Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Northampton, England | May 20, 2023
The Sierra was kind of a remarkable car for Ford of Europe. It was the sort of new-age family car for Europe, much like the Taurus would be in the U.S. But instead of the hotted-up SHO models, Europe got the Cosworth-powered RS.
The Sierra RS debuted at the 1985 Geneva Motor Show and was intended to homologate the Sierra for Group A Touring Car racing. The road cars featured a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four that made 201 horsepower. The Cosworth engine was only available in two-door Sierras that had some body tweaks, including that high-mount rear spoiler.
In all 5,545 were sold, including 500 of the RS500 version. This example remained with a French owner for over three decades and has under 50,000 miles. It has an estimate of $70,000-$82,000. Click here for more info.
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.
Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 12-20, 2023
Is this a McLaren or a Ford? Well, kind of both. The Fox-Body Mustang debuted for 1979 to replace the much-unloved Mustang II. It was a return to the Mustang’s true self, and Ford wanted to prove they were serious, so they teamed up with McLaren Performance to build a special Mustang.
These started as a regular Mustang until they were sent to McLaren, where their turbocharged, 2.3-liter inline-fours were torn apart and rebuilt to a higher spec by McLaren. This bumped output from 132 horsepower to 175. They also received steel fender flares, a pretty crazy hood, functional brake ducts, and BBS wheels. This particular one is the only one with a four-speed manual gearbox (the rest had five-speeds).
The plan was to build about 250 of these with a price tag of $25,000. But Ford formed their Special Vehicle Operations team, and the SVO Mustang was soon on its way. Only 10 M81s ended up being built, and this was the original prototype that was also used as a dealer demonstrator. It is one of seven finished in Bittersweet Orange.
Offered by Mecum | Houston, Texas | April 14, 2023
The Sports Roadster is the coolest of the Bullet Birds of 1961-1963. Actually, it’s probably the coolest Thunderbird they ever made. The Sports Roadster was introduced in 1962 and was a limited-production version of the standard Thunderbird convertible.
Changes included 48-spoke Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels and a fiberglass tonneau cover over the rear seats that made the car look like a two-seater. Just 1,427 were produced for 1962, and another 455 would be made in 1963
Power here is from a 6.4-liter (390ci) V8 that made 300 horsepower when new. Bullet Birds are among the best-looking of all Thunderbirds, and the Sports Roadster package just takes it up a notch. Black is a classy color for this car, especially over a red interior. Click here for more info.
Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | March 25, 2023
The Zephyr was Ford of Britain‘s “big car” from 1950 through 1972. The Mark III Zephyr was sold from 1962 until 1966, and it was available as the Zephyr 4 or Zephyr 6, each denoting a cylinder count.
The Zodiac was the luxury version of the Zephyr 6. It could’ve been had during the entire run of the Mark III Zephyr and is powered by a 2.6-liter inline-six that was rated at 109 horsepower, which was more than lower Zephyrs had. Top speed was 100 mph. Styling was also improved: four headlights, a narrower C-pillar, and an upmarket interior.
A Zodiac model would be offered again during the next generation of Zephyrs, but that would be it. This one has spent the last 11 years with its most recent of its seven owners. The estimate is $12,000-$14,500. Click here for more info.
Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Warwickshire, England | February 24-26, 2023
This is an interesting race car. In the mid-1950s, some F1 teams dropped streamliner bodies over their F1 cars at high-speed tracks. Mercedes is perhaps the most famous to have done it, but the results were real. Covering the wheels decreased drag and increased speed. Eventually they were banned.
This body was used on Jack Brabham’s 1959 French Grand Prix car, which was a Cooper. The car got airborne in practice, so the pulled it off and ran the car as a typical open wheeler. Engineer John Moore spotted the body years later in the Cooper workshop.
He designed a racing car around it that could be easily converted to full-bodied sports car or an open single seater. It won the 1962 Monoposto Championship in the U.K. The car remained in competition into 1970 before it was retired. It was then partially restored around 1990, competing in historic events into the 2010s. Two Ford inline-fours accompany the car. No pre-sale estimate is yet available, but you can read more about it here.
Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 2, 2023
Eddie Jordan’s Jordan Grand Prix competed in F1 between 1991 and 2005. This car is from their debut season, which saw drivers Bertrand Gachot and Andrea de Cesaris start the season. Roberto Moreno, Alex Zanardi, and a very young newcomer called Michael Schumacher also ran races for the team in place of Gachot.
