The great Jaguar stalwart and racer Bill was farewelled today at a moving ceremony held at Caloundra on the Queensland Sunshine Coast, close to his much loved home.
His sons Michael and Rob plus daughter Kym, and all of his grandchildren, were wonderful hosts at a ceremony which celebrated the extraordinary life of this incredibly modest racing champion.
His two most famous Jaguars were D-Type XKD526, and his works built racing ‘Mk1’ – one of very few of its kind built.
We will have a major tribute to Bill in our coming edition, but if you wonder just why he is so revered despite retiring from the track in 1963 – this will explain:
Winner: 24 Hour Race Mt Druitt 1954 – XK120 FHC – defeated C-Type of Peter Whitehead and Tony Gaze
Winner: Victorian TT – D-Type
Winner: Australian Touring Car Championship 1961
Second: Australian Touring Car Championship 1960, 1962
Winner: AJC Trophy ‘Mk1’
Winner: Queensland Touring Car Championship – twice
1957 Mobilgas Trial – MkVIII 7th outright – first non-Volkswagen home
Australian Grand Prix 1954 – 11th outright following puncture in the XK120-based Anderson Special (only race)
Bill was a competitive, brave and highly skilled driver – but if he had a failing – it was that he was too modest!
After all, it was he and a couple of fellow Jaguar ‘Mk1’ racers who established Australia’s love affair with touring car racing – and that is broadcast to the world today, of course.
Farewell to the great Jaguar devotee – and a truly good ever-smiling gentleman.