The First Lotus F1 Car

1957 Lotus-Climax 12

Offered by Bonhams | Monaco | May 2024

Photo – Bonhams

Lotus’s track-focused cars built prior to this were mostly of the sports racing/prototype variety. The 12 was unveiled at the 1956 London Motor Show but wouldn’t hit the track until 1957. That first year it contested three F2 races, one each at Silverstone, Goodwood, and Oulton Park. Drivers Henry Taylor and Graham Hill split driving duties.

After a few more F2 outings in 1958, the car was ready to step up to F1. It was Lotus’s – and Graham Hill’s – first Formula One appearance when the car appeared at the 1958 Monaco Grand Prix. The competition history for this chassis, 353, includes:

  • 1958 Monaco Grand Prix – 9th, DNF (with Graham Hill)
  • 1958 Dutch Grand Prix – 14th, DNF (with Hill)
  • 1958 Belgian Grand Prix – 13th, DNF (with Hill)

Then it was back to F2 for some events in 1958 and 1959. And don’t think the 12 was an F1 dud. Hill’s teammate in ’58 was Cliff Allison, and Allison finished 6th, 6th, and 4th, respectively, in the same outings Hill had.

Power in the car is from a Coventry Climax inline-four. The car was purchased by its current owner in 1991 and was later restored. Quite the specimen of F1 and Lotus history, the car could fetch between $310,000-$420,000. You can read more about it here.

McLaren M19A

1971 McLaren-Ford M19A

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monaco | May 2024

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

McLaren’s M19 was used in three different seasons of Formula One, with the A variant in use in 1971 and the C variant raced for ’72 and ’73. The team’s main drivers in 1971 were Denny Hulme and Peter Gethin, with Peter Revson taking Gethin’s place in 1972. Jody Scheckter would also debut for McLaren in 1972, and he currently owns this car.

Power is from a Ford-Cosworth DFV V8 that displaced 3.0 liters. McLaren built four M19 chassis, two of which were M19A spec. This car, chassis M19A-1, has the following competition history:

  • 1971 South African Grand Prix – 6th (with Denny Hulme)
  • 1971 Spanish Grand Prix – 5th (with Hulme)
  • 1971 Monaco Grand Prix – 4th (with Hulme)
  • 1971 Dutch Grand Prix – 15th, DNF (with Peter Gethin)
  • 1971 French Grand Prix – 9th (with Gethin)
  • 1971 British Grand Prix – 15th, DNF (with Gethin)
  • 1971 German Grand Prix – 17th, DNF (with Gethin)
  • 1971 Austrian Grand Prix – 9th (with Jackie Oliver)
  • 1971 Canadian Grand Prix – 3rd (with Mark Donohue)
  • 1971 United States Grand Prix – 10th (with David Hobbs)
  • 1972 South African Grand Prix – 3rd (with Peter Revson)
  • 1972 Spanish Grand Prix – 16th, DNF (with Hulme)
  • 1972 French Grand Prix – 9th (with Brian Redman)
  • 1972 British Grand Prix – 3rd (with Revson)
  • 1972 German Grand Prix – 5th (with Redman)
  • 1972 United States Grand Prix – 9th (with Jody Scheckter)

I mean. Look at those names. It’s no wonder there is an estimate of $800,000-$1,100,000. The car was also used in the 1974 F5000 championship, and in F1, it was a Team McLaren AND a Team Penske car at different points. Read more about it here.

Tyrrell 007

1975 Tyrrell-Ford-Cosworth 007

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monaco | May 2024

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Here’s another Tyrrell Formula 1 car. This sale also has a re-creation of the team’s famous six-wheeler. The 007 was actually the car that was used right before the P34 (the six-wheeler) debuted. The 007 was on the F1 grid from 1974 through 1977 with various teams.

