Top Open-Wheel Cars in Monterey

Open-Wheel Race Cars

Offered during the Pebble Beach Concours Weekend | August 15-17, 2014


 1986 March 86C Cosworth

Offered by RM Auctions

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

This was the car in CART in 1986. Fielded by Truesports, the March 86C was campaigned by Bobby Rahal for the 1986 season. It is powered by a 700 horsepower 2.7-liter Cosworth turbo V-8. Just take a look at this car’s competition history:

  • 1986 Indianapolis 500 – 1st (with Bobby Rahal)
  • 5 other wins that season
  • 1986 CART Championship

The chance to own an Indy 500-winning car is a very rare thing, and one this cool driven by such a legend makes it even better. The car still retains its race-winning engine. It should sell for between $1,750,000-$2,500,000. Click here for more info.

S/N: 86C-13

Update: Not sold, high bid of $1,550,000.


2000 Ferrari F1-2000

Offered by RM Auctions

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

The F1-2000 was, you guessed it, Ferrari’s F1 car for the 2000 season. And guess who drove for Ferrari in 2000? That’s right, Michael Schumacher. And it was one of those seasons that he had with Ferrari where he nearly won everything on the calendar. He also won the championship. This car won the 2000 Brazilian Grand Prix. The engine is a monster: 3.0-liter V-10 making 770 horsepower. It should sell for between $1,750,000-$2,500,000. Click here for more.

S/N: 198

Update: Sold $1,804,000.


1970 Brabham-Cosworth BT33

Offered by Bonhams

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

You’re looking at the final car driven by Jack Brabham in Formula One. In fact, he won his final grand prix in this car – the 1970 South African Grand Prix. What’s even better, this is a Brabham chassis and he remains the only person to ever win in a car bearing his own name. The car looks fabulous. The engine is too: it’s a Cosworth V-8 of 3.0-liters and puts out 430 horsepower at an ear-shattering 10,000 rpm. It can be yours for between $1,000,000-$1,400,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $1,034,000.


1978 Ferrari 312 T3

Offered by Bonhams

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Ferrari 312 T3 was Ferrari’s second car for the 1978 Formula One Season. The car used for the first two races was a carryover from 1977. The T3 was introduced for the third race. This car was driven primarily by Carlos Reutemann (who won the 1978 British Grand Prix in it). It also driven by Gilles Villeneuve. Villeneuve won the 1978 Race of Champions (a non-points F1 race) in this car. The engine is a 530 horsepower 3.0-liter Flat-12. Ferrari built five of these cars and this one is offered in more-or-less as-raced conditions and has spent many years in the Maranello Rosso Collection. It should sell for between $1,500,000-$2,000,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $2,310,000.


1969 AAR Eagle-Santa Ana

Offered by RM Auctions

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

Here’s the last open-wheel car we’ll feature from Monterey (mostly because I just lost all of the work I did on this post and had to start over – there are other awesome racers this weekend). This car comes from AAR, Dan Gurney’s All American Racers. It was their car for 1969 and it uses a 5.2-liter Ford V-8. AAR built four of them, three of which raced at the Indy 500 that year. This one did not, although Gurney did run it in practice. The only racing this car has ever done is on the historic circuit and it has been in the same ownership for nearly a quarter of a century. It can be yours for between $125,000-$175,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $104,500.

Brabham BT33

1970 Brabham-Cosworth BT33

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 15-17, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

You’re looking at the final car driven by Jack Brabham in Formula One. In fact, he won his final grand prix in this car – the 1970 South African Grand Prix. What’s even better, this is a Brabham chassis and he remains the only person to ever win in a car bearing his own name. The car looks fabulous. The engine is too: it’s a Cosworth V-8 of 3.0-liters and puts out 430 horsepower at an ear-shattering 10,000 rpm. It can be yours for between $1,000,000-$1,400,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $1,034,000.

Lotus Type 49B

1968 Lotus Type 49B

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | June 27, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Remember how bad ass open wheel race cars used to be? Especially in the days before big rear wings when men had to manhandle them around courses. This one is now fitted with a wing, but it wasn’t always.

The Lotus 49 was designed for the 1967 Formula One season by Colin Chapman and Maurice Philippe. From the onset, this car was amazing. It blew everything else away, and Lotus teammates Graham Hill and Jim Clark dominated the opening weekend with this car.

Only nine Lotus 49s were built. Some of them were built as a Type 49 and later rebuilt as a Type 49B or 49C. The engine is a Cosworth DFV V-8 in 3.0-liter form capable of 408 horsepower. It is one of the best racing engines ever manufactured.

Want the competition history? I do – this car competed in the Tasman Series and Formula One:

  • 1969 New Zealand Grand Prix (as a Type 49) – 18th, DNF (with Graham Hill)
  • 1969 Levin International – DNF (with Hill)
  • 1969 Lady Wigram Trophy – 2nd (with Hill)
  • 1969 Teretonga International – 2nd (with Hill)
  • 1969 Australian Grand Prix – 4th (with Hill)
  • 1969 Sandown International 100 – 6th (with Hill)
  • 1969 Monaco Grand Prix (now in 49B configuration) – 4th (with Richard Attwood)
  • 1969 British Grand Prix – 7th (with Hill)
  • 1969 German Grand Prix – 18th, DNF (with Jo Bonnier)
  • 1970 South African Formula One Championship – 1st (with Dave Charlton)
  • 1971 South African Formula One Championship – 1st (with Charlton)

After the 1972 South African F1 season, the car was dismantled and purchased by a renown Australian Lotus collector who had the car restored. It’s been demonstrated and shown and now it can be yours. Only six Type 49s remain. This one has factory-Lotus F1 history and can be yours for between $1,200,000-$1,700,000. Click here for more info and here for more form this sale.

