May 10th 2012 – Monaco
Okay so it is the Monaco Historics this weekend, so here is my picks for driving and for posing
To race in
The ex-Works/’Williams’ inaugural Monaco Grand Prix-winning, Marne Grand Prix-winning, Dieppe Grand Prix-winning
1928 Bugatti Type 35B Grand Prix Racing Two-Seater
Chassis no. 4914
Engine no. 170T
The most original surviving Grand Prix winner from the 1920s
That sometimes over-used word patina seems somehow inadequate in the case of this old warrior, whose every panel is mute evidence of its dramatic racing career. For this stunningly-original supercharged straight-8 cylinder Bugatti is the actual winner of the very first edition
of the motor racing calendars most glamorous event – the Monaco Grand Prix. In 1929 this actual car was driven by the enigmatic
Anglo-Frenchman William Grover-Williams, who raced under the
nom de course W. Williams and who would, as a hero of the French Resistance, be brutally murdered by the Nazis at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in the final stages of the Second World War.
Moreover, it was also raced with success by two of Frances
greatest Grand Prix drivers of the inter-war period Louis Chiron
and René Dreyfus.
This extraordinarily important Bugatti is not only the most remarkably well-preserved, least
molested and original of all pre-World War II Grand Prix racing cars known to have survived. It is not only the car which won that inaugural Monaco Grand Prix driven by Williams, but also it seems the 1928 Marne Grand Prix at Reims-Gueux, driven by Louis Chiron and certainly
the 1929 Dieppe Grand Prix, driven by René Dreyfus.
Bugatti marque expert David Sewell tells us that this car, chassis 4914, began life as one of just four straight-eight Grand Prix Bugattis to be produced in February 1928. Two of that quartet were Type 35Cs while the third was Type 35B, chassis serial 4913.
During that year, Bugatti registered just one other Type 35B as a works car chassis 4925 while also registering a 1927 Type 35C Targa Florio works entry and a 1927 T39A that had been returned to the factory.
However, the engine for this car, 4914, was not ready for it to contest the Targa Florio on 6th May, in which Bugatti entered 4913 (which, driven by Albert Divo, was victorious) and two
Type 35Cs (Louis Chirons finishing fourth). This car, 4914, should have made its racing debut driven by Williams in the Roman Premio Reale race on 10th June, but failed to start, although its sibling 4913 was loaned to a prospective Swiss client named Mario Lepori, who finished sixth and bought that car.
The Marne GP at Reims on 8th July then witnessed a comfortable win for fast-rising Monegasque star Louis Chiron in the only Bugatti works entry, which was a Type 35B. The car in question was almost certainly 4914 – now offered here – since Lepori had already bought 4913 and the other works team candidate 4925 would not be road-registered for another two weeks.
The next major event of that 1928 season was the German Grand Prix on 15th July, run as a sports car race. The Molsheim-based Bugatti works team entered two road-equipped Type 35Bs, of which one would probably have been 4914 , declares David Sewell – although it is
unclear which the other could have been. Driver Nando Minoia finished seventh in one of
these cars, while Conelli retired the other.
The San Sebastian Grand Prix followed, in which Bugatti entered four works cars; a lone Type 35B for Frances most famous driver the then-reigning World Champion Robert Benoist – and three Type 35Cs. Benoist finished second in the Grand Prix behind Louis Chirons Type 35C, and although his car carrying race number 9 – ran without its front apron which carried the
registration index that would have positively identified it, Antoine Raffaëllis assertion in his
authoritative book Archives dun Passion (Memoirs of a Bugatti Hunter) that it was indeed 4914 (rather than 4925, registered just four days earlier) is borne out by contemporary press reports stating that the works 35B raced later that season by Williams was brand new at the time
of the Monza Grand Prix on 9th September, so it must therefore have been that other
Subsequently, by March 1929, the Bugatti factory had sold and de-registered all of its 1928 works racing cars with the exception of 4914. Thus this very car had been retained as the sole Type 35B available to uphold Bugatti honour until May, when the first two of the seven 1929 works cars would become race-ready.
Grand Prix racing had entered the doldrums in 1928-29, so the announcement that the inaugural running of the new and exciting round-the-houses Monaco Grand Prix would take place on 14th April 1929 had caused considerable excitement amongst the racing fraternity.
Probably because the nature of this charismatic new event represented a sortie into the unknown, no official works entries featured amongst those listed. However, Williams obviously had factory support backing his entry of 4914, which according to David Sewell was definitely still registered to Automobiles Bugatti, even though for this very special occasion it had been painted dark-medium green, Williamss British racing colour reflecting his nationality.
As a preview, the British weekly magazine The Autocar reported: That capital little affair the Monte Carlo Grand Prix, which is to run wild through the streets of the Principality, has received twenty-three entries, all of which the promoters appear anxious to start. This affair should be the nearest approach to a Roman chariot race that has been seen of recent years. Presumably the officials consider that the number of runners will be substantially reduced at the end of the first round
Their pessimism proved unfounded. Although only sixteen competitors finally lined-up on the starting grid, their quality was high. Eight Bugattis confronted three Alfa Romeos, two Maseratis, a Delage, a Corre-la-Licorne and a lone Mercedes-Benz SSK and everybody completed the
opening lap without injury although Marcel Lehoux would soon broadside his Bugatti into
the waterside sandbag barrier and then spend much time and effort bowling wheels from pit
to car to replace those broken in the impact.
Williams had taken the lead from Lehoux on the initial climb from Ste Devote, and this near four-hour race round the twisting Monte Carlo street and quayside circuit then developed into an epic David-and-Goliath duel between Williams in this 2.3-litre supercharged Bugatti and the Mercedes-Benz works-backed German driver Rudi Caracciola in his thunderously powerful 7.1-litre supercharged SSK. After ten laps Williams led from Caracciola by just 4 seconds, and he used 4914s nimble handling to draw out a further 6 seconds over the next ten laps.
Caracciola then fought back, and on lap 30 he passed Williams between the exit from the Tir aux Pigeons tunnel and the chicane to lead the Grand Prix. Two laps later Williams responded with the fastest lap of the entire race ripping round in 2 mins 15 secs, 52.69mph (84.8km/h) and by lap 35 he had forced this Bugatti back into the lead. Caracciola hung on grimly to the green cars tail, never more than 2 seconds behind and muscling the great white Mercedes round the course in 2 mins 16 secs.
On lap 49 Williams stopped for fuel and – despite the best efforts of the Bugattis mechanic Ernest Zirn – Caracciola regained the lead. At half-distance the German star led from Bourianos Bugatti in second place, with Williams third.
