On 9 September 2017, Bonhams will offer the collection of the late Jack Sears, winner of the inaugural British Touring Car Championship, at the Goodwood Revival Sale.
Erudite and always immaculately turned out, Sears was known as ‘Gentleman Jack,’ by his countless friends in the motoring world, and was one of the most versatile and talented racers of the 1950s and 1960s. He made his racing debut at Goodwood in an MG TC, whilst also regularly competing in Veteran Car Club rallies. Even single-seaters formed part of his extensive racing repertoire, with a third place finish in a Formula 2 Cooper at Crystal Palace in 1960.
Sears then progressed to the international motoring stage with drives at Le Mans 24 Hours in a works Austin Healey 3000, a class win in a Ferrari 330LMB at La Sarthe and a GT class win in a Daytona Coupé while contracted as a Shelby American team driver.
Sears was the first to claim the BTCC title (then known as the British Saloon Car Championship) in 1958, and won again in 1963 after swapping his Riley 1.5s for the mighty seven-litre 1963 Ford Galaxie 500, one of the cars being offered by Bonhams and a firm favourite of Jack’s throughout his racing career. In honour of Jack’s achievements, the BTCC series introduced the Jack Sears Trophy in 2013 which is awarded to the best new driver at the end of each season.
The collection is as diverse as Jack’s motoring exploits, ranging from a 1938 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Limousine by Thrupp & Maberley to a 1955 Nekaf Army Jeep. The Rolls-Royce has been in the Sears family since new – Stanley Sears (Jack’s father) took his mother to the Olympia Motor Show in 1938 and persuaded her that she needed a new car, and the elegant Phantom was duly selected at his behest. The car was stored, unused, for the duration of the war due to petrol rationing, and when Mrs Sears died in 1952, the car had covered just a little over 6,000 miles – all chauffeur driven, of course.
The 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 will be on display at Bonhams Festival of Speed Sale on Friday 30 June at Goodwood.
The Sears Collection in full:
- 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 (£180,000-220,000)
- 1938 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Limousine by Thrupp & Maberley (£80,000-120,000)
- 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL (£80,000-100,000)
- 1955 Nekaf Army Jeep M38 A1 (£10,000-15,000)
- 1948 MG TC (£18,000-22,000)
- 2001 Ford Mustang Bullitt GT(£15,000-18,000)
- 1971 BMW 3.0 S (£10,000-15,000)
- 1986 Mercedes-Benz 190E Cosworth (£12,000-13,000)
Report by bonhams.com