HomeThe MarketHistoric racers featured at Bonhams' upcoming Spa sale

Historic racers featured at Bonhams’ upcoming Spa sale


Osella-Alfa Romeo FA1G among the cars returning to site of Belgian Grand Prix | Bonhams photos
Osella-Alfa Romeo FA1G among the cars returning to site of Belgian Grand Prix | Bonhams photos

With the auction being held at the famed Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, it only makes sense that the docket for the Bonhams sale features a starting grid of vintage racing machines. They include everything from a Grand Prix-winning Benetton-Cosworth Ford F1 racer to a 1969 Volvo Amazon 122S Group 2 rally car.


Considered to be the star of the auction is the 1991 Benetton-Cosworth Ford B191 that won the Canadian Grand Prix and during its racing career was driven by Nelson Piquet, Roberto Moreno and Michael Schumacher. The car also finished fifth in the British Grand Prix and eighth in the French race in 1991. Wearing Benetton colors, Bonhams has assigned the car a pre-sale estimated value of €750,000 to €950,000 ($820,000 to $1.4 million).

Back at Spa for the first time since the 1986 season is another F1 racer, a 1986 Osella-Alfa Romeo FA1G originally campaigned by Piercarlo Ghinzani, a European F3 champion who went on to start 77 F1 races.

“Ghinzani privately maintained a number of the cars that he drove during his varied career, and this 1.5-liter turbocharged machine is a highly original and ‘on the button’ example with extensive in-period race history including outings at the legendary Circuit de Spa Francorchamps,” Bonhams said in its pre-auction news release.

The auction house notes that the car has been restored and is powered by a period V8 engine that Ghinzani owned but that was never used in a race. The car’s pre-sale estimated value is €90,000 to €120,000 ($100,000 to $130,000).

Another and significantly more valuable Alfa Romeo with competition history is the former 1969 Autodelta Alfa Romeo GTA 1300 Junior, a works racer that debuted in the 1969 Tour de Corse with Enrico Pinto driving. Bonhams notes that the car had a long racing history, including class victories at the Nurburgring and Paul Ricard and second overall in the 1972 GR Brno. The pre-sale estimate is €290,000 to €340,000 ($320,000 to $375,000).

The docket also includes another ex-Autodelta 1969 Alfa Romeo GTA Junior valued at €320,000 to €375,000 ($350,000 to $410,000).

VW T1 transporter and Martini-liveried Group 5 Porsche
VW T1 transporter and Martini-liveried Group 5 Porsche

The docket also includes Porsches, among them a 1979-81 911 Type 935 dp35 Group 5 competition coupe valued at €400,000 to €500,000 ($440,000 to $550,000)

“When, after much deliberation, the FIA eventually agreed on its new formula for 1976, the creation of the Group 5 (extensively modified) category gave Porsche the opportunity to let its imagination and engineering expertise shine through,” Bonhams reported. “A stream of exotic prototypes with the very briefest of connections to the production 911 came to the fore, such as the 1979/1981 Porsche 911 Type 935 dp35 Group 5 Competition Coupé.

“One of only three built by dp motorsport, this staggeringly rare competition model has competed extensively in Scandinavia, and is believed to have competed in the 1999/2000 Swedish GTR Championship. Accompanied by a DMSB-Wagenpass attesting that this is a genuine Group 5 car, this machine will undoubtedly be a serious contender on the classic race track.”

Also being offered is a 1976 Porsche 934/5 Kremer Group 4 competition coupé in Martini racing livery. The car raced three times during the 1976-77 seasons and then was retired. Bonhams expects it to sell for €320,000 to €400,000 ($350,000 to $440,000).

Among other vehicles scheduled to cross the block are:

1965 Jaguar E-type semi-lightweight coupe
1965 Jaguar E-type semi-lightweight coupe

  • A 1996 Ferrari F355 Challenge coupe.
  • A 1965 Lotus Elan 26R built to FIA racing specification that already has an impressive vintage racing history.
  • A 1971 Ford Capri RS2600 lightweight competition coupe originally owned by French Formula 3 champion Francois Mazet.
  • A 1969 Volvo Amazon 122S Group 2 factory rally car.
  • A 1965 Jaguar E-type 3.8-liter semi-lightweight competition roadster.
  • The 1989 Belgian Procar championship-winning Audi V8 quattro.
  • The 1986 Belga Stuurwiel-winning BMW 325i Juma Group N comp coupe.
  • An original Volskwagen T2 transporter.

Also on the Spa docket is the so-called Castle Collection of a dozen classic vehicles discovered at a castle in Switzerland. Among them are a 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL roadster, 1921 and 1934 Rolls-Royce, Maserati Indy America and others.

Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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