Caracciola made his refuelling stop on lap 51 but the heavy Mercedes needed both rear wheels changed and this four-and-a-half minute delay ruined his chances. Williams had regained the lead, from Bouriano and de Rothschild, with Caracciola fourth, having lost a lap. Williams was able to ease off and race home at his own comfortable pace, completing the scheduled 100-lap distance to win at 49.83mph (80.194km/h). He later declared that he had only been able to use top gear in the very last laps once the pressure upon his lead had eased and Caracciola had
Remarkably, the distinctive Cup presented to Williams for winning this inaugural Monaco Grand Prix that day would be donated by his widow circa 1968 to the Bugatti Owners Club in England, and it is to be displayed with the car in our auction viewing at Goodwood Revival. This will be the first time in 75 years that this original trophy has been reunited with the original winning car. Perhaps even more remarkably, the present vendor of this magnificent time machine Grand Prix Bugatti was actually present as a young boy spectator in Monte Carlo that day, accompanying his enthusiast father
With this historic 1929 Monaco Grand Prix victory in the bag, 4914 never raced again as a factory entry and on 22nd May that year it was invoiced for sale for FFr 110,000 to Ettore Bugattis close associate Ernest Friderich, the Bugatti agent in Nice. In fact the victorious car had probably been taken to his premises for overhaul direct from the race.
Ernest Friderich then sold 4914 to Baron Albert de Bondeli, a wealthy Parisian-based Franco-Swiss sportsman – born at Neuchâtel (Switzerland) on 16 April 1901 – who wintered in Nice and who wanted it to provide a more competitive mount for his protégé, the fast-rising Niçois star driver (and Friderich Bugatti salesman) René Dreyfus, who had achieved a remarkable fifth place at Monaco at the wheel of his 1.5-litre Bugatti Type 37A.
On 16th July 1929, De Bondeli re-registered 4914 in Nice as 9273 BA and he provided Dreyfus with a Chevrolet truck to transport the Bugatti to the races, the first of which was the inaugural Dieppe Grand Prix on 7th July. In the young drivers skilled hands it provided an easy win for this still green-painted car. Just 18 days later, and with De Bondelis ex-Monaco Grand Prix-winning Bugatti now repainted a particularly bright blue, Dreyfus finished fourth in the major San Sebastian Grand Prix behind the three new works Type 35Bs headed by Chirons.
Despite his subsequent assertion that he finished well down the field, it seems that Dreyfus
non-started in his next race, the Comminges Grand Prix at St Gaudens, but he then finished third driving 4914 in the Tunis Grand Prix on 17th November with De Bondeli fifth (and winner of the 1500cc class) in the Type 37A.
Sadly, that North African outing was to be Dreyfuss last race in 4914, as in 1930 his benefactor and entrant, Baron De Bondeli,
suffered a terrible road accident near Avignon, in the Vaucluse, after which he had to have a leg amputated. His personal racing days over, he would decide eventually to sell the Type 35B. However, René Dreyfus went on to win in another Type 35B chassis serial 4944 – on DEsterel Plage at St Raphael (on March 2, 1930) and
subsequently won both the 1930 Monaco and Marne GPs as well.
At this point the records become a little confusing, indicating a sale to one Maurice Boutin of Nice on 20th January 1931, when the car was re-registered 2121 BA2. It appears that the sale to M. Boutin was not completed for some reason, since another record reveals that Dreyfus bought 4914 directly from De Bondeli on 23rd
September 1931. Fascinatingly, just four days later on 27th September 1931, René Dreyfus won the minor Brignoles Grand Prix in France driving a Bugatti bearing this Type 35Bs Albert de Bondeli registration number 9273 BA. However, the car he drove that day he recalled as a twin-cam Bugatti Type 51, loaned to him by his friend Count Stanislas Czaykowski, not his newly-acquired ex-De Bondeli Type 35B at all. By coincidence, Brignoles is the home town of this remarkable Lots vendor. Within months of that event, on 17th February 1932, Dreyfus then sold this Type 35B to Aristide Lumachi of Marseille, who re-registered it as 8871 CA4 (the number still painted on this cars apron today).
Lumachi had recently sold the 1929 Bugatti Type 35B (4942) that
he had actively campaigned during the 1930-31 seasons, but no subsequent evidence has come to light of his having raced 4914. It seems probable that during his long ownership he then painted it red, and fitted it with the lighting set dynamo and wiring which
survive on the car today, together with a hood and broad windscreen now evidenced only by empty bolt holes. Lumachi seems to have retained ownership throughout the 1930s, the car spending the war years 1939-1945 stored in Friderichs Nice showrooms. Lumachi entered a Bugatti probably this car for the 1946 Marseilles GP, but failed to appear. Old 4914 was finally acquired by a wine merchant from the Var region soon after the end of hostilities.
In 1950 the wine merchant who, it seems, had never used this now
blue-overpainted car on the road – ran into financial difficulties and his property was seized and placed in storage before being auctioned off in 1954, when 4914 was acquired by the vendor, a lifelong Bugatti enthusiast, in succession to his father. It was my father, a former mechanic who loved all things Bugatti, and who owned several, who pressed me to buy it, he recalls today.
He remained unaware of his Bugatti Type 35Bs history until the
early 1960s when the late Hugh Conway heard of the existence of the previously lost and unrecorded 4914 probably through his friend Antoine Raffaëlli and he wrote to the owner in April 1963 informing him that his 4914 was indeed the surviving winner of that inaugural 1929 Monaco Grand Prix. As a consequence, the
car was invited to open the course officially at the 1965 Monaco Grand Prix meeting, driven by none other than the great Louis Chiron himself.
In the meantime, industrialist Fritz Schlumpf – who was assembling the worlds largest collection of Bugattis for his private museum in Mulhouse – had also learned of the survival of 4914. Over several years he persistently wooed its owner with letters, personal visits and repeated offers to buy the car at any price its owner cared to name, even offering employment of his son as an inducement. All such blandishments were firmly refused, together with all other
efforts to acquire this unique Bugatti.
In fact and most appropriately the car was placed upon display in the motor museum at Monte Carlo founded by the late Prince Rainier of Monaco. It has been cared for there since the museums opening eleven years ago.
Still in running order and with no replacement parts in evidence apart from its tyres, old 4914 was used once again to open the course of the Monaco Grand Prix Historique in 1997 and in 2000. Yet its long-term owner has used 4914 incredibly sparingly during his stewardship of this extraordinarily precious historical document of a car. Today he considers that during his entire half century of ownership he has driven 4914 for barely 500kms in total. I think it has probably covered 15,000-20,000 kilometres in its life, he says.
