One of the absolute stars of this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este will be the Bugatti 59 once owned by King Leopold III of Belgium. We met the remarkable car and its owner for a last shakedown in the Swiss Alps.
There is no doubt that this will be the star of the next Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, taking place on the shores of Lake Como from 20 to 22 May 2022. But what is it? The car before you is nothing less than the very first of the six Type 59 Bugatti Grand Prix cars, and the one that’s considered the most desirable of all, due to its remarkable race records, its captivating history, and its extraordinary condition.
A BRM V16 at the 2022 BRMA Track Day, held at Blyton Park.
The V16 is very much still in development and despite Raymond Mays protestations, the V16 makes its racing debut at Silverstone in 1950 in front of a record crowd of over 150,000 and Their Majesties the King and Queen. The V16 shears a driveshaft and the Alfas dominate. It is later established that it failed due to the steel not being to specification. The Trust sells BRM to Sir Alfred Owen (the great Midlands industrialist) in 1952. Regulations are changed to F2 rules (2 litre un-supercharged) leaving the V16 with no long term Formula One race prospects just as its development was providing positive results on the track. Parnell wins the Goodwood Trophy in the V16. The last of the front engine BRMs and the birth of the new P25 with a 2.5 litre straight 4-cylinder engine. The P25 was to herald a change in BRM’s fortunes with Jo Bonnier winning their first Grand Prix at Zandvoort in 1959.
Envisioned by Enzo Ferrari and driven to victory by Alberto Ascari, this modest Ferrari 500 F2 paved the way for Maranello’s racing glory. Once gifted by ‘Il Commendatore’ to the MAUTO museum in Turin, the iconic race car will star at this year’s FuoriConcorso Open Museum exhibition at Lake Como.
This short film by Mercedes-Benz Classic pays tribute to the late Sir Stirling Moss and the 300SLR ‘722’ he and Denis Jenkison won the 1955 Mille Miglia in, ahead of the car’s retirement to the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart.
The Carrera Panamericana was a border-to-border sedan and sports car racing event on open roads in Mexico similar to the Mille Miglia and Targa Florio in Italy. Running for five consecutive years from 1950 to 1954, it was widely held by contemporaries to be the most dangerous race of any type in the world.
The Audi e-tron FE07 is the thoroughbred fully electric race car from the brand with the four rings, part of the third season with the second generation of Formula E race cars. It carried Audi factory drivers Lucas di Grassi and René Rast in the seventh Formula E season, Audi’s farewell season.
This 286 SP claims extreme rarity in the Ferrari lineage as one of just six SP racers originally built and one of only two examples originally equipped with the developmental Maranello eight-cylinder engine. Boasting associations with legendary drivers like Lorenzo Bandini, Harry Heuer, Olivier Gendebien, and Ricardo Rodriguez, chassis 0798 was an integral part of Ferrari’s sports prototype development and racing campaign, and it laid the foundational groundwork for the famed Ferrari P cars. It is also no doubt a cornerstone of the 1964 SCCA D Modified Championship. As such, 0798 has been extensively chronicled and photographed in numerous books and articles, including significant coverage in John Godfrey’s authoritative 1990 volume Ferrari Dino SPs as well as a multi-part feature in Cavallino.
Introduced in 1955, the Maserati 150, 200, and 250 series of sports racers were geared towards privateer owners, featuring a four-cylinder engine connected to a four-speed, and later five-speed, gearbox.
The 1957 Maserati 200 SI offered here, chassis 2423, was completed on June 13, 1957 and sent by Maserati Corporation of America to Houston. This example has been used sparingly on the road since then, and comes accompanied by an extensive history file and large cache of spare parts, including the original riveted fuel tank and two sets of Borrani wheels. An alluring choice for both collectors and racers alike, this rare and capable 200 SI is eminently eligible for a number of important road rallies, including the Mille Miglia, possibly the world’s greatest vintage motoring event. As an exceptionally desirable Maserati 200 SI with known history from new, 2423 represents a rare opportunity to buy a gorgeous, versatile, and potent 1950s Italian sports racer.
Too often the word ‘iconic’ is applied to a car, but rarely is the term truly justified. In the case of the 1970 Porsche 917K, chassis no. 031/026, the car that contested the 1970 24 Hours of Le Mans in the hands of Hailwood and Hobbs, resplendent in full blue and orange Gulf livery, and a car that featured in much of the original racing footage used in Steve McQueen’s Le Mans movie, the word ‘iconic’ doesn’t really even come close to doing it justice.
RM Sotheby’s is honored to offer this incredibly iconic racing car and ‘Le Mans Legend’ movie star at its flagship Monterey auction on 13-14 August in California. To any automotive or motorsport enthusiast, the Porsche 917 needs no introduction, and it is the car’s early 917K coupe form, that truly ignites the passions of these enthusiasts most strongly.
Commonly regarded as ‘The World’s Greatest Sports Car’, boasting a near-perfect flat-12 cylinder, air-cooled engine that could propel the car to speeds in excess of 230 mph, the Porsche 917 set a standard for design, engineering, and sheer performance that took endurance sports car design to new levels and which proved dominant over three incredible seasons of World Championship racing.
“My primary era is clearly the ’60s,” he says. “For these scenes, I use period photos with the agreement of their photographer and allow myself some freedom on the framing, for example. I like racing cars, and if they have flaws or imperfections, I represent them faithfully, of course.”
“My master is Leonardo da Vinci, who is the ultimate reference in drawing because of his mastery of blur and movement,” he says. “There’s an indeterminate aspect to these drawings that’s essential. It reminds me of Picasso’s famous phrase ‘finishing a drawing, what a horror’ – that’s exactly it, I always leave an area of blur and a part of emptiness. The viewer fills that space with their experience, their story. In this way, a drawing is simply an exchange – an encounter between two people.”
Few artists, like Yan Denes, understand how to make the thrill of speed tangible for the observer with pen and paper. Not only did he design Scuderia Ferrari’s anniversary helmets in Formula 1, but he is also inspired by historic motorsport.
While the vast majority of Denes’ commissions come from owners of modern Ferrari race cars such as the 360 Challenge, 430 GT2, 488 GT3 and FXX, Yan is actually better known for his passion for historic racing scenes.
It has to be said that Denes is a virtuoso when it comes to transcribing speed and movement.