As I alluded in my last column here, a West Australian plastic surgeon is to auction his fully restored right hand drive HK500 for charity – and then double the contribution from his own pocket. It is hoped Jayson Oates will raise some £250,000 for the Hunger Project which empowers the world’s most desperate people.
The HK500 is in tip-top condition; I first saw it about 20 years ago but since then it has been extensively restored and Oates has used it on a regular basis. It is HK AA7, first registered 1MPF on December 18, 1959 to Sir John Reiss. It was originally specced with disc brakes, Borrani wire wheels, silver with red interior and automatic and indeed, it still has all these features.
It was later owned by well known Facel enthusiast Barry Sanity amongst others before being exported to Australia in approximately 1979 by Jim Harwood. Maurice Brockwell, who owned another HK500, had it for a while before it went to another serial Facel owner, Terry McGrath. It was advertised in Unique Cars in Australia for Aus$36,000.
Oates bought the car at auction in February 1997 for Aus$20,000 and ran it until about 1998 when it was extensively restored. He said he spent around $160,000 on restoring the car.
He said it wasn’t an easy decision to put the car he has owned for over 20 years up for auction.“I was up half the night sweating… thinking what am I doing? This is probably the most beautiful thing I’ll ever own,” he said. But he decided to go ahead with the action and donation because of the impact the money would have on other people’s lives.
“I could sell my car and pay for family holidays for the rest of my life or donate the money to a charity and my life wouldn’t be any worse off,” Oates told The West Australian.
The online auction is currently scheduled for June 10 but first the car will be taken around Australia to publicise the forthcoming auction. It should be taken from Perth to Adelaide – no small trip one its own – before Melbourne and Sydney and possibly the Gold Coast before the auction.