Power is provided by a 3.0-liter Ford-Cosworth DFV V8. This car, chassis 007/06, has the following competition history:

  • 1975 French Grand Prix – 9th (with Jody Scheckter)
  • 1975 British Grand Prix – 3rd (with Scheckter)
  • 1975 German Grand Prix – 14th, DNF (with Scheckter)
  • 1975 Austrian Grand Prix – 8th (with Scheckter)
  • 1975 Italian Grand Prix – 8th (with Scheckter)
  • 1975 United States Grand Prix – 6th (with Scheckter)
  • 1976 Brazilian Grand Prix – 5th (with Scheckter)
  • 1976 South African Grand Prix – 4th (with Scheckter)
  • 1976 United States Grand Prix West – 13th, DNF (with Scheckter)
  • 1976 Spanish Grand Prix – 16th, DNF (with Scheckter)

After that, the car was purchased by privateer driver Otto Stuppacher, who managed to not qualify or start three races later in 1976. It went hillclimbing in 1979 and 1980 and later made it’s way into the collection of Jody Scheckter. It now has an estimate of $700,000-$950,000. Click here for more info.

Wolf F1

1977 Wolf-Ford-Cosworth WR3

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monaco | May 2024

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Walter Wolf made money in the Canadian oil business and later came to know Frank Williams, whose first F1 team was struggling. Wolf bought in. Then he bought Hesketh. Then he bought bits of Graham Hill’s former team. At the end of 1976, Wolf forced out Williams, who went on to found Williams Grand Prix Engineering, which is still on the grid.

Walter Wolf Racing first appeared in F1 in 1977. They ran a single car all season for Jody Scheckter, who currently owns this, a derivative chassis of their first entry: the WR1. They would upgrade the car throughout the year as the WR2, WR3, and WR4. This car is chassis WR1/3 (aka WR3, which debuted in March 1977), and it’s competition history includes:

  • 1977 Belgian Grand Prix – 16th, DNF (with Jody Scheckter)
  • 1977 French Grand Prix – 15th, DNF (with Scheckter)
  • 1977 Austrian Grand Prix – 18th, DNF (with Scheckter)
  • 1977 Japanese Grand Prix – 10th (with Scheckter)
  • 1977 United States Grand Prix West – 13th, DNF (with Scheckter)
  • 1978 German Grand Prix – 10th (with Keke Rosberg)
  • 1978 Austrian Grand Prix – 11th, DNF (with Rosberg)

The car features a 3.0-liter Ford-Cosworth DFV V8 and a Hewland gearbox. After Wolf got their WR4 and WR5 cars ready in 1978, they sold WR3 and WR3 to Theodore Racing, who used them with Keke Rosberg. The car ran in F5000 in Australia in 1979 and then in the 1980 Aurora AFX British F1 Championship with the likes of Kevin Cogan and Desire Wilson.

This car was rebuilt under Scheckter’s ownership and now has an estimate of $480,000-$695,000. More info can be found here.

Ferrari 312 T4

1979 Ferrari 312 T4

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monaco | May 2024

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Ferrari’s 312T line of cars participated in Formula 1 from 1975 through 1980. Variations won 27 races and three driver’s championships, including in 1979 when the Scuderia entered this car, the 312 T4. It is the car that Jody Scheckter used to win his only F1 championship.

It is powered by a 3.0-liter flat-12 that made somewhere around 500 horsepower. This chassis, 040, has the following competition history:

  • 1979 Belgian Grand Prix – 1st (with Jody Scheckter)
  • 1979 Monaco Grand Prix – 1st (with Scheckter)
  • 1979 French Grand Prix – 7th (with Scheckter)
  • 1979 German Grand Prix – 4th (with Scheckter)
  • 1979 Austrian Grand Prix – 4th (with Scheckter)
  • 1979 Dutch Grand Prix – 2nd (with Scheckter)
  • 1979 Italian Grand Prix – 1st (with Scheckter)
  • 1979 Canadian Grand Prix – 4th (with Scheckter)
  • 1979 United States Grand Prix – 10th, DNF (with Scheckter)

Another Monaco Grand Prix-winning chassis. Scheckter was the only person to have raced this chassis and is the only person to have driven it since the season ended. It’s a big deal, and it has an estimate of $5,600,000-$7,000,000. Click here for more info.

