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  • Offered from The Jody Scheckter Collection
  • A rare example of Ron Dennis and Neil Trundle’s first foray into constructing race cars prior to McLaren
  • Raced by Scheckter and Tom Pryce in the 1973 European Formula 2 Championship
  • Latterly raced in North America from 1974 till 1985
  • Restored to Scheckter’s period livery

Formula 2 race team and car constructor Rondel carries the distinction of being the first outfit created by Ron Dennis, who would lead McLaren through its serial Formula 1 championship-winning pomp. Accordingly, the Rondel moniker was a portmanteau of his name and co-founder Neil Trundle’s, the future chief mechanic to Ayrton Senna.

With backing from French oil company Motul, ex-Brabham mechanics Dennis and Trundle remarkably started making their own cars within two years of setting up. The first creation was the M1. Penned by aerodynamicist Ray Jessop, a fellow Brabham alumnus, the M1 was designed with an aluminium monocoque stronger than rival cars to offer greater protection to the driver’s legs. It was innovative, too, employing a detachable tubular engine cradle to make it possible to change power units in under 30 minutes so that, theoretically, they could be swapped between heats at race meetings.

This 1973 car, chassis 204, was the fourth of nine M1s built at Rondel’s Feltham, Middlesex workshop. Reserved initially for “star guest drivers”, it made its debut in the European Formula 2 event at Hockenheim to contest the Jim Clark Memorial Trophy, in the hands of Jody Scheckter. Scheckter would reunite with chassis 204 at Thruxton later in April, where he scored 4th place in the opening bout—a race won by Henri Pescarolo to give Rondel its first-ever victory. Then in June, the car was handed over to Welsh rising star Tom Pryce for a further two rounds. On familiar ground, chassis 204 scored 5th at Hockenheim before a 7th-placed result was achieved at Rouen.

At the end of the season, the car was sold to a Canadian, the Ford DBG engine swapped for a DBA unit ready for competition in Formula Atlantic categories—what followed was many seasons of continuous racing in North American single seater categories. This car would be regarded for its immaculate preparation before being sold to Switzerland, whereupon it was fully restored. Renowned engine shop HP Wittwer noted the excellent condition of the powerplant and five-speed Hewland FT200 gearbox.

Offered directly from the personal collection of Scheckter, who has owned the car since 1999, the Rondel wears its period-correct baby blue livery, and makes for a fine opportunity to buy a race car from an F1 world champion.

Please note this lot has entered the EU on a temporary import bond, which must be cancelled either by exporting the lot outside of the EU on an approved Bill of Lading with supporting customs documentation or by paying the applicable VAT and import duties to have the lot remain in the EU.

Veuillez noter que ce lot est entré dans l'UE sous couvert d'une autorisation d'importation temporaire, qui doit être annulée soit en exportant le lot en dehors de l'UE avec une lettre de débarquement approuvé accompagné des documents douaniers nécessaires, soit en payant la TVA et les droits d'importation applicables pour que le lot reste dans l'UE.

To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/auctions/mc24/.

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