While Jack Sears won two separate British Saloon Car Championships, including the very first one in 1958, it was his latter championship in 1963 which would prove the most notorious. More than 50 years later, this is the big 'Yank tank' he drove to that championship – a 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 – which has recently sold at auction straight from the collection of Sears himself. Often described as the most famous Galaxie 500, the car – also known by its registration of BML 9A – made waves just as much for its American origin as for its ability to break the stranglehold Jaguar had on the championship at the time.
Sears began the season racing for Willment in a Ford Cortina and took three straight Class B wins, which probably put him right at the head of the line to drive the Galaxie when it arrived in England that May, just in time for the Silverstone race, which Sears won overall. While others on the Willment racing team spent some time behind the Galaxie’s wheel that season, and while at least a couple other Galaxies appeared in that year’s British Saloon Car Championship series (piloted by none other than Dan Gurney, Graham Hill, Jack Brabham, and Roy Salvadori), Sears went on to take Class D in the next three races in the Galaxie. Combined with his earlier wins, he secured that year’s championship.
Bonhams recently sold this British Touring Car legend at their Goodwood Revival auction. It fetched £471,900. Photos courtesy of Bonhams.