Tyrrell 008

1978 Tyrrell-Cosworth 008

Offered by Bonhams | Monaco | May 2024

Photo – Bonhams

The Tyrrell Racing Organisation – one of the great F1 team names – finished fourth in the constructor’s championship in 1978, their 13th season in F1. They used the 008 for the entire season, which was the first season after their famous six-wheeler.

The cars were powered by a 3.0-liter Cosworth DFV V8, which this car retains. The competition history for this chassis, 008/03, includes:

  • 1978 South African Grand Prix – 2nd (with Patrick
  • 1978 Monaco Grand Prix – 1st (with Depailler)
  • 1978 Belgian Grand Prix – 17th, DNF (with Depailler)
  • 1978 Spanish Grand Prix – 20th, DNF (with Depailler)
  • 1978 Swedish Grand Prix – 19th, DNF (with Depailler)
  • 1978 French Grand Prix – 24th, DNF (with Depailler)
  • 1978 British Grand Prix – 4th (with Depailler)
  • 1978 German Grand Prix – 24th, DNF (with Depailler)
  • 1978 Austrian Grand Prix – 2nd (with Depailler)
  • 1978 Dutch Grand Prix – 23rd, DNF (with Depailler)
  • 1978 United States Grand Prix – 22nd, DNF (with Depailler)
  • 1978 Canadian Grand Prix – 5th (with Depailler)

The car was also involved in the start of the race crash at the 1978 Italian Grand Prix. Depailler would move to a back up car for the restart of the race.

It was later used in privateer racing around the U.K. and then became part of Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason’s collection. It is a Monaco winner and has a pre-sale estimate of $1,170,000-$1,500,000. More info can be found here.

Toyota TF102

2002 Toyota TF102

Offered by Bonhams | Monaco | May 2024

Photo – Bonhams

Toyota announced they were heading to Formula One in 1999, but they didn’t appear on the grid until 2002. The TF102 was their first F1 car, and this is chassis #03. It was used as a test car for the team throughout the year, seeing seat time with both of their drivers: Mika Salo and Allan McNish. It was also driven by Stephane Sarrazin and Alan Briscoe.

The team was both a chassis constructor and an engine manufacturer, and this chassis retains a 835-horsepower, 3.0-liter Toyota V10 (though, some electronics are missing). The TF102 peaked early, earning Salo a 6th place finish in its debut in Australia. Salo would achieve a 6th-place finish two rounds later in Brazil, and it was all downhill after that.

Toyota left F1 after the 2009 season, never having won a race. This chassis was purchased by its current owner in 2020 and has a pre-sale estimate of $320,000-$430,000. Click here for more.

McLaren M23

1973 McLaren-Cosworth M23

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monaco | May 2024

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Turns out former F1 champion Jody Scheckter has quite the collection of old F1 cars, including this, his McLaren M23. The M23 was a helluva car, appearing on the grid in races beginning in 1973 and ending in 1978. Could you imagine someone running a five-year-old F1 chassis in a race today?

This car is chassis M23-2, and it is powered by a Cosworth V8. In period, the 3.0-liter DFV made about 465 horsepower. The competition history for this chassis includes:

  • 1973 Spanish Grand Prix – 4th (with Peter Revson)
  • 1973 Belgian Grand Prix – 16th, DNF (with Revson)
  • 1973 Monaco Grand Prix – 5th (with Revson)
  • 1973 Swedish Grand Prix – 7th (with Revson)
  • 1973 British Grand Prix – 1st (with Revson)
  • 1973 Dutch Grand Prix – 4th (with Revson)
  • 1973 German Grand Prix – 9th (with Revson)
  • 1973 Austrian Grand Prix – 22nd, DNF (with Revson)
  • 1973 Canadian Grand Prix – 22nd, DNF (with Jody Scheckter)
  • 1973 United States Grand Prix – 18th, DNF (with Scheckter)
  • 1974 South African Grand Prix – 19th (with Dave Charlton)
  • 1975 South African Grand Prix – 14th (with Charlton)

It also competed in F5000 and Can-Am races through 1980! It remained part of McLaren’s collection before being traded into Scheckter’s. It now has an estimate of $1,860,000-$2,400,000. More info can be found here.

