Thanks for the Alan Mann Racing article in February’s issue, which rekindled some good memories. He mentioned racing a Jaguar C-type and running a garage in Sussex with Roy Pierpoint. That sounds like the Wayside Garage, Rusper (north of Horsham) from which my late father, Keith Jeans, bought a bright red C-type registered 333 GMT in about 1959 to do some club racing, sprints and hillclimbs. It was chassis 050, rebuilt following a serious accident at Oulton Park some time previously. As one did in those days, he drove to and from meetings and enjoyed it to the full on the roads. I even got taken to and from school in it occasionally.
He had several class wins at Wiscombe, Brighton and Weston-Super-Mare against the likes of John Buncombe, (Jonathan’s dad), Wally Cuff and Dizzy Addicot, but was hopelessly outclassed at circuits by more nimble machinery like the Lotus XI. So he decided to acquire one for the following year. Having paid £1000 for the Jaguar he struggled to get £750 for it a year later. It was subsequently owned by Brian Corser at Shrewsbury, who fitted a 3.8 engine, and in the 1990s I heard it belonged to Steve Earle in California.
The Lotus XI my father bought came from a dealer well known at the time, and his first meeting was at Goodwood. Following practice he was approached by a man on crutches called Ken Loasby who took a lot of interest in the car as it had previously been his. He claimed that he had driven the circuit at least a second quicker than father’s time. Looking at the crutches, Dad realised how this was achieved. He went on to ask how long father had owned the car. When told, he said that was interesting because the dealer hadn’t bothered to inform him that there was any interest in the car, let alone that it was sold. Thanks for the memories.
Simon Jeans, Sherborne, Dorset