This historic scene was found in our image archive and shows the first Australian Touring Car Championship being contested in 1960 at the Gnoo Blas road track in Orange, west of Sydney.
It is no ordinary ‘Mk1’ either. It’s the second such Jaguar raced by David McKay who started the dominance of Touring cars in Australia with his first works prepared ‘Mk1’ in late 1958.
This is one very special machine and one of the last four works-built 3.4s built purely for competition.
It went on to win this race, with Bill Pitt’s identical car second. Bill’s 3.4 would win next year.
However, the other intriguing Jaguar here is the XK150 FHC parked beside the timing area. It appears like it might have an ‘S’ badge on the door, and while the registration plate can be seen on other images, it is too out of focus to read.
Would anyone know who might have owned it? They must have been a key person involved with that meeting. Perhaps it belonged to the Clerk of Course?
It is a car which has defied all the odds to survive almost totally original, yet it has never been fully understood and linked to images from all stages of its career.
This amazing and unique 1955 colour image of the car being towed to Bathurst by its owner hints at much more.
It is very well known in Australia as the car imported by Cessnock doctor John Boorman, and crashed heavily twice by him. It was repaired and raced by Frank Gardner, then passed through many hands before it was acquired by Ian Cummins in the early 1970s.
Ian fully restored it for the first time, but it still remained with a non-standard bonnet.
Ot was built by the factory for Le Mans in 1953, and race debuted as a factory entry by Stirling Moss at Silverstone – who rolled it. After being repaired overnight it started second on Sunday.
It next went to a Kenyan owner who raced it in Europe including Northern Ireland (crashed heavily again), Silverstone and Reims.
Then it came to Australia where Dr Boorman won in it, and Frank Gardner scored almost countless wins to set up his career in Europe.
It has since then been to the USA for some years and is now back in Europe.
XKC037 has more great surprises, and will star in our coming edition. After much research we have good images of it at almost every race meeting it entered.
For the near 25 years it was in Australia it didn’t get the respect it deserved – except from ‘Cummo’. That is about to be addressed finally.
Sadly, there are no genuine C or D-Types left in Australia after having over a combined dozen of them.
Clive Beecham owns and is devoted to his original four times consecutive Le Mans starting D-Type XKD603. His car was second there in 1957, and recently Clive found and met the Ecurie Ecosse time keeper and good friend of Ron Flockhart, 96 year old Hugh Langrishe.
Now Clive introduces us to Hugh in the period, and in his D-Type when the pair met up for a drive in the elluring D-Type Hugh had not seen 1957.
Here is a link to that film which is a wonderfully evocative, entertaining and important document which also features our own Ron Gaudion who fettled both Ecurie Ecosse cars in the race.
As keen devotees of the intriguing and beautiful two door XJ-C it is great news that another of the very few pre-production prototypes built in 1973, two years before general sale, has been found in England.
The number of the car and its identity will have to remain a secret for the time being, but it is a 4.2 manual overdrive, and while clearly rusty, is a very worthy and untouched car ready for restoration.
Its full details will be revealed soon, and we will have more about this surviving piece of Jaguar history in our coming edition.