Nothing in British Motorsport had ever caused quite an upset as when the first Ford Galaxie raced in the U.K. “We‘re going to race an American Ford Galaxie. Would you like to drive it?” came the offer from Jeff Uren to Jack Sears. Sears acceptance – after much reflection – would create a partnership that would turn the tables on Jaguar’s stranglehold on the British Touring Car Championship to take the title in 1963. The only previous occasion on which an American saloon had competed in British saloon events had been the previous year when Dan Gurney raced a Chevrolet ImpaIa at Silverstone and it had looked quite promising.
But it was not all plain sailing – having accepted Uren’s offer, back came what appeared as a cautionary note: “Well, I’m afraid the Galaxie isn’t ready yet, so you’ll have to start the season off in a Cortina GT.” ‘Gentleman’ Jack Sears simply sowed the seeds for the Cortina’s legendary success while he patiently waited for his American leviathan to be readied. When it did arrive, Sears was suitably impressed. “By the end of the practice I was becoming aware of clutch slip. But when I told the mechanics they just told me I’d have to take things easy because there just wasn’t a replacement available.
So I edged the Galaxie gently off the line, slipping it into top ear as quickly as I could. I went on to the Hangar Straight behind three Jaguars and just blew past them all as I went down into Stowe. It was quite amazing. I simply drove away from them with no difficulty, winning the race with ease even though I never took the car out of top gear after the second lap!” Sears’ success in the Willment Galaxie was virtually unchallenged throughout 1963, securing his second championship title with much greater ease than his first (1958 Austin Westminster).
This excellent example was owned by the well-known American actor and collector, Tim Allen prior to being imported into the UK. Once in the UK the car undertook sympathetic upgrades with the intention of entering the HSCC and potentially Goodwood – Lord March also owned a Galaxie 500! The Galaxie is currently fitted with 351 Ford V8 race spec engine, toploader 4 speed gearbox, lightweight T45 roll cage, original braking upgrades, race seat, plumbed in fire extinguisher and cut off system. Adding to its racing pedigree, it was also entered into the 2014 Silverstone Classic with 4 times BTCC Champion, Colin Turkington. What a great entry into the world of the HSCC and sure to provide a huge amount of enjoyment.