Power is provided by a 3.5-liter Ford V8 that made about 650 horsepower. This particular chassis, #6, has the following competition history:
1991 Hungarian Grand Prix – 7th (with Andrea de Cesaris)
1991 Belgian Grand Prix – 13th, DNF (with de Cesaris)
It was used as a spare at Italy, Portugal, Spain, Japan, and Australia as well. Schumacher used this car at Spa during free practice one before it was raced by de Cesaris. That makes this the first F1 car ever driven by Schumacher during an F1 weekend. It’s had a few private owners since, and was used on F1 TV race coverage at Silverstone in 2021 when Mick Schumacher did some demonstration laps with it. It’ now has an estimate of $1,500,000-$2,150,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Lincolnshire, Illinois | October 29, 2022
1996 Lola T96/00
We’ve talked about the Newman/Haas sale before (but we may have forgotten to say what a shame it is). Anyway, let’s jump into the cars. This is the era. The black Havoline/Kmart-liveried Michael Andretti cars. The pinnacle of CART.
This car, chassis HU 14, is a Lola T96 (we’ve featured a T95 before). It is currently without an engine, but in period had a Ford-Cosworth V8. The competition history here includes:
1996 Milwaukee Mile – 1st (with Michael Andretti)
1996 Road America – 1st (with Andretti)
1996 Molson Indy Vancouver – 1st (with Andretti)
Michael also used it in five other races that year on his way to second in the championship. It’s being sold without reserve. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $70,000.
1997 Swift 007.i
For the 1997 season of the CART PPG World Series (man, remember those TV graphics?), Newman/Haas switched from Lola to Swift as a chassis manufacturer. Swift Engineering is based in Southern California and supplied chassis to Newman/Haas for a few years.
This 007.i would’ve been originally powered by a Ford-Cosworth V8 but is currently sans motor. The team used six examples of the 007.i in the ’97 season, four of which are in this sale at no reserve. Competition history for this one, #005, includes:
1997 Surfers Paradise – 3rd (with Michael Andretti)
1997 Gateway – 11th (with Andretti)
1997 Mid-Ohio – 8th (with Andretti)
1997 Molson Indy Vancouver – 18th (with Andretti)
He also used it in two other races that year. It’s now selling at no reserve. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $53,200.
1998 Swift 009.c
Newman/Haas continued with Swift into the 1998 season, which saw drivers Michael Andretti and Christian Fittipaldi doing most of the driving. This chassis, #004, would’ve been originally equipped with a Ford/Cosworth V8, but it is currently just a roller.
This car competed in seven of the season’s 19 races, including:
1998 Rio 400k – 5th (with Michael Andretti)
1998 Michigan – 6th (with Andretti)
1998 Road America – 18th (with Andretti)
It’s selling at no reserve. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $39,200.
2000 Lola B2K/00
So I know I said “cars of the late-1990s” but 1. we’ve already featured Newman/Haas’s 1999 entry, the Swift 010.c and 2. 2000 was very much a part of the late 1990s.
The team switched back to Lola chassis for the 2000 season after a few years with Swift. They still employed both Michael Andretti and Christian Fittipaldi this year. Their engine supplier was Ford/Cosworth, with an XF V8. This car has no engine at the moment.
This car, chassis HU 07, competed in 12 of 20 races that year, including:
2000 Homestead-Miami – 7th (with Christian Fittipaldi)
The McDonald’s-liveried Champ Cars of Sebastien Bourdais are some the final iconic cars from that era of American motorsport. Campaigned by Newman/Haas Racing, the cars would clinch four consecutive championships with Bourdais and propel him to Formula 1.
2004 was the first season after they dropped the CART name. Officially, it was called the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford. The Lola B02 chassis made up most of the field (the rest were Reynards). Every car was powered by a turbocharged 2.65-liter Ford-Cosworth XFE V8 that could make over 900 horsepower and rev to 15,000 rpm.
This chassis was initially delivered to Newman/Haas in 2001 and used that season. It was then placed into storage before being pulled out and updated for the 2004 season. The competition history for this chassis, 01-14, includes:
2001 Grand Prix of Monterrey – 20th, DNF (with Christian Fittipaldi)
2001 Grand Prix of Portland – 3rd (with Fittipaldi)
2004 Grand Prix of Long Beach – 3rd (with Sebastien Bourdais)
2004 Grand Prix of Monterrey – 1st (with Bourdais)
2004 Grand Prix of Portland – 1st (with Bourdais)
2004 Molson Indy Toronto – 1st (with Bourdais)
2004 Grand Prix of Road America – 1st (with Bourdais)
2004 Las Vegas – 1st (with Bourdais)
2004 Mexico City – 1st (with Bourdais)
Quite the career en route to Bourdais’ first championship. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $168,000.