McLaren MP4/21

2006 McLaren-Mercedes MP4/21

Offered by Bonhams | Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. | November 25, 2023

Photo – Bonhams

The 2006 Formula One season was a classic Fernando Alonso/Michael Schumacher dogfight, with Alonso coming out on top. Behind Ferrari and Renault was McLaren, and this was their car for that year. Kimi Raikkonen was in one car, while Pedro de la Rosa replaced Juan Pablo Montoya in the other car midway through the season.

It was an Adrian Newey design and was powered by a Mercedes-Benz 2.4-liter V8 good for 750 horsepower. The competition history for this chassis, MP4/21-2, includes:

  • 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix – 3rd (with Kimi Raikkonen)
  • 2006 Malaysian Grand Prix – 22nd, DNF (with Raikkonen)
  • 2006 Australian Grand Prix – 2nd (with Raikkonen)
  • 2006 San Marino Grand Prix – 5th (with Raikkonen)
  • 2006 European Grand Prix at Nurburgring – 4th (with Raikkonen)
  • 2006 Spanish Grand Prix – 5th (with Raikkonen)
  • 2006 Monaco Grand Prix – 20th, DNF (with Raikkonen)
  • 2006 French Grand Prix – 5th (with Raikkonen)

McLaren restored the car before selling it off, and it hasn’t been used since. The pre-sale estimate is $2,500,000-$3,500,000. Click here for more info.

John Player Special

1978 Lotus-Cosworth Type 79

Offered by Bonhams | Abu Dhabi, UAE | November 25, 2023

Photo – Bonhams

Well, F1 cars don’t come much more famous or significant than this. Bonhams has littered their listing with superlatives and a lot of words, so let’s try to distill it down a bit. The Type 79 was developed in late 1977 and would debut midway through 1978, dominating and being carried over for the 1979 season as well.

The car was advanced for its time, with the aerodynamics taking advantage of “ground effects”, sucking the car to the road in the corners. It’s powered by a 3.0-liter Ford-Cosworth DFV V8 that made about 475 horsepower. The competition history for this chassis, 79/4, includes:

  • 1978 Dutch Grand Prix – 1st (with Mario Andretti)
  • 1978 Italian Grand Prix – 6th (with Andretti)
  • 1978 Canadian Grand Prix – 8th (with Andretti)
  • 1979 Argentine Grand Prix – 5th (with Andretti)
  • 1979 Brazilian Grand Prix – 23rd, DNF (with Andretti)
  • 1979 French Grand Prix – 13th (with Carlos Reutemann)
  • 1979 British Grand Prix – 23rd, DNF (with Andretti)
  • 1979 Austrian Grand Prix – 18th, DNF (with Reutemann)
  • 1979 Dutch Grand Prix – 22nd, DNF (with Reutemann)
  • 1979 Italian Grand Prix – 7th (with Reutemann)

A few other notes. For 1978, the team ran the cars in the John Player Special livery, but the 1979 paint scheme was Martini. This car was also used in Mario Andretti’s 1978 championship season (in which he won the driver’s championship and Lotus the constructor’s).

Lotus kept the car until selling it in 1983. It suffered a big crash in a vintage event in 1989. Later rebuilt, the car changed hands next in 1999, when the current owner bought it. This car has an estimate of $6,500,000-$9,500,000 – the high end of which is short of RM’s low estimate on their modern Mercedes F1 car. Which seems backwards. Click here for more info.