When I bought my 1955 XK140 six years ago here in the UK, it came with a JDHT certificate in the name of the previous owner, who had imported it from CA. In the interests of completeness, I have just applied for one in my name.
I’m not hugely impressed with the new one… it did come in a very nice leather folder (extra £££s), but I was hoping a little bit more information than before might be offered. I gave them all the information that was on the previous owner’s certificate, and asked if I might know the key numbers as these were always quoted on Triumph or Austin-Healey certificates I have obtained in the past. The Jag certificate actually came with less information than the earlier certificate - it did not include the name of the first owner when the car was new, even though I had included that in my request. No matter, ultimately.
But this did prompt me to have another look around the 'net to see if I could find any more information about him/her. This time, I had a bit of a ‘bingo’ moment.
The car was imported to Hoffman in New York, so could have gone anywhere I think - for June '55, I think it must have been one of the last few he handled before Jaguar took over with their own dealerships.
The first owner, according to the older certificate, was G R Culberson. Town, city, state unknown. This time I just searched for G Culberson Jaguar. And up popped a page relating to VIR - 1960 July 16-17 - CCR SCCA Drivers School and Regionals. It seems ‘VIR’ is Virginia International Raceway, and ‘CCR’ is Central Carolinas Region. It focuses on Walt Hansgen, who was racing Jaguars there at the time.
Halfway down this page, which is really quite interesting, is a list of Race Personnel, which includes, under ‘REGISTRATION’, George and Katy Culberson. Further down the page is a list of the SCCA - CENTRAL CAROLINAS REGION BOARD OF DIRECTORS. In the middle of this is one George Culberson.
I know this proves nothing, but I would imagine that only an enthusiast of some degree would be likely to buy a new 140 in 1955, and might therefore show up in an enthusiast environment like the SCCA. Also, I wouldn’t have thought there were that many G Culbersons around in the US at that time - yes, it’s a very big place, but it strikes me as not being a particularly common name.
I wonder if I’ve found my first owner, either George or Katy? Does any US member know if the VIR or the SCCA has any sort of archive that I might be able to get access to?
I believe that the scca may have an archive that might go that far back.
Thanks Steven, I’ll see what I can find online for the SCCA. You never know!
Roger I have a full set of SCCA magazines from c1948
but in first instance without me hunting what is the chassis number of your car?
I have a full set of copies of entire factory archives so easy to see what’s listed on your car.
That would really helpful, Terry.
The chassis number is S817499, built in June '55, and I know it went over to Hoffman and Culberson was the first owner, according to the JDHT. That’s all I know, so anything more would be great. And let me know if there’s a search fee!
Hi Terry, did you get a chance to look at your records re S817499?
I’m dealing with the JCNA Carolina clubs and Coventry Foundation people at the moment on other matters, but would regard the latter as a primary source for many questions relating to Jaguar in North America.
According to CF Archives the first owner’s address was Box #97 Main St. McAdenville, N.C.
Thanks Peter, I’ve found the Coventry Foundation website, and will send an email to see if anyone there can help at all.
Roger, in order to learn the key codes for my E-type (those for the XK are stamped onto the original keys that I have) I sent an inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org, specifying chassis number, JDHT certificate number and date of issue. Tracy Nabbs, the Admin Assistant, then forwarded my email to email@example.com, appending the key codes and asking them to contact me, which they (Glen Parkes, Parts Technical) did, explaining they don’t supply keys but with Ms. Nabbs’ email appended. I thus learned the key codes indirectly.
You might want to try emailing Ms. Nabbs directly and by name. You might also want to emphasize you need only the codes, not the physical keys. Once you have the codes, old originals can be found. I was able to purchase original Wilmot Breeden coded keys for both my E-type and a spare set for my XK120 from Triple-C Motor Accessories, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, for a reasonable price.
As to finding information on the original owner, I might suggest you look into genealogy files. It’s one of my wife’s hobbies. Starting from the information on the JDHT certificate I purchased for my XK120 (when they were still providing original owners’ names) and her address, my wife was able to unearth reams of fascinating information on the original owner, at the same time connecting some of the obscure dots on the history of the car provided verbally by a PO.
Thanks Nick, I do have the codes as the original barrels were in the various locks. The locks themselves were trashed, but I have mixed and matched the sliding plates to allow use of the original key codes. I asked the JDHT if they would confirm the key codes (as that’s all they do now, confirm existing information - they won’t tell you anything new). Unfortunately the new certificate didn’t mention key codes, and had lost the name of the original owner which was supplied on the certificate the previous owner of the car had bought!
Roger, because the Culbersons lived in McAdenville, North Carolina, it is possible they purchased the XK140 at a local dealership. According to my January 1955 Jaguar dealership pamphlet, the closest dealership (around 17 miles) to McAdenville was:
409-44 North Tryon Street
You might try contacting the local library in McAdenville and ask if they have a 1955 City Directory. City Directories often provided additional information on residents such as their places of employment.
Mike, that’s great, thanks. What a wonderful advertisement, so of its time!
I think that’s very likely as I know from the certificate that it went to Hoffman in the US, and I think at June '55 it would have been one of the last few he handled as Jaguar were building up their own dealerships around then.
I’ll certainly get in touch with McAdenville Library and ask some questions.