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Malcolm Sears in the Sunbeam Tiger AHP 295B in its final form in the summer of 1971 with its wide tires now housed in proper wide arches rumbling through a bend in aniother Modsport race.

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CAR : SUNBEAM TIGER

REG : `AHP 295B`
ENGINE : FORD V8 cylinder 4727cc
MODSPORT CAREER : June 1970 -Sep 1971
KNOWN MODSPORTS RACES : 20
CLASS WINS : 9
OVERALL WINS : 2
HONOURS : Class winner 1971 MCD 'STP' Modsports championship
DRIVER : MALCOLM SEARS
( b.Hackney 1940 )
OCCUPATION : Transport Manager and part time racer
PREVIOUS OWNER : Mike Coombe
( 1965-1969 )

Malcolm Sears went from just another 60's club racer to being part of the cult film 'Le Mans' with Steve McQueen . The Truck driver from Hackney started out in 1962 Hillclimbing his Standard Vanguard. For 1963 Sears had 4 circuit races ,sprints in a Jaguar saloon then a Jaguar XK140 for 1964. Staying in sports cars he then raced a Sunbeam Alpine ,26 races in 1966 ( inc. 16 'Amasco' rounds ) and 26 finishes from 28 races in 1967.
Having become the Garage manager of the Apex Rubber Co too it enabled Sears to race more and prep his cars better. Having sold the Alpine in Nov 1967 he bought the 1961 Sprinzel Sebring Sprite '200 PMO' ( raced by Stirling Moss at Sebring and rallied by Spinzel himself and Paul Hawkins ). Rebuilt and painted red it proved unreliable finishing only 12 of 26 races during 1968/69. Malcolm became good pals with top flight all round racer Hawkins amongst others sports car drivers and was devastated when 'Hawkeye' was killed at Oulton Park in 1969. By 1971 Sears the Tiger-racer was asked by David Piper to be one of the drivers in Steve McQueen's 'Le Mans' film ,he fitted in so well he was the one asked to remote crash the Ferrari 512 ! Hear Malcolm's recolections of this adventure via this link :

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Above : Two great photos of Malcolm Sears handling the Tiger out the hairpin at Mallory Park ,one of the best spectator spots for motor sport probably anywhere in the world.
Left- taken on June 28th 1970 at the MCD Modsport round where Sears was caught up in John Sabourin`s spin at the same spot which both cars retired from.
Below -unidentified date in 1970 this time Sears holds a lurid powerslide out of the hairpin as he puts the V8s power down. My thanks to Ray Green for these 2 photographs

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POP-UP GALLERY

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Sunbeam Tiger
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Sad end to the story...

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Sadly the story ends in tragedy as the car crashed at Oulton Park and poor Malcolm suffered terrible injuries.

Motorsport Historian Doug Nye summed up the incident and aftermath in his 2008 article 'The Tiger That Kept Roaring' :

"Sadly, on September 18, 1971, after a very successful season, Malcolm left the road at Old Hall Corner, Oulton Park, and his GT40-engined Tiger slammed into the sleeper-faced outside bank. Having originated as a European rally car, ‘295B’ was left-hand drive, and as its engine and left-front wheel were smashed back into the cockpit, and the wreck caught fire, Malcolm Sears was savagely injured. He lost an eye and lay in a coma for three months, followed by nine years in hospital. He emerged brain-damaged but slowly regained capability and has survived to this day. The Tiger’s crushed and burned hulk was retrieved from Oulton Park, and lay rusting beneath a tarpaulin in Essex for several months, before being hauled out by Malcolm’s brother and trailed to oblivion in Jones’s scrapyard in Delamare Road, Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire; a very final resting place for this rare breed’s only international rally winner."

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" I thought I was the only one who remembered that V8 Tiger and its intrepid driver, whom I always think of with great affection as he was a very decent guy. "
- Dave Brodie

Click link to listen to Malcolm Sears recall his work in the filming of Le Mans with Steve McQueen in his interview of November 2017 by Avery Healthcare :

Click link to read Dave Brodie`s recollections of the friendly rivalry between the two Modsport racers : 'Forgotten Hero Remembered' :

At the time of his crash on September 18th Malcolm was leading the 'big' capacity class of the MCD Modsports Championship with 66 points to next man Peter Archer's 33 and clear favourite to win. The remaining 6 rounds with Malcolm hospitalised saw another E-Type racer James Mehew close the gap coming into the finale at Brands to 9 points . His 12 points gained for the class win took him above Malcolm in the championship. Brian Hough piped Jon Fltcher for overall honours .

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