Mansell Mania set to sweep Goodwood at Bonhams’ Festival of Speed sale
Mansell Mania swept the nation in 1992 when ‘Our Nige’ vanquished the opposition and became the first driver to win nine Formula 1 Grands Prix in a single season. Of course, Mansell’s skill is not in doubt, but the car he was driving – the Renault-powered Williams FW14B – was an extraordinary piece of engineering, encompassing revolutionary features that were on the cutting edge of technology such as the complex active suspension system.
It was designed by Adrian Newey, and we all know how his career panned out. This particular chassis was victorious in five consecutive races: South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Spain, and San Marino. What’s more, its circa-700bhp Renault V10 is still running, which means you can channel your inner Il Leone (comedy moustache and fiery temper sold separately). The car’s significance cannot be underestimated and, as you’d expect, its pre-sale estimate is available on request only.
Meanwhile, this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed will mark Bentley’s centenary in style and Bonhams is capitalising on the occasion with an exemplary selection of the illustrious British marque’s cars. It’s spearheaded by Old Mother Gun, the 1927 Bentley Jackson Special that Woolf Barnato and Bernard Rubin drove to outright victory at Le Mans in 1928. Arguably the most famous of the Bentley Specials, Old Mother Gun was the first of the marque’s cars fitted with the 4½ Litre engine and is comprehensively documented. Its estimate is also on request.
At the lower end of the budget spectrum, we were rather taken with the elegant metallic brown Bentley Mulsanne from 2011 (est. £50,000–80,000) – it’s a one-owner car and has covered just 30,000 miles from new. The 1960 Bentley S2 Continental is also a superb embodiment of unbridled British opulence. The extensively restored coupé, which is one of just 71 right-hand-drive examples bodied by H J Mulliner, is estimated to fetch £220,000–280,000.
Those on the lookout for a new racing car with which to compete in the myriad classic and modern series will be well catered for at Bonhams. While the provenance of the 1964 Austin-Healey 3000 MkIII, an ex-Works car that won the 1964 Spa-Sofia-Liège rally (£200,000–250,000), and the 1960 Cooper Monaco-Climax Mk2 Type 57, which was driven by such greats as Jackie Stewart and Jack Brabham (£300,000–350,000), is undoubtedly very impressive, our eye would be on something a little younger.
Take the 2001 Lister Storm, for example – a Works racer that vied for victory with Ferrari F40 GTEs and McLaren F1s back in the day and is fitted with a monstrous 7.0-litre Jaguar V12 from the Group C XJR line of models. It’s estimated at £450,000–550,000 and would make a perfect entrant into either of the flourishing Endurance Legends series.
Other cars that caught our eye include the 2013 McLaren P1, one of the 14 Experimental Prototypes that was clothed with GTR bodywork for the New York Motor Show and subsequently reverted to standard by McLaren. The Papaya Yellow hybrid hypercar has covered just 339 miles from new and is estimated at £1.3–1.5m. We’re suckers for supercharged Aston Martin Vantages here at Classic Driver and we adore the one-owner V600 Coupé from 1995 that’s offered (£250,000–300,000), while the as-new 2017 Lamborghini Aventador Miura (£240,000–280,000) is a surprisingly tasteful homage to the original supercar.