The weather was miserable at Monaco on the day of the Grand Prix race in 1984, so miserable that it was generally agreed that the two-hour time limit would come before the full 76 laps had been completed.
Despite the conditions, a newcomer driving a Toleman-Hart was chasing down race-leader Alain Prost’s powerful McLaren, cutting the gap to the French star by 3 seconds per lap.
And then, suddenly, race director and former driver Jacky Ickx had seen enough and ordered the red and checkered flags to wave together after only 31 laps. Prost won, but observers figure he only would have held that position for perhaps another couple of laps had the race continued.
“I think we are watching the arrival of Ayron Senna as a truly outstanding talent in Grand Prix racing,” driver-turned-broadcaster James Hunt said.
Hunt was correct, and Bonhams has announced that the 1984 Toleman-Hart TG184 that Senna drove in his first Monaco Grand Prix will be offered for sale at the auction company’s Monaco auction scheduled for May 11 at Vila La Vigie.
The Toleman-Hart TG184 was designed by Rory Byrne and Pat Symonds and had just been unveiled at the recent French Grand Prix. The podium finish at Monaco was the first for both Senna and the car, and they would be back on the podium that season in England and Portugal.
“The Senna-Prost joust of the late 1980s and early 1990s was one of the greatest sporting rivalries of all time, with two great champions providing F1 fans with some of the most eye-popping and spectacular racing ever witnessed,” Mark Osborne, global head of motorsport for Bonhams, said in the company’s news release.
“The spark that ignited this fierce competition can be traced back… to the 1984 edition of the Monaco Grand Prix, and the politically charged decision to throw out the red flag when it was clear that the young Brazilian was about to ruffle some feathers.
“We are delighted to present the very car — the 1984 Toleman-Hart TG184 — that triggered this great rivalry, and which provided the opening chapter for Ayrton Senna’s remarkable and record-breaking story at the Monaco Grand Prix.”
Bonhams previously announced that the McLaren MP4/8A that Senna drove to victory in Monaco in 1993 would be on the docket for the upcoming auction.
“At the Bonhams Monaco Sale on 11 May, two successful bidders will be able to take home these legendary racing cars, tangible memories of one of the most exciting periods in F1 history,” the company said in its most recent news release.