OKV1 on the right prior to the start of Le Mans in 1954

Perhaps some of the cars in this little series of posts I am going to put up were not as appreciated as much as they should have been when they were in Australia, but this first one is revered.

Sadly, there are no genuine C or D-Types left in Australia despite the very many which were in that country. Restrictive import regulations and costs are such that even collectors cars can generally stay no longer than twelve months, so weep for Australian devotees when you see each of these cars.

The first one we are featuring is the most famous.

It is D-Type OKV1, or XKC402, the first D-Type built after the prototype and the lead car at the D-Type’s debut race, Le Mans 1954.

It finished second there by around just 100 seconds, and its first private owner was one of its drivers at Le Mans, Duncan Hamilton. He raced it, and next sold it to Sydney resident Brit, John ‘Jumbo’ Goddard, who converted it into his road car, and it seems probable his job convinced Jaguar to produce the XK-SS.

Jumbo bought the car to Sydney and kept it at his Palm Beach home. It was not treated like a prima donna. He drove it regularly to Melbourne, and to a Jaguar Rally at Griffith with his wife Kate in 1974.

Jumbo and Kate Goddard in OKV1 at Griffith in 1974

Sadly, when Jumbo died in 1983 the car was sold soon after and flown back to the UK where it remains to this day. For many years it was a star exhibit at the National Motor Museum (Beaulieu).

However, it made a big impression in Australia and is still much loved there. Thanks Jumbo.

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