Around the houses, August 2012

News from the main auction houses around the world


On August 18/19 the American auction house Gooding and Company is offering for sale two interesting racers in the shape of a 1964 Ford GT40 prototype and a single-seater Miller.

The former is chassis number GT/104, which joined three other cars from the manufacturer for the ’64 Le Mans 24 Hours. The car was then passed to Shelby American and raced in the opening round of the 1965 season at Daytona, where it finished third. It has recently undergone a full restoration and is expected to fetch a whopping £3.2-4.5 million.

The 1919 Miller TNT racer (above) has a less straightforward history, but is no less interesting. A Los Angeles brewer called Maier funded the TNT project and two cars were entered for the 1919 Indy 500. Only one car was finished, however, and it failed to make the start after Maier’s interest, and money, dried up. The fourcylinder engine was lost during World War II, but in the late 1970s the car was found and a straight-eight Miller 183 power plant was put in. The original chassis, back axle and radiator remain and the project has recently undergone a £120,000 restoration: it carries an estimate of £480-580,000.

Other interesting lots for sale include singer Jay Kay’s 1955 Maserati A6G/54 Frua Berlinetta (£960,000-1.3m), an original 1966 Shelby 427 Cobra (£480-610,000) and Prince Louis Napoleon’s 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Stelvio (£830,000-1m).


There were mixed emotions at Silverstone Auctions’ May 16 event. Despite good overall sales, the ex-Ayrton Senna Toleman TG184-2 — the first Fl car he raced, in 1984 — failed to find a new owner. The last bid of £505,000 was “just insufficient” for the conglomerate-owned car according to the Northamptonshire auction company. However, it is still talking to two interested parties and hopes a deal will be done soon. Other racers did find buyers, though, with the ex-Ayrton Senna 1982 Ralt RT3 F3 car selling for £113,300, a 2009 Fiat 500 Abarth racer for £15,950 and a 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Touring — complete with FIA HTP papers and passport — for £204,600.


Details are already being released of some early consignments for RM’s Monterey August 17/18 sale, which include an interesting GT40. The 1968 Gulf/Mirage Lightweight racer (POA), chassis number P/1074, was one of several Lightweights built for the JWA/Gulf team and competed regularly throughout the 1968 season. It was then sold to Solar Productions and used as a camera car on the famous Steve McQueen film Le Mans. Elsewhere in the sale is a 1955 Ferrari 410 Sport Berlinetta and a 1938 Talbot-Lago Teardrop Coupe. The Ferrari (POA) is one of only four 410 Sports built and is the only one with a closed Scaglietti body. Chassis number 0594 CM was repainted red in the 1960s, but has recently been returned to its original specification and colour.

The Talbot is equally as rare as only four of the original five Jeancart-style cars survive, this being one of them. The former Pebble Beach ‘Elegance in Motion’ winner has recently been to France where it received a full restoration by experts in the marque. It carries an estimate of £1.6-2m.

At its Monaco sale on May 11, RM not only sold plenty of interesting cars, which we covered last month, but also achieved some record prices for bikes. The motorcycle sale raised more than £1m, two Ducati Desmosedici GPs, raced by Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi, going for £201,690 and £196,990 respectively. It was the first time Ducati Corse had offered recent machines for public auction, which goes some way to explaining the impressive results.


Interesting racers keep being signed up for Artcurial’s Le Mans Classic sale on July 7. The latest lots to join the 120-car line-up are a 2007 Audi R10 TDI (£1-1.3m), which ran at Le Mans twice, a 2010 Saleen 57R (£480-640,000), which won the LM GT1 category in 2010, and an ex-NART 1966 ASA 1300GT (240280,000), raced at that year’s Le Mans by Donna Mae-Mims and Suzy Dietrich.