In 2000 Prince Rainier unveiled a life-size bronze sculpture of this very car with Williams at its wheel on the Monegasque circuits famous Ste Devote corner, in memory of its landmark victory on that distant yet enduringly historic day in 1929.
Sold 2005 at Bonhams UK for approx. US$5.0 million.
1938 Auto-Union Type D
The Silver Arrows—successful, streamlined Grand Prix racers of the late-1930’s built by premier German manufacturers and finished in a shimmering shade of their home country’s racing color. Of these legendary racers built by Auto Union and Mercedes-Benz, the Auto Union D-Type has perhaps become the most storied. With a postwar past shrouded in mystery and controversy, the D-Type has become a captivating symbol of early racing heritage. As the Bonhams & Butterfields auction house prepares to offer D-Type chassis 19 on August 14, 2009, the legendary Auto Union is set to show the world the unfathomable cost of a legendary history.
Ferdinand Porsche had been working for Auto Union prior to the D-Type’s development. In a careless attempt at cost cutting, his contract had dropped by Auto Union after 1937. Everything worked out fine for Porsche, who was immediately and happily offered another job by Mercedes-Benz, but Auto Union had lost its best engineer. Nevertheless, Auto Union was able to develop the competitive D-Type for Grand Prix racing in just 18 months.
Another man who had recently and thoughtlessly been let go was skilled driver Hans Stuck. Luckily, Hans Stuck accepted when Auto Union realized his talents were desperately needed in the 1938 season. Stuck took the German Mountain Championship in 1938 as he deftly piloted a D-Type to victories at La Turbie and Grossglockner. After the tragic death of driver Bernd Rosemeyer in 1938, Auto Union hired Tazio Nuvolari. With drivers like Stuck and Nuvolari at the wheels of the D-Types, the success of the cars was almost guaranteed.
Auto Union would not have been content without knowing that its team of skilled drivers was provided with the very best of Teutonic machinery. Accordingly, the D-Type was engineered and built to perfection. To meet new Grand Prix regulations for 1938, the supercharged D-Type was required to have a maximum engine displacement of 3,000cc and a minimum weight of 850kg. In line with all rules, the Auto Union had a dry weight of 850kg and a V12 engine displacing 2,990cc.
The V12 initially produced 420bhp at 7,000rpm, but when a twin-stage supercharger was adopted for the 1939 racing season the output swung up to a spectacular 485bhp at the same engine speed. Though there was never a need to rev much higher than 7,000rpm, the engines were capable of speeds in excess of 10,000rpm. The power plants were remarkable feats by themselves, and their mid-mounted placement in the D-Type chassis offered impressive handling characteristics. A transaxle was linked directly to the rear of the engine.
Further aiding the handling of the mid-engined D-Type was its use of a De Dion rear axle to replace a rear swing arm suspension. Dated shock absorber technology was employed from the beginning, but hydraulic dampers were adopted later to improve the car’s already excellent on-track driving characteristics. Even the fuel placement was optimized to provide precise handling. Stored low to the ground in tanks within the D-Type’s wheelbase, fuel acted as a stabilizing ballast that kept the center of gravity low and the weight distribution good.
In 1939, 11 D-Types were raced. Second place finishes were attained by Nuvolari in the EifelRennen and by another driver at the Belgian Grand Prix. A 1-2 finish was realized at Reims-Gueux in France. The D-Types saw their final races in 1939. After that, the ensuing war halted all such activities as the world struggled through some of the most difficult and trying years it had ever known.
As nations slowly rebuilt and recovered after World War II, there wasn’t exactly a great rush to find the whereabouts of a few successful Grand Prix racers from the prior decade. The Auto Unions were forgotten. Many ended up in the Soviet Union, where they were stripped down so that Soviet automakers could discover the root of their magic. After learning what they could from the cars, Soviet engineers had several of the Auto Union racers thoughtlessly scrapped and discarded. Other Auto Unions met similarly degrading fates, being stripped of finely engineered pieces that found their way into Soviet racing cars. In an ultimate insult, one Auto Union chassis was cut in half to be used for a trailer. Thinking about the mutilation of these once awe-inspiring machines is enough to make any racing enthusiast cringe with grief.
For a vintage racing fan named Paul Karassik, the pain was too much to take. A native of Russia living in Florida, Karassik went on a heroic quest through Russia, seeking all he could find related to Auto Union’s past. He was undoubtedly successful, locating the complete and unmolested D-Type chassis 19. Though chassis 19 was without an engine, Karassik was able to track down a late-model Auto Union V12.
Karassik logically chose to have the V12 installed in chassis 19 to create a driving example of an extremely rare automobile. He had the car and engine delivered to Crosthwaite & Gardiner in Buxted, England, a highly respected specialist in Silver Arrow motorcars. Crosthwaite & Gardiner were responsible for restoring chassis 19 to its impeccable present condition. They also rebuilt the V12 to the proper specifications of chassis 19’s original engine with twin-stage supercharging, installing the engine in the waiting D-Type upon completion.
Chassis 19 is set to be the main attraction at this year’s Bonhams Quail Lodge auction in Carmel, California when it crosses the block on August 14. The car’s well-documented racing career indicates that Hans Stuck finished sixth in the car at the 1939 Reims-Gueux race. Stuck was the last driver to race chassis 19, and the Reims-Gueux event was the car’s final outing.
The importance of the Auto Union D-Type is undeniable. It was one of the finest Grand Prix cars of its era, a highly competitive machine complete with exquisite engineering and dazzling looks. As chassis 19 comes to auction, it brings with it the exceedingly rare chance to own a genuine piece of Grand Prix history.
This year marks the twelfth annual Bonhams Quail Lodge auction. Always a site for the finest collector cars, 2009 will be a particularly exciting year at the Quail Lodge. With its fabled history, aesthetic excellence, and mechanical brilliance, D-Type chassis 19 begs one important question—what is the price of priceless? Bonhams & Butterfields estimates a top bid price in excess of $8-million.
