Top five competition cars at Race Retro auction

| 7 Feb 2017

An impressive group of historic competition cars has been gathered for this year’s Silverstone Auctions Race Retro sale on 25-26 February, with a further 95 road cars also expected to cross the block. Here are our top five picks. 

1. 1989 Aston Martin AMR1 £500,000-550,000

The headline lot needs no introduction to endurance racing fans and those with memories of the Group C era – one glance at the Aston Martin AMR1’s Mobil livery is sure to bring them flooding back. Chassis AMR1/05 was a regular feature of the World Sports Prototype Championship, raced by the likes of Brian Redman.

Following its Group C career, the Aston Martin became a stalwart of the historic racing scene, making its debut at Silverstone in 2001. The car’s first international victory came at Monza in 2003, with its first win on British soil taking place at Donington in 2013 courtesy of GT3 winner Andy Meyrick. 

In October 2016, the car scored an outright win at Paul Ricard with Nick Minassian at the wheel – proof, if it were needed, of the Aston’s enduring potential. It is expected to fetch between £500,000 and £550,000. 

Check out some other Group C legends in this stunning gallery of images by clicking here

2. 1973 BMW 3.0CSL £100,000-125,000

A 1973 BMW 3.0CSL offers a more affordable entry into historic racing, sporting a pre-sale estimate of £100,000-125,000. The Batmobile was created by saloon racer Tim Busby in 1980, using a standard road car as a base. It then spent the next 30 years racing, a theme that continued after it was bought by Silverstone Auctions’ Nick Whale in 2004, in whose stewardship the car scored class wins at the Le Mans Classic in 2004 and 2006, as well as the coveted Index of Performance. 

The car changed hands twice more, eventually ending up in a private collection and benefiting from a full engine rebuild by specialist Lester Owen in 2014. The Batmobile hasn’t turned a wheel in anger in three years, but wouldn’t take much effort to return to its winning ways. 

3. 1976 Ford Escort Mk2 £29,000-34,000

Also of note is a Ford Escort Mk2 which was once driven by rally legend Colin McRae. The 1976 example is being sold by McRae’s uncle, Hugh Steel, with whom the WRC Champion shared a drive in the car during the 1990 Hackle Rally – an event the pair won. 

The car boasts a fully seam-welded shell fitted with a Safety Devices 14-point roll cage and 12-gallon fuel tank, as well as having internal fuel, oil and brake lines. Power is provided by a 2.4-litre Holbay engine, which was fully rebuilt in 2011. With all the paperwork in place, this Escort is ready to rally. It’s estimated at £29,000-34,000.

4. 1968 Chevrolet Camaro £65,000-75,000

No top five list would be complete without a big banger historic touring car, and this ex-Bill Shaw racing and Roy Pierpoint Chevrolet Camaro fits the bill nicely. The car was built to compete in the 1970 British Saloon Car Championship and was initially driven by Pierpoint, before he handed the reins to Martin Thomas for the 1971-’73 seasons, which included an outing at the Iberia Trophy Race at Crystal Palace. 

In later life, the Camaro became a regular competitor in a number of historic race series including Heritage Grand Touring Cars, Aston Martin Owner’s Club, Masters and Classic Sports Car Club events. The lure of competing in Goodwood’s Gerry Marshall Trophy is sure to be strong, given the car’s attractive £65,000-75,000 estimate. 

5. 1962 Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider £38,000-44,000

One of the prettiest cars in the Race Retro sale – even with the unsightly roll cage – is a 1962 Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider. This very early example was converted to racing trim in the mid-1980s and campaigned by Keith Goring while fitted with its original 1290cc engine, securing great results at Lime Rock, Grand Bahamas and Watkins Glen. 

The car went through a number of guises courtesy of a handful of owners, who restored the car and fitted it with various different engines throughout the years – though it now boasts a 1290cc unit producing an impressive 128bhp. It’s estimated at £38,000-44,000.

Click here for the full list of lots