See the end of this article for the update of sum raised!

The owner of a 1999 Jaguar XK8 convertible has entered his pride and joy into the Charterhouse classic car auction on Thursday, 9 March, and will give all proceeds to the Devon Air Ambulance Trust. 

The owner is a keen road safety advocate and worked in the police force as a traffic officer and vehicle examiner during his long career. 

Devon Air Ambulance's Head of Business Development, Pete Vallance, said:

It's a fantastically generous gift that has clearly been very looked after by Mr Baverstock. It is a real privilege to be able to accept this amazing gift from John, a long-time supporter of Devon Air Ambulance throughout his career and later in his retirement.

"We have enjoyed working with the team at Charterhouse Auctions, who have kindly offered to sell this fantastic car with no fees to be paid by our cause. We're hoping that Jaguar enthusiasts from across the world place a bid or two to add this stunning model to their collection, and in doing so raise vital funds for Devon's Air Ambulance."

Jaguar owner's story

The generous donor and owner of the luxury car, Jon, shares his account of what the car means to him and why he has elected Devon Air Ambulance as the recipient of his gift. 

'How time flies! Here I am at 80, looking back to when I was 14 years old. My Dad was a police Sergeant stationed at Hatherleigh. Little did I know how things were about to change. I played the Tenor Horn with the Hatherleigh Silver Band and my intention was to join the Royal Marine Band.

'There was a road accident in a nearby village involving a motor cyclist and my father took me with him to the scene. The motorcyclist had been hit in the stomach by his handlebar and he was complaining bitterly of pain. After a while he was lying down in the road and within minutes lost consciousness and died. It transpired that a ruptured spleen was the cause of his death.

'It was 1956 and it was quite usual for an ambulance to be called and the driver and mate would drop their tools at work and jump into their vehicle and race to the scene. They were a dedicated team and highly qualified First Aiders. Oh for an Air Ambulance loaded with life-saving equipment and this lad would probably be alive today. This accident changed my life, the Band idea was dropped and I joined the old Devon Constabulary at 16 as a Cadet.

'The years passed and my dream as a 21 year-old was to become a traffic cop. I think it was 1963/64 when the dream came true. The only problem was that my experience as a 14 year-old came streaming back at a number of road accidents; so many people were dying before they reached hospital. It must be said that as the years passed by, the ambulance service became a dedicated service and response times improved and frequently an ambulance would be on-scene before the police arrived.

'My career developed as did my years as a traffic cop and in 1987 I retired as a Chief Inspector in Kingsbridge. It was in 1992 that the Devon Air Ambulance became operational and I have been a supporter ever since, probably due to my previous experiences.

In time I purchased a Triumph Stag; a lovely old classic car, and became a member of the Stag Owners' Club. We organised a number of runs through Devon, Moor to Moor, Coast to Coast etc. Each Run saw cars from around the UK come to Devon and take part making a considerable amount of money for charity which, of course, included the Devon Air Ambulance. 

'Now at 80, I find myself during the winter doing jigsaw puzzles with a good supply from the Kingsbridge Air Ambulance shop. DAAT is a wonderful charity and has saved so many lives over the years. Well done to them.'

As a charity that is 100% independent of government funding, it's supporters like Jon and like you that make our service possible. We welcome your continued supportRead more about this story

Auction update

The Jaguar went for an incredible £6,220! Devon Air Ambulance volunteers, Chris and Sara Bellworthy kindly attended the auction in Yeovil - here are a couple of pictures from the occasion.

Volunteer Chris Bellworthy with the Jaguar being auctioned for DAA The auctioneer with the DAA lot