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138

Racers that are going, going, gone

Despite considerable press coverage, the 1980 Le Mans class-winning Lancia Beta Montecarlo (Motor Sport last month) failed to sell at Christies’ December sale. The ex-Jolly Club Group 5 car, driven by Facetti/Finotto and later in Martini livery by Michele Alboreto, Emanuele Pirro and Eddie Cheever, was expected to reach £130-160,000 but was withdrawn after it failed to reach its reserve.

***

As we closed for press, one of the stars of Coys’s Grandes Marques sale in Maastricht on January 15 was a 1932 Alta with Le Mans history. Car number 15 is said to be the only complete and original 1.1-litre Alta two-seater sports still in existence.

This example was specifically built to be raced at Le Mans in 1932 by British duo John Ludovic Ford/Maurice Baumer, and was built with special lightweight materials which differed from the standard car: for example, the crankcase and sump were made of magnesium, the rods of RR56 aluminium. The car retired from the race with clutch problems. Later that year it was driven in the Ulster TT

***

In the same sale was a left-hand-drive car claiming to be one of the three Maserati 3505s built, chassis 3503. It has FIA papers, a FIVA passport and US vintage racing logbook, but there is another car laying claim to the same chassis number.

3503 was fitted with a 3.5-litre version of the GP V12 and was driven in the1957 Mille Miglia by Hans Herrmann.