Cooper Bristol set to star at Silverstone

| 13 Jul 2012

A 1953 Cooper Bristol (main picture) – estimated at £140-160,000 – will be one of the stars of the show at Silverstone Auctions’ Classic Sale on 21 July.

The car is one of the last two built and, with FIA papers, is eligible for both VSCC and HGPCA events.

The rare machine spent much of its life being campaigned in Australia with drivers such as Kevin Neal and Len Lukey at the helm, during which it competed in the Australian Grand Prix.

Well looked after by its current owner – who has taken it to numerous class awards – the car was subject to a full restoration by Hi-Tech Motorsport.

Nick Whale, MD of the auction house, said: “If there’s one car that will feel completely at home over the Silverstone Classic weekend when we are hosting our auction, then surely it’s this Cooper Bristol. It’s the epitome of everything that is great about historic racing, with competitive credentials to match.”

But if the Cooper’s the star car then Ferrari will be the manufacturer in the spotlight with a star-studded presence at the auction.

Most exciting is most likely to be a 1978-vintage 512BB (above). The Testarossa’s older brother took its name from the 1970s race car (the Bs standing for Berlinetta and Boxer) and, as suggested, came fitted with a 4942cc mid-mounted flat 12.

One of 929 right-hand-drive examples, it comes with an extensive service history – with bills amounting to £90,000 over 49,000 miles. We’re told that the current owner’s a ‘world famous distinguished sportsman’ and the car’s valued at £65-75,000.

There’s a range of more bank-balance friendly options to choose from, too, including (above) a track-day-ready and beautiful 1995 Ferrari F355 Challenge showing 17,353km (£28-32,000), a 1992 Ferrari 348 TB (£20-25,000) with only 6104km on the clock and a topless option in the form of a 1986 Mondial 3.2-litre Cabriolet (£14-18,000).

Meanwhile, for the more committed Ferrari fans there are two fabulous race cars up for grabs – a 2003 360 Challenge (£45-55,000) or its faster younger brother – (shown below)a 2008 F430 GT3 (£65-75,000).

Jaguars will also be on the prowl with models of interest including (shown below) a 1963 E-Type FHC (£85-95,000), which is ‘probably the best all steel car in current historic racing’ (Silverstone’s words not ours) and two XK150 Drophead Coupés – (bottom of the page) a restored car of  ’57 vintage (£60-70,000) and a ’59 model (one of only 622) going for £55-65,000.

A feast of collectable automobilia will also go under the hammer, chief among which will be Ayrton Senna’s Vortex Type SS Penske 93/94 helmet used in testing when he drove a Williams FW16 at the Paul Ricard circuit in March 1994, only two months before he tragically died.

Other lids on sale include a 1979 John Watson Bell race helmet (£5-6000), a 1981 Didier Pironi race-used Ferrari item (£7-8000) and a 1984 GP helmet used by Derek Warwick (£3400-4000.)

Silverstone Classic’s auction takes place over the Silverstone Classic weekend: to find out more visit the company’s website.