December 2021 auction results: £2.1m for Phil Morris racing collection

Simon de Burton on a MotoGP collection, a TR8 prototype and a Countach ‘kit’

Phil Morris road racing collection

The Phil Morris Road Racing Collection

Sold by Bonhams, £2.1m

This collection of competition motorcycles formed part of the contents of the Oswestry Road Racing Museum established by race team owner Phil Morris more than 20 years ago. Among the highlights were the five Aprilia MotoGP machines campaigned by Paul Bird Motorsport from 2012-14, while other two-wheeled jewels included the ex-Steve Hislop/Niall Mackenzie/Jamie Whitham Cadbury’s Boost Yamaha YZF750 from 1995 – along with Morris’s electric Yamaha EC03 scooter that he said was his favourite machine of all.


1960 Lotus Elite1960 Lotus Elite

Sold by Bonhams, £97,750

Hammering for less than the low estimate, this Elite was a bargain, not least since it was owned by Innes Ireland who received it as part of his ‘engagement fee’ for joining Lotus as an F1 driver.


2001 Bowler Wildcat 2002001 Bowler Wildcat 200

Sold by Historics, £54,880

Originally delivered to off-road racer Hugh Haines, this Bowler took him to wins in Baja de France and the Scottish Hill Rally. It was recently refurbished with a rebuilt 334bhp engine and a repaint.


Pininfarina Leggenda SimulatorPininfarina Leggenda Simulator

Sold by RM Sotheby’s, £152,380

Based on a Cisitalia 202, this Pininfarina simulator with curved TV windscreen featured a Nardi steering wheel, manual gear lever, three-pedal configuration and vintage Hanhart chronometer.


Lamborghini Countach in bits

1982 Lamborghini Countach

Sold by Historics, £257,600

It might have looked like the mother of all rebuild projects, but this Countach is said to have been up and running when it was partly stripped for a paint and retrim in 2008 – shortly before the company tasked with the work went bust. It had been in storage ever since.


Jaguar XJ2201993 Jaguar XJ220

Sold by Bonhams, £460,000

It might sound odd to describe a car costing almost half a million as a bargain but considering the price of XJ220s in 1992 was £490,000, this unregistered example seemed to us somewhat undervalued.


Triumph TR81980 Triumph TR8

Sold by Historics, £28,000

Rust and dirt belied the fact that this rare TR8 had covered 73 miles. A pre-production prototype of a North American model, it was acquired at a BL factory sale in ’80 and parked in a London lock-up.


1965 Maserati Sebring Coupe1965 Maserati Sebring Coupé

Sold by Bonhams, £122,000

Drawing on its experience with the legendary 250F engine, Maserati introduced its elegant 3.5-litre luxury 2+2 in 1962. With its later five-speed manual gearbox, this one has been on numerous tours.


Forthcoming car sale highlights

H&H, Solihull
October 27

If you’re reading this issue hot off the press, there’s still time to check out the lots in the latest of H&H’s regular auctions staged at the National Motorcycle Museum. The mix is wide-ranging in terms of eras, categories and price – and there are some particularly tempting no reserve offerings which might (or might not) turn out to be bargains.

RM Sotheby’s, online
October 27-November 3

Called ‘Hoods & Hands’, this aims to capitalise on the crossover between car enthusiasts and horophiles with a mixed offering of timepieces and hood ornaments. There are some real oddities, including a Gulf Oil promotional watch in which the logo on the dial comes and goes as the mechanical movement unwinds.

Anglia Car Auctions, King’s Lynn
November 6-7

Fans of British classics who are on the hunt for a winter project could do worse than head to Norfolk for this sale. It will be replete with light restoration projects, most of which form part of a major barn find. Among the lots is a 1974 Morris Marina in ‘of the era’ Harvest Gold. Period roof bars included.

Silverstone Auctions, Birmingham
November 14-15

Silverstone’s latest outing to the NEC is a real mix, but classic rally fans are likely to focus on the silver 1978 Vauxhall Chevette HS Group 4 car, TEB 649S, that gave Jimmy McRae his first full-time works drive. Jimmy and his late son Colin subsequently bought the car for their family collection in 1991.

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