal racing accident. It wasn’t the first one for that car either.
It fact that was the day ‘experts’ in England told him he couldn’t possibly restore a D-Type correctly in far off Australia. Well, that ‘colonial’ showed ’em, and aside from restoring a number of D-Types (his C-Type XKC037 previously) he built perfect replicas which today are sometimes today being passed as genuine factory-built machines in the UK.
As for historic racing sports cars on display then, they were still pretty exciting, but not to everyone.
That day when there was a row of brand new XJ-Ss, a model most had never seen before, there was two rows of ex-racers – which 90% of the crowd only paid a passing glance to.
The first is a well known Rally XK120 from the early 1950s, the next is the ex-Ecurie Ecosse XK120 of Sir James Scott-Douglas, next to it is the former Ecurie Ecosse C-Type XKC042 (which was living in Australia in the early 1990s), and the D-Type is XKD527 which was owned then by Nigel Dawes having been sold new in the US.
There is also a C-Type and D-Type behind – but the majority of spectators continued viewing XK120s, 140s and ‘150s …
Today you are looking a many millions for any genuine C or D-Type, and probably also the Ecurie Ecosse XK120.
If only we had the hindsight, and money, back then … but that’s the story of my life and many others too!
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