1972 Duckhams-Ford-Cosworth LM72
Offered by Aguttes | Neuilly, France | April 27, 2023
This is a car with a great story. Alain de Cadenet was an English racing driver (and later pretty awesome TV presenter if you like old cars). He raced at Le Mans 15 times, including with cars of his own design. In 1971, he ran Le Mans in a Ferrari 512M. The next year he tried to buy a Ferrari 312 PB, which the company refused to sell to a privateer, as it was based on their F1 car and thus too extreme for an “amateur.”
So he thought of something else. De Cadenet owned a Brabham BT33 F1 car himself, a car which he entered in two 1971 F1 races for his friend and endurance racing co-driver, Chris Craft. So he asked Brabham if they could turn it into a full-bodied sports racing prototype. Bernie Ecclestone, who had just bought Brabham, pointed de Cadenet to a young designer named Gordon Murray.
Over the course of six weeks, Murray designed this. But it needed a new engine – so de Cadenet went to McLaren and bought Bruce McLaren‘s 1968 Belgian Grand Prix-winning Cosworth DFV (as one does). Then he convinced lubricant manufacturer Duckhams to sponsor the whole ordeal. And by June, they were on the grid at Le Sarthe. The competition history includes:
- 1972 24 Hours of Le Mans – 12th (with Alain de Cadenet and Chris Craft)
- 1973 24 Hours of Le Mans – 45th, DNF (with de Cadenet and Craft)
- 1974 24 Hours of Le Mans – 26th, DNF (with Craft and John Nicholson)
For the ’73 race the car received longtail bodywork by Murray, and in 1974, with de Cadenet sidelined with an injury and the Duckhams sponsorship deal over, the car raced as a de Cadenet LM72. Which is pretty awesome, even if he didn’t get to drive it.
The car was restored in 2002 to how it competed in 1972, including with a 3.0-liter Cosworth V8. In period, it also competed in Interserie and Can-Am events. More recently, it’s been active at the Le Mans Classic. The estimate now is $1,600,000-$2,750,000. Click here for more info.