Update: Sold $1,147,135.

Schumacher’s First Title Car

1994 Benetton B194 Ford

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 1, 2013

1994 Benetton B194 Cosworth

The Benetton Formula One team began competing in the top tier of world motorsport in 1986. The team was founded by the Benetton family, owners of the Benetton fashion brand, when they purchased the Toleman team at the end of 1985. In 1991, they hired a young driver named Michael Schumacher who took the team to the pinnacle. Michael won his first two drivers championships with Benetton before departing for Ferrari.

Schumacher won his first title driving a B194 – winning eight races (half of them with this chassis), despite being disqualified from two races and banned from two more. It was a very controversial season to say the least. This car uses a Cosworth-built, Ford-badged 3.5-liter V-8. The race history of this car includes (but is not limited to):

  • 1994 San Marino Grand Prix – 1st (with Michael Schumacher)
  • 1994 Grand Prix of Monaco – 1st (with Schumacher)
  • 1994 Canadian Grand Prix – 1st (with Schumacher)
  • 1994 French Grand Prix – 1st (with Schumacher)

This car won four races with Michael en route to the season driver’s title. Benetton became Renault F1 for 2002 and Renault sold off many of the Benetton team cars that had been left behind. This one found its current home in 2008. A restoration was completed in 2010 and features the original 1994 Mild Seven livery. This is one important race car and it comes with a host of spares. No estimate is available, which is auction house code for “a lot.” You can read more here and check our more from Bonhams in London here.

S/N: B194-05

Update: Sold $1,009,281.

Auctions America Auburn Spring Sale Highlights

Auctions America’s three-day spring sale in Auburn, Indiana, (held last weekend) saw more than 170 cars sell for a wide variety of prices. Top sale was a 1930 Duesenberg Model J Boattail Speedster. The car is a re-creation, but uses an original engine (J-249). I’m not sure of the car’s history, but it sounds like the original car is no longer extant and this one was built around the original mechanicals to take the place of the lost car. It sold for $484,000, which is a lot less than it would have cost were it the real deal. Still looks amazing, though.

Both of our feature cars sold. The awesome Mercury Marauder Concept Convertible brought $51,700 and the De Tomaso Mangusta sold for $75,900. We also featured an Avelate Corvette, which either didn’t sell or was withdrawn as I couldn’t find it in the results.

Another big sale was a 1969 Hemi Dodge Charger, one of only 119 built in 1969 with that monster engine. It’s white and entirely unassuming – perfect for a car that will take just about anything at the stoplight. It sold for $130,000.

Other interesting sales included this 1995 Lola T9500-HU24 Cosworth XB Indy car. It was driven by Scott Sharp to 10th place in the 1996 Indy 500 for A.J. Foyt Racing and by Eddie Cheever in 1995. It is a complete, running Indy car with Indy 500 history. It sold for $62,700.

Finally, from the bargain bin (sort of), is this 1956 Pontiac Star Chief Catalina Custom. The second-generation Star Chief is one of my favorite Pontiacs and it’s such a great-looking car with those two chrome strips running the length of the hood. This one has a 5.2-liter V8 and appears to be in great shape. It sold for $14,300. For complete results (and to see what cars are still available), click here.

Rondeau-Cosworth

1978 Rondeau M378 Ford-Cosworth

Offered by RM Auctions | Monaco | May 12, 2012

What is it about Le Mans that inspires racecar drivers to want to become manufacturers? Yves Courage, Henri Pescarolo, Alain de Cadenet all caught the bug – and so did Jean Rondeau, who began constructing and racing his own cars at the famed 24 Hours in 1976. 1978 was the first year that the cars actually bore his name and this was the first of them. Rondeau would win the 1980 race in a car of his own design – the only time this has ever happened.

This car, chassis no. 001 holds the record for the most starts at the race with 10. No longer are single cars competitive for an entire decade. It’s an impressive feat. Here’s a rundown of those years:

  • 1978 24 Hours of Le Mans – 9th overall, 1st in class (with Rondeau, Bernard Darniche, and Jacky Haran)
  • 1979 24 Hours of Le Mans – 30th, DNF (with Rondeau and Haran)
  • 1980 24 Hours of Le Mans – 3rd (with Gordon Spice, Philippe Martin and Jean-Michel Martin)
  • 1981 24 Hours of Le Mans – 2nd (with Haran, Jean-Louis Schlesser and Philippe Streiff)
  • 1982 24 Hours of Le Mans – 10th (with Pierre Yver, Bruno Scotty and Lucien Guitteny)
  • 1983 24 Hours of Le Mans – 28th, DNF (with Vic Elford, Joël Gouhier and Anne-Charlotte Verney)
  • 1984 24 Hours of Le Mans – 11th (with Jean-Philippe Grand, Jean-Paul Libert and Pascal Witmeur
  • 1985 24 Hours of Le Mans – 43rd, DNF (with Michel Dubois, Hubert Striebig and Noël del Bello)
  • 1986 24 Hours of Le Mans – 17th (with del Bello, Scotty and Lucien Rossiaud
  • 1988 24 Hours of Le Mans – 27th, not classified (with Scotty and Pierre-Alain Lombardi)

Jean Rondeau was killed in a road car accident in 1985, but his name lived on at the race he lived for – on this car, through 1988. This car also competed in nine other European endurance events, with at least one win.

The engine is a 3.0-liter V8 from Cosworth making 415 horsepower. It’s a race car and weighs next to nothing. So it’s quick. And it’s a piece of history – although it never won the big race, it holds an impressive record and is eligible for historic events. The pre-sale estimate is $790,000-$990,000. To read the complete description, click here. And for the entire RM in Monaco offering, click here.

Update: sold $464,128.