ENDURANCE RACING ICONS
- An incredible 1991 Jaguar XJR-12 LM
- This fine example was one of three Silk Cut-liveried XJR-12s to complete the 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans
- Also recently announced: a 2007 Aston Martin DBR9 GT1 and a 1993 Jaguar XJ220 C LM
- SALE OF A CENTURY: ICONIC EX-WORKS 1985 PORSCHE 962C
- This incredible example was driven by endurance legends Ickx, Bell, Stuck, Wollek, Watson, Schuppan, and Mass, and boasts three Le Mans appearances, including a pole position in the 1986 24 Hours of Le Mans
(London, England,) – RM Sotheby’s Le Mans Centenary sale. Held in partnership with the ACO, RM Sotheby’s is holding this one-off sale on Friday, 9 June and is set to be a highlight feature of the 100th anniversary of the iconic race.
Jaguar has had an illustrious record in endurance racing and its place in Le Mans history is unquestionable. The 1991 Jaguar XJR-12 LM is not only astonishingly beautiful to look at in its period-correct Silk Cut Jaguar two-tone purple livery, but it also has some incredible competition success to its name. This includes a 4th overall at the 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans, driven by Derek Warwick, John Nielsen, and Andy Wallace, in addition to a class win (2nd overall) at the 1992 edition of the 24 Hours of Daytona and a further 4th overall at the 1992 12 Hours of Sebring.. This is not where Chassis 891’s story ends, however, with this example having been raced in many historic events, notably at Le Mans Classic in 2018, where it clocked the fastest lap and combined qualifying time in the Group C category (Estimate: €2,500,000 – €3,000,000 EUR).
Another important part of Jaguar’s Le Mans history from the same era is the 1993 Jaguar XJ220 C LM, a TWR development of the XJ220 road cars, which was briefly rated as the world’s fastest road legal machine. This is an astonishingly rare example, with this being only one of a mere four bespoke XJ220 C chassis constructed. Driven by David Brabham, John Nielsen, and future Formula 1 star David Coulthard at Le Mans in 1993, it proved to be Jaguar’s final Le Mans “win”, topping the GT class at the 1993 24 Hours of Le Mans and finishing 15th overall. Unfortunately, it was disqualified on the basis of it not being fitted with catalytic convertors—the appeal was supported by the FIA but not in time to reinstate the class win. Following its racing career, chassis 002 then ended up in the hands of a legendary car collector, the Sultan of Brunei, who acquired it directly from Tom Walkinshaw Racing. Today it is offered from the exceptional competition car collection of its fourth owner. It is now highly eligible for historic competition events like Peter Auto’s Endurance Racing Legends and Masters Endurance Legends series, and furthermore has the potential to be road-registered in certain territories (Estimate: €1,600,000 – €2,200,000 EUR). To learn more about this incredible car, visit here to watch ex-Le Mans racer, Alain de Cadenet, put the car through its paces: https://rmsothebys.com/en/home/stories/lm23
Alongside Jaguar, Aston Martin is another British marque that has consistently contested Le Mans, and with more than just a little success. The 2007 Aston Martin DBR9 GT1, built by the highly regarded Prodrive team, has an illustrious competition CV that includes 3rd in the GT1 class and 22nd overall at the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans. Following this, the car went on to secure four podium finishes in the 2011 FIA GT1 World Championship, winning in Beijing. This is yet another fine example that is perfectly suited to the now broad offering of endurance racing series, from the Peter Auto Endurance Racing Legends all the way to the Classic 24 Hour at Daytona (Estimate €2,100,000 – €2,500,000 EUR).
A famous creation by the Maserati brothers, Osca was developed by them to exclusively build competition sports cars. This 1954 OSCA MT4 by Morelli is a fine competition example, being one of just two cars that were campaigned by the factory at the 1954 24 Hours of Le Mans. Retaining its numbers-matching engine, this example has been meticulously maintained during its 28 years of current ownership and is presented with extensive paperwork from when it raced at the 1954 Le Mans, in addition to restoration invoices and owner’s research. This exquisitely presented, historically significant example of the Maserati brothers’ dominant 1950s sports racer is estimated to sell between €1,300,000 – €1,500,000 EUR.