1950 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport
To be auctioned on
Saturday, May 12, 2012
200+ bhp, 4,482 cc OHV aluminium inline six-cylinder engine with dry-sump lubrication, triple Zenith carburettors, twin-ignition cylinder head, Wilson four-speed pre-selector gearbox, independent front suspension with wishbones and transverse leaf spring, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and Lockheed four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,500 mm (98.4″)
• Only three owners from new; complete with stellar period and vintage-racing history
• Co-driven at the 1951 24 Hours of Le Mans by Juan-Manuel Fangio and Louis Rosier
• Single ownership since 1958; restored, maintained and raced ever since
When engineer Antonio Lago arrived at Talbot’s Suresnes, France plant in 1934 with orders to restore its operations to health, he immediately injected a renewed focus on performance and racing to generate sales. New 2.7- and 3.0-litre six-cylinder engines, followed by a 4.0-litre unit for the Speciale, were soon developed to carry the wide range of luxurious cars demanded by Talbot’s discerning clientele. Entries at Le Mans in 1937 were followed by a focus on Grand Prix competition, with the four-litre’s reliability and fuel economy often providing the winning edge over the far more powerful competition from Alfa Romeo, Auto Union, Maserati and Mercedes-Benz.
The GP cars and sports racers of Talbot-Lago were quite closely based upon the marque’s production-car designs and this philosophy continued after World War II. With the help of Walter Becchia and Carlo Marchetti, the Talbot-Lago ‘six’ was increased in displacement to 4.5 litres and fitted with a new hemispherical combustion-chamber head, with the valve train actuated by dual camshafts with pushrods, similar to the Riley design. The long crankshaft was capably supported by seven main bearings, and this engine proved highly reliable and successful in competition.
Despite a horsepower disadvantage to the competition, a race-tuned version of the 4.5-litre Talbot-Lago six-cylinder engine powered the company’s two entries at Le Mans in 1950. There, a T26 Grand Sport was driven by Louis Rosier and his son, Jean-Louis (car number 5), and a Talbot-Lago monoposto (car number 7) was piloted by Pierre Meyrat and Guy Mairesse. Whilst both were considered underdogs, their durability and reliability provided the winning edge during the gruelling event, and they ultimately triumphed, outlasting the favoured Ferrari entries and achieving a stunning 1-2 finish, marking perhaps the company’s greatest racing victory. Mirroring the durability of his Talbot-Lago, winning driver Louis Rosier drove all but two laps of the race, adjusted his valve train in the pits and even suffered a black eye when he struck a wayward owl at night!
1950 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport Chassis 110057
Originally built as a cycle-winged sports racing car, T26 Grand Sport Chassis 110057, the example offered here, was originally intended for the 1950 24 Hours of Le Mans, but it was not completed in time for the event and was subsequently purchased by 1950 Le Mans champion Louis Rosier, who entered it into the 1951 24 Hours of Le Mans. Race-numbered 6 and co-driven by Rosier and 1950 Formula One World Champion Juan-Manuel Fangio, the car retired from the race after 92 laps due to an oil-tank failure, where extremely hot motor oil spilled onto Fangio and caused him great pain.
Next, 110057 was rebodied under Rosier in 1952 by Italy’s Carrozzeria Motto to carry closed-wheel sportscar bodywork in compliance with new Le Mans regulations. Whilst Mr. Rosier had by then switched his racing focus to the Grand Prix with his single-seater, he continued to campaign his ‘motto barquette’ nonetheless. Following the 1952 Monaco Grand Prix, where the car, numbered 64 and with Louis Rosier and Maurice Trintignant driving, retired after 37 laps. At the 1952 Grand Prix de Reims, 110057 was numbered 42 and driven by Eugène Chaboud, who qualified 5th but did not finish.
In 1953, 110057 was sold to Georges Grignard and entered into the 1953 Coupé du Salon at Montlhéry, where it was numbered 4 and qualified 2nd but failed to finish, with Mr Grignard driving solo. That December, at the 12 Hours de Casablanca, 110057 was co-driven by Georges Grignard and “pay-to-drive” co-driver Lino Fayen, who unfortunately ignored repeated signals to stop for fuel, including a crewmember waving a massive fuel funnel at him in the middle of the track!
Following the 1951, 1952 and 1953 race seasons, 110057 was entered into the 1954 24 Hours of Le Mans and was to be driven by Georges Grignard and Guy Mairesse but was involved in a tragic accident on 25 April 1954 at the Coupe de Paris at Montlhéry. There, Mairesse was killed in practice when he struck a wall whilst attempting to avoid another car that had stopped on the racing line. It was subsequently locked away in the garage of Grignard, where it remained virtually untouched, still sitting on its transporter. In 1958, the present owner purchased 110057 and restored it, racing it for a number of seasons prior to returning the car to its original cycle-wing body style, in order to be eligible for participation in both historic GP and sportscar races. The car was UK-registered WXE68 and retains this number today.
As extensively documented within Pierre Abeillon’s definitive two-volume Talbot-Lago de Course, published in 1992, the current owner of 110057 visited the Talbot factory in 1958 in search of spare parts for his father’s T26 Record (chassis 101051), and whilst there, he enquired as to the availability of a single-seat T26C Grand Prix car. Even though they had been out of use for some time and none were believed available, Tony Lago suggested a visit to Georges Grignard in nearby Puteaux, France, who owned such a car, chassis 110057. Behind a dusty window of a nearby shed, this T26 Grand Sport was sighted. However, Mr Grignard’s asking price was quite high, and he clearly did not wish to sell.
Although the front of its “envelope” bodywork was damaged from the 1954 crash at Montlhéry, the car remained mechanically sound. A deal was struck to purchase the car, and in order to avoid the possible complications involved with trying to export the car to the UK, onsite repairs were completed by the new owner, with the help of his father and one of Grignard’s men, to allow the car to be driven for its shipment to England. In fact, just one front wheel and the radiator needed replacement.
Once in the UK and fully repaired, 110057 returned to the track by 1961 with the repaired Motto bodywork still in place, but after two seasons, the car was no longer competitive and was better suited for historic events.
The car returned for the 1968 season, but having decided that the closed-wheel body style was not optimal, the owner commissioned Robert Peel to re-skin the original open-wheel, cycle-winged coachwork of 110057 as closely as possible, a task made easier by virtue of the fact that the Motto “envelope” body was simply attached to the car’s chassis by outriggers. Still in bare aluminium, 110057 was unveiled for the opening of the Totnes Motor Museum in Devon, UK. In 1988, exact period-correct mudguard mountings were fitted to 110057 and after experiencing some engine issues in 1989, much of the car was dismantled, presenting an excellent opportunity to perfect the car and reconfigure the front of it exactly as original.
Offered from the collection of the current long-term caretaker of the past 54 years, who is a true purist and highly active gentleman racer, 110057 has been a virtual fixture in historic-racing circles for practically every season since 1961. Carefully maintained and perfected throughout the intervening decades, 110057 has been a consistent class winner in historic racing for many years through to 2011, including a Grand Prix class win that year at Spa-Francorchamps, and participation at the Goodwood Revival Meeting in the Juan-Manuel Fangio tribute race. In fact, this highly competitive car has never been beaten by another Talbot-Lago, including all-out Grand Prix-specification single-seaters.
