“It’s a minor claim to fame. I know, but I can say that I was the only man to race all three types of Cobra coupe.” says the modest Sears. “There was the AC car built for the 1964 Le Mans race. That was a one-off, and it caused a media storm when Peter Bolton and I did 185mph in it on the M1 in the run-up to the race. Tony Martin, the nephew of AC’s chairman Derek Hurlock, was a newspaperman on the illustrative side rather than a journalist and he was there. He went back to Fleet Street and told all his friends, and it turned into a real story. The publicity was massive and Peter and I have had to live with being blamed for the 70mph speed limit ever since. Some years later Tony met Barbara Castle. who had been Minister of Transport at the time, and he asked if our 185mph had prompted the imposition of the limit; she said categorically not. It had been in the planning stages for years.
“Anyway, in the race, Peter was driving at night and he had a tyre blow out. The car was badly damaged and he spent a night in hospital. Fortunately, he was alright, though.
“I really enjoyed the 1965 season with the Daytona. We had a successful year. but the big highlight for me, I suppose, was our drive at Le Mans with Dick Thompson. All the GT40s dropped out, as did out sister cars, and we had all sorts of problems. We really had to nurse it home and I think we did well to come home in eighth place.
“If anything, I had more fun in the Willment Coupe. John had tried to buy a Daytona from Shelby, but instead Carroll gave him drawings to make his own. My first outing was a 3-hour race at Snetterton. I know that circuit like the back of my hand and, in the fog, just knew exactly where I was; I won by a lap. And I won at Brands next time out. That was a lucky car for me.”
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