Ayrton Senna’s legacy was felt, and very strongly in Monaco on Friday when two cars he’d driven — his first and last in races on the Monte Carlo street circuit – topped all sales at Bonhams’ Les Grandes Marques du Monde a Monaco auction, held during the Monaco Historic racing weekend.
Overall, the auction post total sales of €13.6 million (nearly $16.27 million) on the sale of 52 lots, 10 of those lots comprising automobilia.
Topping the auction was the Ford Cosworth-powered 1993 McLaren MP4/8A that Senna drove to his sixth and final Monaco race victory. The car, fully functional with matching-number chassis, engine and gearbox from that Monaco victory, sold for slightly more than $5 million (prices reported include buyer’s fee).
Not long after the McLaren was hammered sold, bidding took place on the first car Senna drove at Monaco, a 1984 Toleman-Hart TG184. The car sparked the rivalry between Senna and his future teammate Alain Prost and bidding was intense and didn’t end until the racer with an estimated value of
€750,000 to €1 million sold for more than $1.92 million.
While the bidding on the Toleman was heated, the most furious (Bonhams’ words) battle was over a 1955 Jaguar XK140 SE Michelotti coupe found just a month ago in a barn in rural Belgium. The car, powered by a C-type engine and previously owned by the president of the French Jaguar Drivers Club, was a true project in need of restoration and was expected to sell for €20,000 to €50,000, proceeds from the sale benefiting an animal welfare charity in Ghent, Belgium.
But the bidding was indeed furious and the car sold for a whopping €365,500 ($425,447).
Among other highlights were the sale of a Formula 3 Tecno racer formerly driven by Ronnie Peterson that sold for €92,000 ($110,000) and a TAG Heuer re-edition of a watch presented to Peterson in 1972 by Jack Heuer. The reproduction version sold for €97,750 (nearly $117,000), with that money going to the Ronnie Peterson Memorial Foundation which supports young racing drivers in Peterson’s native Sweden.
Top 10 sales, Bonhams Monaco auction 2018
- 1993 McLaren-Cosworth Ford MP4/8A F1 racer, $5,009,296
- 1984 Toleman-Hart TG184 F1 racer, $1,921,374
- 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL roadster, $1,454,754
- 1931 Bentley 8-litre Tourer, $885,105
- 1993 Bugatti EB110 GT coupe, $720,515
- 1973 Porsche 911 2.7 Carrera RS (touring, sunroof), $686,205
- 1953 Alfa Romeo 1900 Corto Gara Stradale coupe, $494,067
- 1939 Horch 853A sportcabriolet, $466,619
- 1955 Jaguar XK140 SE Michelotti coupe, $425,447
- 1974 Ferrari 365 GT4 Berlinetta boxer, $397,998
(Prices include buyer’s fees.)
Bonhams next collector car auction is The Aston Martin Sale, scheduled for June 2 in England, followed the next day by its Greenwich Concours d’Elegance auction in Connecticut.