It is wonderfully presented at auction with just three owners from new and complete racing history, having been driven competitively by the current owner and its early roster, including Georges Grignard, Guy Mairesse, 1950 Le Mans champion Louis Rosier, Maurice Trintignant and El Maestro, five-time Formula One World Champion Juan-Mauel Fangio, at such legendary circuits as Le Mans, Montlhéry, Monaco and more. Currently fitted with the engine from 110055, the Pierre Levegh car, accompanied at auction by its matching numbers engine, the T26 Grand Sport, is sold with many spares, which are documented on a list, and photographs for reference. A true “dual-purpose” car capable of competing either as a sports racer with its mudguards and lights or as a vintage GP car without them, 110057 offers its next caretaker a true myriad of possibilities.
Being offered at RM Monaco here: http://www.rmauctions.com/FeatureCars.cfm?SaleCode=MC12&CarID=r324
Ferrari 225 S Vignale Spyder
Ferrari’s first production racing car, the 166 MM, was introduced late in 1948. In the following years the model evolved into the 195 Sport, 212 Export, 225 Sport and finally the 250 MM. For anyone familiar with Ferrari nomenclature, it will not come as a surprise that each of these cars had a slightly larger version of the Colombo V12 engine. Starting in the 166 MM at a discplament of 2 litre (a unitary displacement of 166 cc), the engine grew in size to 3 litre (250 cc) within five years. The chassis remained virtually unchanged, while the various coachbuilders added plenty of variety.
The origins of the single overhead camshaft engine lay with designs penned by Gioacchino Colombo way back in 1946. With Grand Prix racing in mind the initial displacement was just 1500 cc. In Naturally Aspirated form the big successes came once the V12 was enlarged to two litres with victories at Le Mans and in the Mille Miglia. This gain in cylinder size was achieved by increasing both the bore and the stroke to 60 mm and 58.8 mm respectively. The bore would grow further, but the stroke remained the same in all future applications of the Colombo engine.
The first evolution came in 1950 with the displacement lifted to 2.3 litre on four existing 166 MMs to create the 195 S. The following year the bore was raised to 68 mm for a swept volume of just under 2.6 litre. Fitted to the 212 Export chassis, it was good for a healthy 150 bhp. A total of 27 examples were constructed and during the year a shift in favoured coachbuilder became apparent. All but five of the 166 MMs were bodied by Touring, yet less the Milanese worked on less than half of the 212s. Vignale of Turin handled as many cars as Touring and that trend would continue with the next customer racing Ferrari.
In 1951 there also was a slight evolution in the chassis design. The original elliptical-section tubular frame was, for a select few models, replaced by a smaller diameter tubular frame with additional cross braces. Known as the ‘Tuboscocca’, the new chassis was slightly lighter and more rigid. What remained the same was the very short wheelbase, the double wishbone front suspension with a transverse leaf spring and the live rear axle. Stopping power was provided by drum brakes all around and the engine’s horses were transferred to the rear wheels by a five-speed gearbox.
Competition from other manufacturers as well as the larger engined Ferrari Works cars had really picked up in the early 1950s. The smaller customer cars were now rarely in contention for overall victories in major events, but still remained highly competitive in local races, particularly in Italy. In 1952 the cylinders were bored out a further 2 mm, raising the displacement to 2.7 litre. Compression was also increased, which helped bump the power to a very impressive 210 bhp figure for the 225 S. All but one of the twenty-one examples built received a Vignale coachwork, fittingly the one exception was a Touring Barchetta.
Ferrari’s annual increase in engine size ended that year. The company’s engineer settled on a bore and stroke of 73 mm and 58.8 mm respectively, which yielded a displacement of 2953 cc. This engine was first fitted to the 1952 Mille Miglia winning 250 S, which would form the basis for a whole range of Ferrari road and racing cars that would win every major race. So the 166 MM, 195 S, 212 Export and 225 S were not only a commercial and competition success for the fledgling company, they also laid the foundation for a very bright future for Ferrari.
The featured Ferrari 225 S Vignale Spyder was ordered by Count Vittorio Marzotto, who like his brothers was an avid racer. Along with another six 225 Sports and the Works 250 S, Marzotto raced his new machine at the Mille Miglia, but he failed to make the finish. Less than a month later Count Vittorio lined up for the Monaco Grand Prix, which was held for sports cars in the absence of Formula 1 cars. Against a strong field of British, German and French racing cars, he took an impressive victory, beating the likes of Stirling Moss.
After racing the car a few more times, it was sold to fellow Italian Pietro Palmieri. He raced the 225 S to two victories late in 1952. Chassis 0154 ED was subsequently sold to South Africa where the nose was modified and a larger engine fitted. Over the years the car changed hands several times before ending up with its current Spanish owner. Fully restored, it is campaigned at a select few events including the 2006 and 2008 Monaco Historic Grands Prix where it is pictured above.
Last Sold 2007 for Approx. US$3.0 million
Maserati 250F #2522/2523/2526
Case History Chassis Number 2522
Jenkinson, 1966 – 1956 works car, first driven by Moss at Goodwood with fuel injected engine. Later to Centro-Sud.
Jenkinson, 1967 – New March 1956. Team car. Sold to Scuderia Centro-Sud 1957.
Jenkinson, 1975 – Built as team car March 1956. Sold to Scuderia Centro-Sud in 1957. Now in Great Britain.
Pritchard, 1976 – Works car completed in March 1956 and driven by Moss to victory at Monaco. It was sold to Scuderia Centro-Sud for 1957 and was driven by Harry Schell, Masten Gregory, Hans Herrmann, Joakim Bonnier and Horace Gould. It appeared at Monza in 1957 with new 1957-style body. It is now owned by Cameron Millar.
Nye, 1981 – New 250F works team car completed March 1956, later sold to Scuderia Centro-Sud for 1957 and apparently subsequently damaged and/or cannibalized for spares through twilight of its racing and racing drivers’ school career. Cameron Millar found sufficient components in his Centro-Sud purchase to reconstruct a replacement for this car, using a ‘Lightweight’-style chassis frame made by Frank Coltman on Cameron’s original jigs. The reconstructed car is owned today by Mr. van der Lof in Holland.
Pritchard 1985 – 1956 works car, Moss’ winning car at Monaco, and sold to Scuderia Centro-Sud in 1957.
Jenkinson, 1986 – A factory team car in 1956 that was sold to the Scuderia Centro-Sud in 1957. Used extensively by them until the end of their days. Parts of the car were retrieved by Cameron Millar and re-constructed on a new T2 chassis frame “Made in England”. Now with a Dutch collector.
