WORTH MILLIONS: The D-type Jaguar that crashed at Harwood in 1957 and sold for $5 million this month. PHOTO: JAGUAR MAGAZINE
WORTH MILLIONS: The D-type Jaguar that crashed at Harwood in 1957 and sold for $5 million this month. PHOTO: JAGUAR MAGAZINE

$5M Jaguar crashed at Harwood - in 1957!

SCARS from a crash near the Harwood Ferry in June 1957 were still on a D-type Jaguar that sold at auction for more than $5 million in Paris this month, says a motoring expert.

Owned by legendary Australian radio personality Jack Davey, the car was written off when it crashed into the back of a truck near the ferry on June 30.

The Jaguar Magazine editor Les Hughes said the Clarence Valley connection to the car was huge.

"The car is in pristine condition but it still bears the scars of the crash," he said. "They gave the car its character and added to its appeal, in my view."

He said the car became famous after legendary driver Bib Stillwell imported it from England in 1956 and drove it to great success.

He won the Argus Cup, SA Trophy and NSW Sports Car Championship and came fifth in the Australian Tourist Trophy against international opposition.

"Bib Stillwell raced it for a season, then sold it to Jack Davey," Mr Hughes said.

"Jack was a larger-than-life character who was massively into motor sports."

He said a friend, Bill Murray, was driving the car back to Sydney for the start of an inland speed record attempt when it crashed.

"It was a bad crash," he said. "The car skidded and hit the back of the truck side-on.

"The car was an insurance write-off."

He said the car was shipped back to England and was expected to be cannibalised for parts, but ended up in the hands of Aussie racing legend Frank Gardner, who rebuilt it.

Mr Hughes said the car's latest owner wanted to return it to Australia, but needed to pay a luxury car tax to get it into the country.

He refused and sent it to Paris for the RM Auctions, where it fetched a new world record for a D-type Jaguar of $A5,628,490.

Crash photos

Did anyone photograph the wrecked D-type Jaguar? Jaguar Magazine editor Les Hughes said any photos of the wrecked car would be big news in the "car world".

If anyone finds a photo of the car, contact DEX on 6643 0500 or email newsroom@dailyexaminer.com.au.


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