In blockbuster news, the world’s leading car auction house RM Sotheby have announced that at their Monaco auction on 14 May, an original collection of Nigel Mansell cars will be on offer! The collection which have come from Mansell himself, contain two of the most famous Formula 1 cars to ever be offered at auction.
The two key vehicles in the collection are the 1989 Ferrari 640, in which the British driver won two races that year, plus the incredible 1991 Williams FW14, chassis number five, in which Mansell won five Grand Prix’s and is famously the car that has become known as the British GP winning ‘Senna Taxi’.
It will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to bid on an original F1 car which has come directly from not only the owner but also the driver of said car. Both cars have been kept in mint condition by Mansell, to the point where they look brand-new! Of course the Ferrari 640 will attract significant attention from the ultimate motorsport collectors, due to the immense V12 engine in the back of the 640. Incredibly the 640 was also the first-ever Ferrari F1 car to feature a semi-automatic gearbox and also to be launched to the press without Enzo Ferrari significantly, Ferrari died in April 1988.
The 1989 season had actually begun poorly for Mansell, who was at the time in his first season with Ferrari. Mansell and the team suffered a difficult pre-season and were less than optimistic ahead of the opening race of the season in Brazil. Mansell qualified in sixth for the race, three places below team-mate at the time Gerhard Berger. The race however was a completely different story, the World Champion driver made his way through the field, overtaking the likes of the great Ayrton Senna, on his way to a debut win for Ferrari.
Unfortunately the car’s reliability was poor as the season progressed, Mansell would still go on to win another race in Hungary however, where he qualified in 12th position but overtook the entire grid to win at the Hungaroring, recording the fastest lap and pulling a famous overtake on Senna on his way to the front of the field.
Mansell got to keep his 640, with the car shipped to join his personal car collection in January 1990, accompanied by the very wheels and tyres with which it crossed the finish line at the end of its career. The car is complete and is unlikely to have had a nut or bolt touched on it since the last Ferrari mechanic put down his tools in 1989. This is truly a spectacular opportunity for any collector, at auction the car is estimated to sell at a mind-blowing €2,500,000 – €5,000,000.
The 1991 Williams FW14 needs no introduction, Mansell claimed victory at France and famously at the 1991 British Grand Prix, where on his celebration lap he collected a stranded Senna, who’s Mclaren had run out of fuel. The image of Senna sitting on Mansell’s sidepod remains as one of the most famous and historic moments in F1 history. The chassis which Mansell used at Silverstone, number five, is the one on auction at Monaco. Mansell took several more victories in his FW14 during 1991.
In recognition of his incredible year, Williams just like Ferrari did in 1989, gifted Mansell chassis FW14-5 in recognition of the success, and like the Ferrari, it has remained in his personal possession for over 30 years. Unfortunately without its Renault V10 engine, which was retained by Renault at the end of the season. It is yet another incredible purchase for any motorsport fan and is estimated to sell for between €1,500,000 – €3,000,000.
The collection on offer doesn’t end there, the 2005 Reynard 2KI Grand Prix Masters Car, which was twice driven to victory by Mansell in the 2006 Grand Prix Masters Series is also up for auction. The car is based on the 2000 Reynard 2KI Champ Car, and powered by a 3.5-litre V-8 engine producing in excess of 650 bhp. The series which launched in 2005 was one of a kind, with all the cars being completely identical, the series featured several former Formula 1 racing drivers. The car was added to the Nigel Mansell Collection following the conclusion of the racing season, the car remains in complete, preserved condition and is estimated to sell at between €100,000 – €150,000.
The 1990 iC Modulo M89, chassis no. 001, was gifted to Nigel Mansell at the end of the 1992 season and is the penultimate car of Mansell’s on auction. This was the first Modulo produced and had previously been owned by its designer, Carlo Lamattina. Powered by a BMW K75S motorcycle engine, this rare vehicle is capable of reaching 200 km/h. Part of the Nigel Mansell Collection for nearly 30 years, it is presented with a letter from Lamattina, a period brochure, and photographs of Mansell with the car at Monza. It’s estimated to sell at between €5,000 – €25,000.
The final car of Nigel Mansell’s collection on offer is his 1991 Birkin 7 Sprint, a South African-made kit car accurately based on the famous Lotus Seven. The car on offer was imported into the UK in 1991 and owned from new by Nigel Mansell, who has enjoyed fair use of the Birkin, while for a large part of the vehicle’s life it is understood to have been kept in storage as part of the collection. It will hopefully sell between an estimated €10,000 – €15,000.