Nye, 1989 – Completed March 1956, works car, to Scuderia Centro-Sud 1957, heavily cannibalized, bits to Cameron Millar UK assembled into facsimile frame, to Dutch collection.
Nye, 1993 – ‘2522(A)’ – Works car – Stirling Moss, Argentine GP, January 1956 – later reappeared as ‘2523(B)’ – July testing 1956 – Moss, German GP, August 1956. NOTES – Fitted with prototype V12 engine, 1957. Rebuilt by factory into ‘2523(B)’ six-cylinder car 1958 and sold to racing motorcyclist Keith Campbell. Later through historic racing trade – to Bobby Bell, UK. Won 1956 Goodwood and Monaco GP (Moss).
McKinney, 1995 – Works car for 1956. Raced initially as ‘2516’. Won Monaco GP (Moss). Also raced by Perdisa, Taruffi and Behra. Rebodied and renumbered ‘2523’ August. Fitted with V12 engine for 1957. Replaced by a six for 1958, rebodied, renumbered ‘2526’ and sold to Keith Campbell. Stored in Italy by Ken Kavanagh after Campbell’s death until acquired 1965 for historic racing by Richard Bergel and Hon. Patrick Lindsay. Later the Duke of Hamilton (then Lord Clydesdale) shared with Bergel, then the Earl of Strathmore took over the car. Bobby Bell (present owner) acquired 1978. See also ‘2507’, Cameron Millar replicas.
Pritchard, 2003 – Factory team car for 1956. Sold to Scuderia Centro-Sud in 1957 and they raced it extensively. Formed part of the collection of spares and components bought by Cameron Millar and rebuilt on a new ‘Lightweight’ chassis made in the UK. Sold to Holland.
McKinney, 2003 – Works car for 1956. Initially raced as ‘2516’. Also raced by Perdisa, Taruffi, and Behra. Rebodied and renumbered as ‘2523’ in August 1956. Fitted with V12 engine for 1957, tested but not raced. Replaced by a six for 1958, rebodied, renumbered ‘2526’ and sold to Keith Campbell. Stored in Italy by Ken Kavanagh after Campbell’s death until acquired in 1965 for historic racing by Richard Bergel and the Hon. Patrick Lindsay. Later Lord Clydesdale shared with Bergel, then the Earl of Strathmore took over the car. Acquired by Bobby Bell in 1978, then Peter Heuberger in 1999. Won 1956 Monaco GP (Moss). 2002 location: Switzerland (Peter Heuberger). Note: number also used for ‘2507’ and a Cameron Millar replica.
2522 1956.01.22 Officine Alfieri Maserati 2 Buenos Aires GP de la Republica Argentina Stirling Moss Retired 2522/16, Engine 2516
2522 1956.02.05 Officine Alfieri Maserati 2 Mendoza GP Ciudad de Buenos Aires Stirling Moss Second 2522/16, Engine 2516
2522 1956.04.02 Officine Alfieri Maserati 1 Goodwood Richmond Scratch Race of the Glover Trophy Stirling Moss First Fastest Lap
2522 1956.05.13 Officine Alfieri Maserati 28 Monte Carlo GP de Monaco Stirling Moss First
2522 1956.06.03 Officine Alfieri Maserati 34 Spa-Francorchamps GP de Belgique Cesare Perdisa & Stirling Moss Third Fastest Lap (Moss)
2522 1956.06.03 Officine Alfieri Maserati F Spa-Francorchamps GP de Belgique Cesare Perdisa Practice
2522 1956.06.03 Officine Alfieri Maserati 38 Spa-Francorchamps GP de Belgique Mike Hawthorn Practice
2522 1956.06.03 Officine Alfieri Maserati F Spa-Francorchamps GP de Belgique Stirling Moss Practice
2522 1956.07.01 Officine Alfieri Maserati 6 Reims-Gueux GP de l’Automobile Club de France Cesare Perdisa Practice
2522 1956.07.01 Officine Alfieri Maserati 2 Reims-Gueux GP de l’Automobile Club de France Stirling Moss Practice
2522 1956.07.01 Officine Alfieri Maserati 8 Reims-Gueux GP de l’Automobile Club de France Piero Taruffi Retired
2522 1956.07.01 Officine Alfieri Maserati 6 Reims-Gueux GP de l’Automobile Club de France Stirling Moss Practice
2522 1956.08.05 Officine Alfieri Maserati 7 Nürburgring GP von Deutschland Stirling Moss Practice 2522/23
2522 1956.08.05 Officine Alfieri Maserati 9 Nürburgring GP von Deutschland Spare 2522/23
2522 1956.09.02 Officine Alfieri Maserati 36 Monza GP d’Italia Stirling Moss Practice 2522/23
2522 1956.09.02 Officine Alfieri Maserati 34 Monza GP d’Italia Jean Behra Practice 2522/23
2522 1956.09.02 Officine Alfieri Maserati 34 Monza GP d’Italia Luigi Villoresi Practice 2522/23
2522 1956.11.24 Officine Alfieri Maserati 1 Albert Park Bryson Industries Cup Jean Behra Withdrawn Formula Libre
2522 1956.12.02 Officine Alfieri Maserati 1 Albert Park Australian GP Jean Behra Second Formula Libre, 2522/23
2522 1957.04.07 Scuderia Centro Sud 38 Siracusa GP di Siracusa Jean Behra Practice 2522/23
2522 1957.04.07 Scuderia Centro Sud 38 Siracusa GP di Siracusa Giorgio Scarlatti Practice 2522/23
2522 1957.04.07 Scuderia Centro Sud 38 Siracusa GP di Siracusa Harry Schell Practice 2522/23
2522 1957.05.19 Officine Alfieri Maserati 35 Monte Carlo GP de Monaco Hans Herrmann Practice 2522/23 V-12
2522 1957.05.19 Officine Alfieri Maserati 35 Monte Carlo GP de Monaco Juan Fangio Practice 2522/23 V-12
2522 1957.05.19 Officine Alfieri Maserati 35 Monte Carlo GP de Monaco Harry Schell Practice 2522/23 V-12
2522 1957.05.19 Officine Alfieri Maserati 35 Monte Carlo GP de Monaco Giorgio Scarlatti Practice 2522/23 V-12
2522 1957.05.19 Officine Alfieri Maserati 35 Monte Carlo GP de Monaco Carlos Menditeguy Practice 2522/23 V-12
2522 1957.06.29 Officine Alfieri Maserati 8 Monza 500 Miglia di Monza Jean Behra Withdrawn 2522/23 V-12
2522 1957.07.14 Officine Alfieri Maserati 46 Reims-Gueux GP de Reims Harry Schell Practice 2522/23 V-12
2522 1957.07.14 Officine Alfieri Maserati 46 Reims-Gueux GP de Reims Carlos Menditeguy Retired 2522/23 V-12
2522 1958.04.07 Keith Campbell 6 Goodwood Grover Trophy International 100 Keith Campbell Ninth 2522/23/26
2522 1958.04.19 Keith Campbell 15 Aintree International 200 Keith Campbell Retired 2522/23/26
2522 1958.09.07 Scuderia Centro Sud 34 Monza GP d’Italia Carroll Shelby Retired 2522/23/26
Depending on what you believe, this car is for sale in the UK at the moment with Vanessa Marcais for an unspecified amount.