2005 Lola-Cosworth-Ford B05/00
The Lola B05 was Newman/Haas’ 2005 competitor, although they retained the successful B01 just in case. The 900-horsepower, turbocharged 2.65-liter Ford-Cosworth XFE V8 remained unchanged. This chassis, HU 01, achieved the following:
2005 Grand Prix of Cleveland – 5th (with Bourdais)
2005 Grand Prix of San Jose – 1st (with Bourdais)
2005 Grand Prix of Denver – 1st (with Bourdais)
2005 Molson Indy Montreal – 4th (with Bourdais)
2005 Surfers Paradise – 1st (with Bourdais)
Add to that: another championship. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $201,600.
2006 Lola-Ford-Cosworth B02/00
The Lola B02 was actually the company’s 2002 CART chassis, and that’s when Newman/Haas took delivery of this one. It was updated over the years and used through the 2006 season, which is the specification it is in today.
Again, it is powered by a turbocharged 2.65-liter Cosworth V8. The competition history for this chassis, HU 03, includes:
2002 Grand Prix of Monterrey – 3rd (with Christian Fittipaldi)
2002 Molson Indy Toronto – 3rd (with Fittipaldi)
2002 Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio – 2nd (with Fittipaldi)
2002 Grand Prix Americas – 2nd (with Fittipaldi)
2003 EuroSpeedway Lausitz – 1st (with Sebastian Bourdais)
2003 Cleveland Grand Prix – 3rd (with Bruno Junqueira)
2003 Molson Indy Toronto – 3rd (with Junqueira)
2003 Grand Prix of Denver – 1st (with Junqueira)
2004 Long Beach Grand Prix – 2nd (with Junqueira)
2004 Grand Prix of Denver – 3rd (with Junqueira)
2004 Molson Indy Montreal – 1st (with Junqueira)
2004 Grand Prix of Monterey – 2nd (with Junqueira)
2004 Surfers Paradise – 1st (with Junqueira)
2006 Milwaukee Mile – 1st (with Bourdais)
2006 Grand Prix of Toronto – 3rd (with Bourdais)
2006 Grand Prix of Montreal – 1st (with Bourdais)
2006 Grand Prix of Road America – 3rd (with Bourdais)
2006 Mexico City – 1st (with Bourdais)
Bourdais scooped up the championship in 2006, making it three in a row. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $196,000.
2007 Panoz-Cosworth DP01
2007 was the final season of the Champ Car World Series. They had just one constructor: Panoz with their DP01, all of which were powered by a turbocharged 2.65-liter Cosworth V8. Output was up to 950 horsepower.
I think it’s safe to say Bourdais was a championship favorite going into the season. He piloted this chassis in 10 races during the year, including:
2007 Vegas Grand Prix – 13th (with Bourdais)
2007 Grand Prix of Long Beach – 1st (with Bourdais)
2007 Grand Prix of Houston – 1st (with Bourdais)
2007 Grand Prix of Portland – 1st (with Bourdais)
2007 Toronto Grand Prix – 9th (with Bourdais)
2007 San Jose Grand Prix – 5th (with Bourdais)
2007 Belgian Grand Prix – 1st (with Bourdais)
2007 Bavarian Grand Prix – 7th (with Bourdais)
2007 Surfers Paradise – 1st (with Bourdais)
2007 Mexico City – 1st (with Bourdais)
He was pretty dominant in this chassis, and really, throughout his entire Champ Car career. He would win the final Champ Car championship in 2007. You can read more about it here.
Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 19-20, 2022
Few names are as synonymous with Indianapolis as Harry Miller. Maybe Andy Granatelli would be up there for people in the know. And Tony Hulman. Well, all three are in play here, but let’s start with this: legendary Indy car designed Harry Miller was approached by Preston Tucker to design an Indy car around a road car-based engine. This was the “junk formula” era.
Tucker then got his friend Edsel Ford to persuade his dad Henry to fund it. Henry ended up making his franchised dealers foot the bill, but the project went ahead. The result was a two-seater, front-wheel-drive chassis powered by a Ford flathead V8. The bodies were built by Emil Diedt, a famous Indy car name on its own.
Ten examples were produced, but just four qualified for the 1935 Indy 500. None finished due to a design flaw with the steering. Henry Ford scooped all of them up, apparently out of embarrassment/rage, and hid them away in Dearborn. They would slowly be sold off to private customers.
This car escaped not long after, and, just after WWII, was owned by a California-based race team owner who had a 4.4-liter Offenhauser inline-four put in it in place of the flathead. Output now is estimated to be 350 horsepower. In 1948, the car was purchased by team owner Andy Granatelli, who entered it in the 1948 race. So the known competition history for this car, chassis #5, consists of:
1948 Indianapolis 500 – DNQ (with Granatelli)
He actually destroyed the car in practice and it was later rebuilt. In 1949, it was purchased by Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Tony Hulman and remained with the IMS Museum until 1993. This is a hard car to come by, and it has an estimate of $750,000-$1,000,000. Click here for more info.