"There's been a lot of stuff written about Le Mans, Steve McQueen's 1971 classic portrayal of endurance racing. Sure, it was a brilliantly gritty portrayal of the scene and featured the Coolest Man in the World. But for us, Jon Frankenheimer's 1966 "
Auction cars with Grand Prix World Champion connections
Amongst the incredible selection we spied a car owned by F1 World Champion, Graham Hill
The auction year is arriving at an interesting time, when car collectors are thinking to next year – moving on some classics they enjoyed over the last few years to a new home.
This is clear from the eclectic mix of lots entered into the Historics at Brooklands sale taking place on the 26th November 2016. There is something for every car person, from exotics to bubble cars; it will make for an interesting auction.
One auction item caught my eye. Lot 169 – RAH 400F, a 1968 Lotus Elan Plus 2 that was given to a famous British racing driver for his own personal use. That driver just happened to be Graham Hill; father of Damon, winner of two Grand Prix Championships in 1962 & 1968, the Indianapolis 500 in 1966 and a victor at the Le Mans 24 Hours. The only driver to ever take the triple crown.
Graham Hill’s first meeting with Lotus boss Colin Chapman was very much out of necessity. In his superb 1969 book, “Life at the Limit”, Graham recalls how he was not too flush in his early days of chasing a racing career and found himself without a lift back from Brands Hatch. Asking Chapman for a lift, Colin said yes thinking Graham was a friend of his right-hand man, Mike Costin; Mike, however, thought that Graham was a friend of Colin’s. In the end, Hill got a lift home on the Lotus coach, blagged a free meal and also broke the ice with Colin.
This first encounter sparked a long-standing professional partnership between Hill and Chapman both on and off the field. Chapman lent Hill his first racing car in 1956 – a Mark II Lotus sports car and when Graham drove for the works team he was lent the company products. In this case, a Lotus Elan – chassis number 50/0418. Offered at no reserve and originally supplied in silver, the Plus 2 can be described as requiring restoration. The Elan was of simple construction, built on the racing principles that embodied Colin Chapman so will be a straightforward restoration. It comes with a photograph of Graham Hill alongside the car and a letter from Lotus Car (Sales) stating the vehicle was “supplied to Graham Hill for his exclusive use during his associations with Team Lotus”.
When restored this Lotus Elan will certainly be a talking point and eligible for some very exclusive events.
Another Brooklands auction lot of note is a 2006 Mercedes CLK DTM AMG. This special car was built to celebrate the success of Mercedes-Benz in the German Touring Car Masters (DTM) and just 180 cars were made (100 coupes and 80 cabriolets).
Both Kimi Räikkönen and Jenson Button owned a coupe version. Limited to 200mph, it’s a glory in carbon fibre and with 582hp (800NM of Torque) is still one of the most powerful AMG cars ever built. With the 50th anniversary of AMG being celebrated in 2017 this could be a fantastic investment opportunity.
But if it’s provenance rather than grunt you’d like to invest in, it’ll be hard to beat Graham Hill’s Lotus
More cars, and more photos and information about the cars above, at http://www.historics.co.uk/buying/auctions.aspx
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