Cooper T60 Climax
In the second half of the 1950s Cooper took Formula 1 by storm and in the process revolutionized motor racing. The major asset of the Coopers was the mid-engined layout, which more than made up for the rudimentary chassis design and underpowered Climax engine. In 1959 and 1960 Jack Brabham won the World Driver’s Championship, but drastic rule changes abrubtly ended the British manufacturer’s reign. The maximum displacement of the engines was lowered from 2.5 to 1.5 litres. Most of the British teams and more important the engine manufacturers opposed the new regulations and were left hanging when the changes were confirmed at the last minute. The only team to be fully prepared was Ferrari, who used a high revving V6 engine to clinch the 1961 championship. Cooper relied on a slightly modified version of their 1960 cars, powered by a Coventry Climax four cylinder engine. Needless to say, the team had an abysmal season at the end of which team-leader Jack Brabham left to form his own team.
Towards the end of the 1961 season Coventry Climax introduced their first engine specifically built for the 1.5 litre regulations. Dubbed the FWMV, it was a start of the art V8 engine with twin overhead camshafts. Cooper modified one of the four cylinder chassis to fit the engine for the final races of the season, but Brabham could do no better than retire. The off season was used to design a chassis specifically for the new era and of course era. In good Cooper tradition the ‘T60’ was technically similar to its predecessors even though it looked quite a bit slimmer and lower. Under the elegant aluminium body the familiar steel tubular frame was found, which did not have enough cross braces to be considered a full spaceframe. Suspension was by double wishbones all-round, lacking the parallel radius arms found on the rear suspension of most of the competitors. The V8 engine was mated to Cooper’s own six speed gearbox.
With long time team-leader Jack Brabham off to pursue his dreams, Cooper did not look long or far for a replacement. In Bruce McLaren they found a perfect substitute for both Brabham’s driving ability and his technical insights. Although the T60 was more elegant than its predecessors, it could not compare with the exceptionally slim lines of the new Lotus 25 with its advanced monocoque chassis. Nevertheless McLaren was up at the top of the leaderbord in the opening races, scoring victory at Monaco in only the second Grand Prix of the season. Unfortunately this remained the only victory for Cooper in the five years Formula 1 was run under the 1.5 litre regulations. McLaren finished on the podium a further four times and his team mate Tony Maggs added a further two podiums to Cooper’s tally. McLaren and Cooper ended the year in third in their respective championships.
Cooper used the lessons learned in 1962 and McLaren’s input to slightly redesign the T60 for the 1963 season. By relocating various parts and redesigning the fuel tanks, the new T66 clearly was a slimmed down version of the T60. The chassis was reinforced at places by welded on sheet steel sections. The most important changes were made to the suspension geometry after McLaren complained about the T60’s tendency to nose-dive under braking. Four cars were built. Three were used by Maggs and McLaren while the fourth Rob Walker, who entered it for Joakim Bonnier. The T66 was clearly a step forward, not big enough however to keep with the faster pace of the competition. The Works drivers and Bonnier managed to frequently place the T66 in the top six and even the odd podium finishes were scored, but the Coopers were never really in contention for wins. Cooper slipped to fifth in the constructor’s championship. In the following seasons more drastic evolutions of the basic Cooper design were raced, with further modified and reinforced suspension, but these was painfully off the pace.
Chassis F1-17-61 was the first of two Coopers built for the 1962 Grand Prix season. With one exception, it was allocated to Bruce McLaren throughout the year. At the car’s second appearance, McLaren drove it to victory in the Monaco Grand Prix after starting from third on the grid. He followed up the victory with two thirds and one second later in the year. Sporadically raced until 1965, the T60 Cooper was eventually acquired by Tom Wheatcroft for his Donnington based Grand Prix Collection. In 2010 the Monaco winning Cooper was sold and soon after returned to the principality for the bi-annual Classic Grand Prix. Despite its highly original condition, the car ran very well in the hands of historic ace Gary Pearson, until a black flag cut the T60’s race short.
Sold 2010 for an unspecified sum
Ferrari 312T Grand Prix 1975
Date Result Event Driver # Reference
75 – SF
75/may/11 1st GP Monaco Niki Lauda #12
75/may/25 1st GP Belgium Niki Lauda #12
75/jun/08 1st GP Sweden Niki Lauda #12
75 8th British GP Niki Lauda #12
75 3rd Italian GP Niki Lauda #12
75/oct/05 1st GP USA Niki Lauda #12
76/jan/25 1st GP Brazil Niki Lauda #1
76/mar/06 1st GP South Africa Niki Lauda #1
76/mar/28 2nd GP USA (West) Niki Lauda #1
.. – Jacques Setton, F – The Setton Collection C45 p32
87/may/22 – displayed at Cartier ‘Hommage a Ferrari’ exhibition, Paris, F
92/mar/21-22 – NS – World Vintage Car Tokyo auction – no bid
.. – Andrew Wareing, UK
00/jun/23-25 Festival of Speed, Goodwood Andrew Wareing
To pose in
1932 Bucciali TAV 12 Berline
Coachwork by Saoutchik
Without doubt one of the most fabled, storied and fabulous automobiles ever built, the Bucciali TAV (Traction AVant) 12 Berline by Saoutchik, famously known as the Fleche d’Or, is the stuff of legends. Its creator, Paul Albert Bucciali, pipe organ builder, pioneer aviator, wearer of the Croix de Guerre with thirteen citations, along with his older brother Angelo devoted much of his life to the creation and perfection of front wheel drive. The TAV 12 is the ultimate conception and expression of their vision and is one of only two surviving complete examples of Bucciali’s small, innovative workshop.
