1948 Connaught L2
Offered by H&H Classics | Chateau Impney, U.K. | July 10, 2016
Photo – H&H Classics
Connaught Engineering was founded as a Formula One team in Send, Surrey, by Rodney Clarke and Mike Oliver. Connaught campaigned a factory F1 effort from 1952 through 1959. During that time, the company also built a limited run of road-going sports cars (that, of course, doubled as weekend road racers).
Connaught’s two sports cars, the L2 and the L3, were both based on their Type A Formula 2 racer. This lightweight car is powered by a 102 horsepower, 1.8-liter straight-four. Top speed is 104 mph. This example, the first L2 built (and thus, the first Connaught road car built) was first owned by British driver Kenneth McAlpine and has competition history in his hands.
Only six Connaught L2s were built (three prototypes and three production examples). This one was restored in the early 1990s after a decade in an Australian museum. It’s a very rare car with good history. It should bring between $100,000-$130,000. Click here for more info and here for more from H&H.
Update: Sold $104,397.
1953 Connaught L3
Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | September 14, 2013
Connaught Engineering was founded after World War II by two ex-RAF pilots who happened to own a car dealership in Surrey. Well, automobile production took a little while to ramp back up in Britain and the two men, Rodney Clarke and Mike Oliver, got a little impatient and decided to build their own cars instead of wait.
They acquired some chassis from Lea-Francis and had the cars bodied elsewhere. They were little, two-seat sports cars – a craze that was just taking off across the U.K. This was the second model and it features a 1.8-liter straight-four making 122 horsepower and an upgraded suspension compared to the earlier model.
This is one of the last road cars they made as they quickly turned to single-seaters – which would compete in Formula One through 1959. This car has known ownership history from new and was restored in Italy within the past 10 years. It is thought that Connaught only built about 17 road cars of all types, making this extremely rare. It should sell for between $130,000-$180,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ Goodwood lineup.
Update: Not sold.
S/N: L3 7120
1953 Connaught Type A
Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Stoneleigh Park, U.K. | February 23, 2013
Old race cars can be quite interesting. Especially when they competed at the highest level of motorsport and in the “heyday,” as it were – Formula One in the 1950s. Connaught Engineering was founded by Rodney Clarke and Mike Oliver in Send, England, in 1950.
They made their debut at the 1952 British Grand Prix with a four car effort. In total, the team competed in 18 races over eight seasons, contesting every British Grand Prix and other assorted races. 1953 was their hallmark season, the one where they entered the most races (4).
The Type A was run for four seasons (1950-1954). The cars used a 2.0-liter Lea Francis straight-four making 145 horsepower. With the right gearing, it could do 160 mph. I’ve really tried to do some research to find out who drove this car and in what races, but I’m just not finding what I want. Silverstone lists it as having been driven by Roy Salvadori, John Coombs, Kenneth McAlpine, Ron Flockhart and Bill Whitehouse, with Whitehouse having the most success as a privateer. It has been active in historic racing for some time.
Packaged with a bunch of spares, this historic race car is expected to sell for between $315,000-$395,000. It is one of nine built. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Silverstone’s lineup.
Update: Sold $296,400.