Long-loved and lost car story comes to a Cli­max

John Davies fi­nally has the car of his dreams, writes Bill Buys

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - USED CARS -

IT took a while, but John Davies fi­nally got the car he wanted. When he was 23, the Cottes­loe res­i­dent was at a rac­ing cir­cuit in the UK with his close friend Lance Bar­rett when he saw and fell in love with a Cooper-Cli­max.

‘‘ I’ll have one of those within three years,’’ he told Lance.

Last week the su­per- en­thu­si­as­tic rac­ing fan un­veiled his ac­qui­si­tion to a crowd of lo­cal vin­tage buffs, in­clud­ing Lance, and ad­mit­ted it took just a tad longer than ex­pected to get his dream ma­chine. John is now 75 and the three years had bal­looned to 52. But there wasn’t a hap­pier man in town.

He hadn’t been idle in the time in be­tween. He was a found­ing part­ner in the Ac­ton Con­sol­i­dated real es­tate group, yet vig­or­ously pur­sued his sport­ing pas­sion, ral­ly­ing and rac­ing through­out Aus­tralia in the en­su­ing years.

‘‘I started rac­ing F500s at Clare­mont, ral­lied VWs and my Lan­cia Lambda, and for the past 20 years raced an Austin-Healey 100/4,’’ he said. ‘‘But I never stopped long­ing for a Cooper-Cli­max. I went overseas many times in search of one and fi­nally found what I wanted.’’

The im­mac­u­late black sin­gle- seater, which cost ‘‘se­ri­ous money’’ will be in ac­tion at the at Phillip Is­land Clas­sic in early March and soon af­ter at the Grand Prix Her­itage event at Al­bert Park, a cur­tain raiser to the 2013 Aus­tralian F1 Grand Prix.

The car has quite a his­tory too. It was first owned by Bri­tish WWII fighter pi­lot-turne­dracer Dickie Stoop, who sold it to Peter Bloore, and ended up years later in a US mu­seum be­fore be­ing shipped back to the UK, where it waited to be found by John Davies.

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