Ron Dennis does not part with his F1 cars, other than exceptional circumstances. News, therefore, that a consortium led by former McLaren Sales and Marketing Director David Clark, had acquired, for resale, no fewer than 16 MP4 chassis — the only examples in private hands — did not improve his thunderous mood after last month’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
The coup enables well-heeled collectors to own an ‘unobtainable’ piece of F1 history. Included are types driven to seven Drivers’ Championships and six Constructors titles between 1984 – 1991. The 1989 MP4-5 uniquely won Grands Prix driven by triple champions Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna.
The sensational line-up traces the Marlboro MP4 theme from Cosworth DFV-powered cars of 1982 through to the Mercedes-Benz engined MP4/11 of 1996. It includes TAG and Honda V6 turbocars, Honda V10 and V12s, Ford HB V8 and Peugeot V10-engined chassis. Some could be raced in FIA Thoroughbred GP or the BOSS Formula, others are likely to go to museums.
Three early Cosworth chassis are expected to command in excess of $750,000 (£500,000) apiece, and there appears to be no shortage of potential buyers. “Demand is strong, in fact I have one client interested in the entire collection,” says Clark, whose Taylor & Crawley concern is handling the sale. “If Ron Dennis is unhappy, I’ve had no contact with him. My opportunity was unmissable.” MP