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The jewels of the world's greatest race: the incredible cars selling for 100 years of the 24 Hours of Le Mans


Highlights: The 24 Hours of Le Mans will mark its 100th anniversary on June 10 and 11. Auction house RM Sotheby's will sell 21 iconic models, with values of up to 10 million dollars. Base prices start from $ 268,10 to almost $ 21 million, there will be <> cars that will be offered to the highest bidder. The auction will take place on the track itself during the race weekend, and will be "the most important sale of racing cars ever offered," says the auction house.

In the next edition of the mythical competition they will sell 21 iconic models, with values of up to 10 million dollars.

The motorsport universe is preparing for a big party at the Circuit de la Sarthe on June 10 and 11, when a new edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans marks the centenary since its first episode. To commemorate it, the auction house RM Sotheby's prepared a unique event, in which it will put on sale a selection of true jewels of the race, legendary models that left an indelible mark on the history of one of the most prestigious events on the planet.

With base prices starting from $ 268,10 to almost $ 21 million, there will be <> cars that will be offered to the highest bidder in this auction that will take place on the track itself during the race weekend, and that RM Sotheby's described as "the most important sale of racing cars ever offered."

"The auction will be a celebration of 'the world's greatest race' and will be part of its 2023 edition, where organizers will have numerous unique activities, all designed to make the event's 100th anniversary the most memorable in its illustrious history."

The cars that sell for the 100 years of the 24 Hours of Le Mans

Porsche 962 (1985) $6,420,000 - $9,630,000

Porsche 962 (photo: RM Sothebys)

With 19 overall victories, Porsche is a brand intimately linked to the history of Le Mans, and the 962 played a very important role in this: the result of the brand's successful Group C program, it is the model that won the event in 1986 and 1987, the last of that seven-year Porsche streak at the top of the podium.

Porsche 962 (photo: RM Sothebys)

The 962 is an evolution of the innovative Porsche 956 born to comply with the new regulations of the International Motor Sports Association. And this particular unit, identified with chassis 004, was part of the team in the 1985 and 1986 seasons, and with Jochen Mass achieved pole position in its second year.

Ferrari 121 LM Spider by Scaglietti (1955) $5,885,000 - $6,955,000

Ferrari 121 LM Spider by Scaglietti (photo: RM Sothebys)

A living testimony to a golden age of Ferrari, it is one of the four surviving examples of this model, although not without hard work on top: the 0546 LM chassis car spent five years in the workshop (between 2018 and 2023) to return to its original configuration, with period elements and the Ferrari Classiche certification as the icing on the cake.

Ferrari 121 LM Spider by Scaglietti (photo: RM Sothebys)

As part of the Ferrari team, this 121 LM Spider was driven by prominent drivers such as Piero Taruffi, Eugenio Castellotti and Maurice Trintignant, with whom it starred in intense fights against Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar in competitions such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Mille Miglia of 1955, to then pass into private hands.

Ferrari 121 LM Spider by Scaglietti (photo: RM Sothebys)

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Competizione (1969) $5,136,000 - $5,564,000

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Competizione (photo: RM Sothebys)

It is a historical piece of great importance: it is the third Daytona produced in Maranello, a copy that remained for two years inside the factory as a guinea pig to test developments and improvements until 1971, when it saw the light to compete in Le Mans by the hand of the North American Racing Team of Luigi Chinetti.

Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Competizione (photo: RM Sothebys)

Although initially intended as a street model, chassis example 12467 was adapted for the occasion and travelled non-stop to the Circuit de la Sarthe, where Bob Grossman and Luigi Chinetti Jr. achieved a remarkable fifth place overall. It was just the beginning of a course that lasted until 1973, when it formally left the tracks and became part of private collections that preserved it until today.

Jaguar XJR-12 LM (1991) $2,675,000 - $3,210,000

Jaguar XJR-12 LM (photo: RM Sothebys)

In the months leading up to the 24 1991 Hours of Le Mans, Silk Cut Jaguar team boss Tom Walkinshaw had become obsessed with a single goal: to win the race again after the previous year's resounding success.

For this they appealed to three Jaguar XJR-12 and a large roster of pilots. And although they did not succeed – the victory went to a Mazda 787B driven by Volker Weidler, Johnny Herbert and Bertrand Gachot – they left an amazing image by finishing second, third and fourth overall, the latter being the chassis number 891 that will be auctioned at Le Mans in the coming weeks.

Lancia LC2 (1984) US$ 2,354,000 - US$ 2,568,000

Lancia LC2 (photo: RM Sothebys)

It is one of the nine chassis that were part of the remembered LC2 series of Lancia, which combined Dallara construction with Ferrari V8 engines, product of Nicola Materazzi, the design guru of the house of Maranello.

