I knew for certain from the Dorset Taxation records that KRU600 was first registered to "Maitland" on 20th December 1950. I also had a photograph that came with the car, of a lady who according to the Boldon Auction House was Mrs Vera Maitland. Additionally, a brief article in Classic Cars Magazine stated that it was first owned by Mrs V Maitland who may have used the car in the 1950 Exeter Trial and the 1951 edition of Autocar reported that Mrs VWM Maitland of Bournemouth did compete in the trial.
After extensive googling of Mrs VWM Maitland and all possible variations, in desperation I wrote to the Bournemouth Echo asking if they would do a piece about my search for the first owner. Nothing came of this until August 3rd when I received this extraordinary email.
You contacted the Echo some while ago regarding tracing the original owner of the Jag you are restoring. We will be running a piece on it shortly in our Snapshots of the Past section but, in the meantime, I thought you might like to know that we have contacted the original owner. He is an elderly gentleman called Mr (not Mrs) VWM (Vernon) Maitland who still lives locally. He bought it from Henley's in Bournemouth and remembers it fondly. His number is ###### should you wish to contact him yourself.
Its quite hard to describe the feeling as those words jumped off the page I can't really express the satisfaction and excitement but it was there in huge dollops!What is the likelihood of finding the first owner of a car first made and delivered in 1950. Not just any car but what must have been at that time the equivalent of today's Mclaren F1 - and in 1950, certainly the fastest production car in the world.
|Dorset taxation office record. KRU600 5th entry from top|
|And yes, that is Vernon Maitland in KRU600 doing the 1950 Exeter Trial|
|Vernon signing in perhaps. Note the man in the black cote|
with the pipe, presumably lit and around a foot from the end
of the petrol pump nozzle!
And what of Mrs VWM Maitland. A complete red herring! I can only guess that the entry form for the 1950 Exeter trial somehow said Mrs instead of Mr and all other misinformation flowed from that point. The photo was introduced slightly mischievously at a crucial point and gave life to the storey. In retrospect, I'm very happy it turned out to be Vernon Walter Mactear Maitland and I look forward immensely to driving KRU600 down to Bournemouth to meet up in the summer of 2013 for a photo or two.
|Erroneous picture of lady with entourage, no doubt carefully|
selected with correct period costume. I wonder who it really is?