A masterpiece of design, the Bucciali TAV 12 employs front wheel drive and independent front suspension of unique design with a transverse leaf spring supplemented by unusual rubber shock/ spring units created by Russian/ French engineer Robert Dmitri Sensaud de Lavaud. The universal jointed half shaft housings function as upper Chassis no.
The only one of its kind in the world Bugatti Royale rivaling size and presence Exotic V12 engine configuration and drivetrain Restored to concours standards and now ‘sorted’ for driving control arms; lateral lower control arms create a parallelogram to maintain the
front wheels always perpendicular to the road surface. The live rear axle is suspended from semi-elliptical leaf springs with friction shock absorbers.
Power comes from a Voisin sleeve valve V- 12 engine, itself a fine example of quality
French automobile concept and manufacture. To enhance its power in the Bucciali chassis it was equipped with a quartet of Zenith carburettors. Bucciali’s suspension design and front
wheel drive allowed the frame to be dropped below the wheel centres. As Paul Albert Bucciali commented to historian Griffith Borgeson, “I thought of front wheel drive, of a car into which one would descend instead of mounting.” In this the TAV 12 Berline succeeded masterfully.
Its lines are stunning, its lowness exaggerated by the huge steel alloy wheels with integral brake drums which were another feature of Bucciali’s design. Constructed by Saoutchik, the TAV 12’s lines are reminiscent of other Buccialis and come largely from Paul Albert Bucciali’s own concepts. The giant 24” wheels are nearly encompassed by tightly fit wings
which expose the long sides of the bonnet, itself festooned with louvres and graced by the cigogne, the stork emblematic of Bucciali’s wartime squadron. The wings tower nearly to the top of the bonnet, emphasizing the low roofline and windows that are barely more than slits. Great Stephen Grebel headlights nestle low flanking the radiator grille, complemented by a Grebel spotlight for the drivers use. The TAV 12s first owner was a Parisian banker, Count de Rivault, who later had the body transferred to a Bugatti Type 46. The Bucciali chassis and running gear were acquired by pioneering French collector Serge Pozzoli in the 1950s.
After negotiating to buy the Saoutchik-bodied Bugatti in the U.S. some years later, restorer Ray Jones was able to acquire the chassis from Pozzoli and even the original front wings from the Bugatti’s former owner, Walter Weimer. Tom Perkins, legendary American venture capitalist and trend-setting collector, acquired the complete restoration project in 1976, passing it on to the next owner in 1986 who then completed the restoration with
the help of Bucciali historian Bill Lewis. It is believed that the engine, gearbox, front wheel drive and suspension are original to this car, the only one of its type known to have been built. So, too, are the front wings, body panels and the body’s wood framing. The
rear wings, firewall and bonnet have been recreated. In a saleroom notice accompanying Christie’s 1997 sale of the Bucciali at Pebble Beach, Tom Perkins questioned the authenticity of the frame rails; however Bill Lewis, who examined it many times while owned by Perkins and during restoration, stated he believed the frame rails are Bucciali and may or may not be original to the TAV 12. Subsequent examination during its re-restoration validates Mr. Perkins’ caution and we would suggest potential buyers assume the chassis to incorporate some or all new metal. The Bucciali has been shown as an unjudged display at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2006 and at Amelia Island in 2007.
Finished in black with claret accents, silver steel stork emblems and wing edging, and upholstered in claret leather with steering wheel, dashboard and interior wood garnish in Purple Heart wood, the subtle livery tastefully and sympathetically complements the sweeping, refined, dramatic lines of Paul Albert Bucciali’s and Saoutchik’s coachwork. It is as imposing as a Bugatti Royale but its low profile and proportions put its visual appeal instantly in a class of its own. It is absolutely unique and a guaranteed show-stopper wherever it appears.
Offered by Kidston in 2010 and sold for an undisclosed amount
Ferrari 250 GTO sells for £20.2m
Ladies and gentlemen, meet the most expensive car ever sold in Britain…
Another day, another Ferrari 250 GTO. Today we find news that one of the erstwhile bedroom pin-ups has sold for £20.2 million, thus making it the UK’s most expensive automotive sale.
This particular car, number 5095, is believed to have been sold by British businessman Jon Hunt who bought the car in 2008 for a paltry £15.7m. Jon Hunt, in case you wanted to know, is the man who founded – and then sold – the Foxton’s estate agency.
Collins of classic Ferrari specialist Talacrest confirmed the sale but refused to say whether Mr Hunt did actually own it – despite records showing Hunt as the current owner.
Whatever – the new owner will surely delight in that 3.0-litre V12, some 300bhp and a 0-60mph time of around 6.1 seconds and top speed of 174mph. Or somewhere near that, considering the price and rarity of the thing – just 39 GTOs were built between 1962 and 1964, of which two now belong to Chris Evans and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason.
Nice car, you’ll agree. But it’s not immediately clear how much better this rather expensive GTO is over the UK’s cheapest new car, the Renault Twizy. They’re both two seaters, but the Renault – oh, wait…
As it says
1963 FIAT 500D Jolly Beach Car
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Ghia
Chassis no. MOD 563126
Produced for 18 years, FIAT’s Nuova 500 would prove to be an outstanding success for the company with some 2.9 million built. Replacement for FIAT’s much-loved 500 ‘Topolino’, the Nuova 500 debuted in 1957. A radical departure from its predecessor’s essentially pre-war design, FIAT’s new baby featured unitary construction, an opening fabric roof and all-independent suspension, while carrying its engine at the rear. The 479cc power unit was an air-cooled overhead-valve twin and the gearbox a four-speeder. This compact, rear-engined saloon spawned numerous variants, from sporting and competition versions by Abarth to the ahead-of-its-time Giardiniera people carrier. Alternatives to the original were offered by many of Italy’s finest carrozzeria, including Bertone, Boano, SIATA, Vignale and Ghia. The best known of these is Ghia’s stylish Jolly beach car, a novel concept that transformed the 500 from basic transport to conspicuous indicator of wealth. A ‘beach buggy’ before that genre was popularised by scores of Volkswagen-based specials, the Jolly found favour as courtesy transport for patrons of luxury hotels or for use ashore after one had docked one’s yacht. Lacking doors and equipped with wickerwork seats, the Jolly was only practical as leisure transport, thus confirming its owner’s status as someone who could afford a car ‘just for fun’.
Restored by Italian specialists in 2008, this FIAT Jolly is strikingly finished in orange and has the trademark wicker seats. The car is offered with ASI Certificato di Rilevanza Storica (Certificate of Historical Importance).
Estimate:€30,000 – 35,000
£24,000 – 28,000
US$ 39,000 – 46,000
Being offered here: http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/20438/lot/271/