This is the number 005, which debuted in the 1,000 kilometers of Monza in 1984 and, after an auspicious pole position in the 1,000 kilometers of Silverstone, arrived at Le Mans with the bar very high. He fulfilled in the classification, starting again first, and finished eighth.

The car was the protagonist in the two years it competed with Martini Racing, with the high point of winning the 1,000 Kilometers of Kyalami. It then passed into the hands of private collectors, and in recent years was regularly attended by the mechanics of the United Autosports team of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).

Aston Martin DBR9 GT1 (2007) $2,247,000 - $2,675,000

Aston Martin DBR9 GT1 (photo: RM Sothebys)

It is one of two DBR9s built that year, and one of 18 that left the Prodrive workshop between 2005 and 2008. It is a real beast with more than 30 races under its belt between when it saw the light and until 2011, including Le Mans 2010, where it finished third in its class with the Young Driver AMR team.

Originally acquired by British enthusiast Henry Barczynski, its preparation was initially entrusted to the official Aston Martin Racing Partner team, Barwell Motorsport. But it was with the Gigawave Motorsport team that he had more running, leading his category in the 1,000 Kilometers of Silverstone in 2009.

Jaguar XJ220 C LM (1993) $1,712,000 - $2,354,000

Jaguar XJ220 C LM (photo: RM Sothebys)

The Jaguar XJ220 made a great impression when it was presented at the British Motor Show in 1988: in addition to its slender and futuristic lines, no one could stop talking about its mechanical qualities, with a 12.6-liter 2-cylinder engine and four-wheel drive.

Its creators, Jaguar and Tom Walkinshaw Racing, saw in the XJ220 the potential for success in racing. And they were not wrong: identified with the 002 chassis, this example that goes to auction arrived at the track from the hand of David Brabham, John Nielsen and the future Formula 1 driver, David Coulthard, to sweep his class, although a month later he was disqualified on the desks after questions about the legality of his exhaust system.

Delahaye 135 S by Pourtout (1936) $1,605,000 - $2,140,000

Delahaye 135 S by Pourtout (photo: RM Sothebys)

Presented at the 1935 Paris Motor Show, the model stood out not only as a favorite of Europe's most renowned coachbuilders, but also of racing drivers.

The Delahaye 135 S became known as the "Coupé of the Alps" for its success in the Rally of the Alps and also left its mark on the Mille Miglia and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This particular chassis, chassis 46084, was built in late 1935 and February 1936 with Pourtout's bodywork, and two years later achieved his best result by finishing second at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Lister-Jaguar 'Knobbly' (1958) $1,556,500 - $1,926,000

Lister-Jaguar 'Knobbly' (RM Sothebys)

Five years of success gave his well-deserved mystique to Lister's name. This model lived up to its fame, an unbeatable design that combined a lightweight chassis with a D-type powertrain and low center of gravity.

Always on the track with the Equipe Nationale Belge, the most outstanding race of this example is the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1958, where it showed good feelings until a problem in the crank ended up leaving it out of competition.

OSCA MT4 by Morelli (1954) $1,391,000 - $1,605,000

OSCA MT4 by Morelli (photo: RM Sothebys)

The company of the Maserati brothers presented this model that had an engine of its own design, aluminum and four cylinders in line that would end up being a serious adversary for heavyweights such as the Porsche 550 Spyder within the category below 1,500 cc.

The debut of this unit that will look for a new owner in the coming weeks was at Le Mans, in 1954. And although he was disqualified after it was proven that the pilot Lance Macklin at one point had help from the attending public to return the car to the track, then it passed into the hands of the American James Simpson Jr., who took him to his land to compete and win in two races of the Sports Car Club of America.

Other models sold for the 100th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans

  • Alpine A210 (1967) $1,284,000 - $1,605,000
  • Saleen S7-R (2008) $1,284,000 - $1,605,000
  • Nissan R90CK (1990) $1,070,000 - $1,605,000
  • Aston Martin Le Mans 'LM8' (1932) $1,018,500 - $1,444,500
  • Ferrari F430 GTC (2006) $802,500 - $1,070,000
  • Chrysler Viper GTS-R (1996) $642,000 - $749,000
  • Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2 Series III 'Le Mans Safety Car' by Pininfarina (1963) $588,500 - $617,500
  • Rondeau M482 (1983) $428,000 - $535,000
  • Venturi 600 S-LM (1993) $321,000 - $428,000
  • Porsche 911 GT3 R (2000) $267,500 - $374,500
  • Spyker C8 GT2-R (2005) $267,500 - $374,500

See also

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The Japanese Ferrari: the story of the unique specimen that was born on a whim of the King of Saudi Arabia

Source: clarin

All tech articles on 2023-05-30

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