Long-loved and lost car story comes to a Climax
John Davies finally has the car of his dreams, writes Bill Buys
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.