HE WON a court battle to be named the owner of a vintage Jag, now Dubliner Derek Tynan plans to enter the car into a prestigious race in Italy.
Derek was gifted the 64-year-old car by a family friend. However, another man claimed he had bought the car in 1968. Following a court battle a judge on Wednesday ruled that Derek was the legal owner.
Now he has big plans for the car, which he has already spent €40,000 restoring. He wants to enter it into the Mille Miglia – a 1,000-mile race from Brescia to Rome.
Derek, who owns a car body shop in Blanchardstown, said he was relieved the case was over.
“I’d done a lot of work on the car over the first couple of years, but I had to stop while the case was ongoing,” he said.
Derek found the 1951 Jaguar XK120 when he was clearing out a barn owned by his friend Mary Duffy. He said he couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the “incredibly rare” car.
“I’m a Jag fan all my life ... to come across one of these, was an absolutely unbelievable bit of luck,” he said.
The car was owned by Ms Duffy’s late husband and she said Derek could have it.
His ownership was challenged by classic car dealer Desmond Quinn, who contacted him in 2012 saying he had a logbook and insisting he had bought it in 1968.
Mr Quinn’s claim was this week rejected by Judge Jaqueline Linnane, who said she didn’t find his story credible.
Now Derek is planning to hit the winding roads of northern Italy.
“It’s working – the engine is running. So hopefully I’ll be able to get the bodywork done by next summer and then I’m hoping to do the Mille Miglia in Italy. I’d love to do it in this car, it’d be fabulous,” he said.