Historic Cobra to be auctioned next year

H&H will be selling one of the two factory 1963 Le Mans AC Cobras, later made famous by 'Gentleman Jack' Sears when painted red with white stripes as part of the Willment Racing Team.

Known the world over by its registration number (39 PH), it finished 7th overall in the hands of Ninian Sanderson and Peter Bolton at Le Mans. It was then procured by John Willment for Sears to drive, at which time its pale metallic green paint was replaced with the distinctive Willment team livery - that it has retained to this day.

Sears achieved many notable successes with the car and it remains one of the most original of all competition Cobras.

Estimate: £700,000-800,000.

The EMKA Astons

Sponsored by Hawaiian Tropic in 1983 and Dow Corning in 1985, the EMKA Aston was designed by Len Bailey and prepared by Michael Cane Racing for the late Steve O’Rourke.

The manager of Pink Floyd, O’Rourke was passionate about racing and Le Mans in particular. With Tiff Needell and Nick Faure he finished 17th in 1983 and 11th in 1985 - winning the ‘Motor’ Trophy for best-placed British car on both occasions. On offer are:

* The original car in its final form
* A recreation of the Hawaiian Tropic car
* A range of mechanical spares and body moulds

Estimate for both cars and spares as one lot: £180,000-200,000.

Also secured for the February sale are two Formula One cars:

* A 1981 ex-Nigel Mansell Lotus 87B with a host of spares and body moulds. Estimate: £240,000-270,000
* A 1971 ex-Jean-Pierre Beltoise Matra MS120B, complete with new period engine. Estimate: £270,000-320,000

The auction will be held at a new venue for H&H, the Centaur building at Cheltenham Racecourse. Opened in 2004, it has already played host to such major companies as Honda and Zurich and such stars as Kiri Te Kanawa and Nigel Kennedy.

H&H will hold its inaugural sale there on the 20/21 February 2006.

For further information please visit www.classic-auctions.com

Text: Classic Driver
Photos: H&H

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