Rondeau—though not a household name—is nevertheless an iconic marque to Le Mans aficionados, having achieved incredible results in the race over a number of years, despite its limited resources. The 1983 Rondeau M482, which was driven by endurance racing legends Henri Pescarolo and Thierry Boutsen as part of the Ford France team at the 1983 24 Hours of Le Mans, is a fine example of an exceptionally capable racing machine from the small French manufacturer. The car ran as high as 16th in the race before retiring with an engine failure. This chassis has been impeccably preserved and restored by former Rondeau technician Philippe Belou over a 20-year period and is accompanied by FIA HTP paperwork and spares package (Estimate: €400,000 – €500,000 EUR). In rarity terms, few Le Mans contenders are more scarcely seen than a 2005 Spyker C8 GT2-R, which was the Works entrant for Spyker Squadron at the 2005 24 Hours of Le Mans. Campaigned by the team in the American Le Mans Series, FIA GT Championship, and Le Mans Series, this beautiful example from the pioneering Dutch manufacturer is estimated to sell between €250,000 – €350,000 EUR.
In the history of the race, there are few Le Mans contenders that represent the pinnacle of endurance sports car development and dominance in quite the way the Porsche 962 does. Stunning to look at, fearsomely fast, incredibly reliable and driven by many of the greatest names in the sport, it is a car which can truly carry the label of ‘icon’ like few others. The 1985 Porsche 962C, chassis 004, was one of six 962s assigned to the Rothmans-backed factory team and debuted at the 1985 24 Hours of Le Mans with John Watson, Al Holbert, and Vern Schuppen, who ran in 2nd place for 12 hours until a rare engine failure ended its race in the 21st hour. It was then used by Jacky Ickx and Jochen Mass in three World Sportscar Championship rounds. For the 1986 24 Hours of Le Mans, it was raced by racing legends Bob Wollek, Jochen Mass, and Vern Schuppan, where it qualified in pole position; it battled for the lead but retired in 3rd place. It would feature in three other rounds of the World Sportscar Championship in 1986 and then went on to be run by the Works-supported racing team Joest Racing in 1987.
Its formidable race history also includes a 2nd at the 1987 Nürburgring 1,000 km at the hands of Derek Bell and Hans Stuck, and 5th at Le Mans in 1988 with Joest Racing. This chassis has been driven by nearly all of the factory Porsche drivers of the era, including eight Le Mans winners. With the other ex-works 962s sitting either in Porsche’s own historic collection or in very long-term ownership, the chances to acquire one are few and far between. This example is remarkably the first time a Works-campaigned Porsche 962 has ever been offered for sale at auction, meaning this is truly an unmissable opportunity for any motorsport fanatic. Any future owner would be welcome at some of the finest motorsport events around the world, including Le Mans Classic and Rennsport Reunion. Whilst all 962s are special, an ex-Works 962 in private hands with true Le Mans history would undoubtedly form the cornerstone of any collection and would undeniably be welcomed at some of the most prestigious motoring events around the world (Estimate: €6,000,000 – €9,000,000).
For a race which boasts a 100-year history, the pre-war period is an important era for Le Mans, featuring a hugely diverse selection of sports car makers all vying for glory. It is therefore exciting that the sale will feature an ex-Works Aston Martin, a marque that had a rich history of success in the 1930s and which has continued to be a prominent competitor through to the modern era. The 1932 Aston Martin Le Mans ‘LM8’ was the winner of the 8th Biennial Cup and finished 7th overall at the 1932 24 Hours of Le Mans and is one of the three “second series” Aston Martin Works entrants to race at Le Mans. Boasting well-documented history, with its previous owner retaining the car for over 60 years from 1955, this wonderful and evocative pre-war Aston is estimated to sell between €950,000 – €1,350,000.
Tuesday, 6 June 2023
Wednesday, 7 June 2023
Thursday, 8 June 2023
Friday, 9 June 2023
AUCTION(in the marquee)
Saturday, 10 June 2023
CARS ON DISPLAY