RM Sotheby’s London auction set for Motorsport Masterclass as Race and Rally greats join the sale – adding four prestigious motorsport consignments to London auction, with a 1985 Lancia Delta S4 Rally the first of many Evoluzione cars made in the golden age of Group B rally competition
Prestigious auction house RM Sotheby’s has announced an exotic collection of legendary motorsport cars that will take centre stage at its annual London sale, to take place on the newly announced date of 24 October at the renowned Olympia event space in West Kensington. One of the earliest Lancia Delta S4 models to be used in the Group B World Rally Championship joins a trio of motorsport icons from the stunning Autobau Collection, boasting race pedigree in Formula One, endurance racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and beyond.
The 1985 Lancia Delta S4 Rally, chassis no. 202, is finished in the legendary Martini livery, making the car’s rally heritage instantly recognisable. This car is one of, if not the first, Delta S4 examples to be built for Lancia’s participation in Group B rallying, and one of the first to be used in a World Rally Championship event. Legendary Finnish rally drive Henri Toivenen drove the car to first place with Neil Wilson at the 1985 RAC Rally in Britain, and the Delta S4 Rally then served as a back-up car to Toivenen at the Monte Carlo Rally, the International Swedish Rally and the Rally Costa Smeralda in 1986. Abarth Classiche Certified, this is a true artifact from the most legendary era of WRC history (Est. £725,000 – £800,000).
As the first of three cars from the Autobau Collection, offered from the garage of a Swiss owner, the 1994 Ferrari 412 T1, chassis no. 149, is an incredible car driven in period by Jean Alesi to 3rd place in the 1994 Brazilian GP, and by Gerhard Berger to 2nd place in the Italian GP of the same year. For the 1994 Formula One season, the car was developed by Ferrari with a longer wheelbase than its predecessor, making it more forgiving to drive, but still urgently fast with its four-valve V12 engine and transverse gearbox. This particular car, the second of eight 412 T1s constructed, launched Ferrari onto the podium in the first race of the season in Brazil, but turbulent times in the team meant chassis no. 149 served as a back-up until returning at Monza in Italy, finishing second before heading back to Maranello for retirement. The car remained property of the Scuderia until 2002 and was acquired by its current owner in 2013. The 412 T1 benefits from Ferrari Classiche Certification and has, crucially, been kept in running order (Est. £1,500,000 – £2,000,000).
Continuing the motorsport theme within the Autobau Collection, the 1990 Porsche 962C, chassis no. 962-159, is another addition to the London sale with an outstanding track pedigree in endurance racing. This particular Porsche is a two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans participant, finishing 13thoverall in its year of construction. The 962 —essentially a long-wheelbase version of the legendary 956 —was introduced in 1984 and chassis 962-159 was delivered in long-tail form to the Japanese Trust Racing Team before the 1990 Le Mans 24 Hours, when it finished just outside the top 10. The car was entered in Le Mans again in 1991 but did not finish, and regulation changes enforced by the FIA restricted its competition opportunities thereafter. Subject to $300,000 in restoration to exacting standards in 2009, it would be a welcome entrant to concours and vintage racing events worldwide (Est. £1,100,000 – £1,600,000).
The final addition from the Autobau Collection is a 2006 Maserati MC12 GT1, which was purchased new and actively campaigned in GT1 events by its current owner. This particular car, chassis no. 24053, was delivered in November 2006, completed to GT1 specification, and was earmarked for use in selected rounds of the 2007 American Le Mans Series (ALMS), alongside the European Le Mans Series. The Maserati finished 14thoverall, and 3rd in GT1 class, in the 2007 ALMS Road America 4 Hours, and 19th overall, and 2nd in GT1 class in the same year at ALMS Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. In the same race, the Maserati had suffered an accident but was classified as a finisher. Following its Petit Le Mans accident, 24053 was rebuilt by Doran Racing and in late 2008 was shipped from the USA to the consignor’s private museum in Switzerland, where it has resided ever since. The highly significant Maserati is eligible for Masters Endurance Legends and Endurance Racing Legends events (Est. £2,000,000 – £2,500,000).
Augustin Sabatié-Garat, Auction Manager, RM Sotheby’s Europe, said: “Our London auction is shaping up to be a truly diverse sale with historically significant cars to suit all interests and tastes. The addition of these four cars of established motorsport pedigree gives yet more credence to the London sale, with each of the new consignments celebrated in their own field of motorsport. The Lancia is preserved perfectly as a reminder of the golden age of Group B rallying, while the three cars from the Autobau Collection are each significant in their own right and present the perfect opportunity for would-be collectors of motorsport history and vintage racers to acquire something special at our auction.”
For further information on RM Sotheby’s London sale, please visit rmsothebys.com. Collectors interested in discussing consignment opportunities are invited to call RM Sotheby’s London office at +44 (0) 20 7851 7070 to speak with a car specialist.