The Dino 246 GT made its debut at the Turin Motor Show in November 1969, succeeding the Dino 206 GT, a car named in honour of Alfredo ‘Dino’ Ferrari, who died in 1956. As the name suggests, it was powered by a 2.4-litre engine, and although the cars look visually similar, the 246 GT was longer than its predecessor.
This 1972 example is arguably the star lot at the Silverstone Auctions Race Retro sale on 23 February 2019. It is expected to sell for between £240,000 and £280,000. Now keep scrolling as we guide you through our auction highlights.
Porsche 356 A Speedster – £280,000 – £320,000
Jockeying for position with the 246 GT as the retro headline act is this 1958 Porsche 356 A Speedster. It was supplied new by Hoffman in New York and was acquired by the vendor at Pebble Beach in 2015. Having arrived in the UK, the Porsche was sent to JD Classics for conversion to right-hand drive and has remained in professional storage with little use.
Vauxhall Lotus Carlton – £65,000 – £75,000
One of three Lotus Carltons at the Race Retro sale (although one is a left-hand-drive Opel Omega), this looks like the best of the trio. The first owner was a managing director of a Lotus main dealer, but it has been owned by the vendor for the past 17 years. During that time, it was listed as SORN for six years, which suggests that the owner must have incredible willpower. Imagine owning such a legendary performance car and not using it.
Mk1 Volkswagen Golf GTI – £17,000 – £22,000
There aren’t many opportunities to buy an original, one-owner, low-mileage Mk1 Volkswagen Golf GTI, which means that the pre-auction estimate for this 1979 example might be a tad pessimistic. It was supplied new to its original and only owner in Sheffield, but has spent the past two decades on axle stands in storage. Try finding another one-owner 1.6-litre GTI with just 53,000 miles on the clock.
Saab 900 Turbo – £22,500 – £27,500
Bidding is likely to be less frenzied for this Saab 900 Turbo, but that doesn’t mean this former racing car is any less special. It was built by Abbott Racing to compete in the 1994 Foxboro Production Saloon Championship and the Group N specification Championships in 1995/96. It also has N24 pedigree to its name, running as high as ninth before an accident forced it out of the race an agonising 30 minutes from the end.
Subaru Impreza – £20,000 – £30,000
This 1993 Subaru Impreza was first registered and owned by Prodrive, and was used as a recce car by the Allstars Team and on national stage rallies in the UK. As pointed out by Silverstone Auctions, many of the body panels have been replaced, and there’s a good chance it has an entirely new body shell. Surely only giving it further rally-special kudos?
Ford Escort RS Cosworth – £80,000 – £90,000
We’ll be watching the sale of this 1996 Ford Escort RS Cosworth Lux with interest, as it’s no stranger to the auction circuit. Back in 2017, it sold for a staggering £91,125 at the NEC Classic Car Show, but the pre-auction suggest that it might not fetch quite the same amount at Race Retro. It has covered 838 miles, which means it has travelled just a single mile since November 2017.
Audi R8 Sport Performance Parts Edition – £160,000 – £180,000
The newest car in the auction also happens to be one of the most expensive. Launched in 2018, this is one of only five Audi R8 Sport Performance Parts Edition models sold in the UK, with only 44 cars sold worldwide. A price tag of £176,560 meant that it was £35,360 more expensive than the regular R8 V10 Plus, but Audi chucked all but the kitchen sink at this special edition. Exclusivity is guaranteed, but it comes at a price.
Peugeot 207 THP Spider – £22,000 – £26,000
If exclusivity is what you’re after, this is one of two Peugeot 207 THP Spiders in the UK. The track-only car is powered by a mid-mounted 175hp 1.6-litre turbocharged engine from the Peugeot 207 GTI, but this thing is far more agile than its supermini sibling. For a start, it weighs just 720kg, but it also features a Sadev six-speed sequential gearbox. Car number 18 of 50 was purchased by a UK Peugeot dealer and has lived in the showroom ever since.
Honda NSX – £35,000 – £40,000
Recently, our Tim Pitt was able to grab a seat in a Honda NSX convoy travelling to Retromobile in Paris. If, like the rest of us, you were a little bit jealous, this is your chance to follow in Mr Pitt’s footsteps. Sure, it’ll cost you the best part of £40,000, but we can’t think of a better way to celebrate 30 years of Honda’s iconic supercar. This 1991 example was delivered new in Japan before spending time in the U.S. and Belgium.
BMW M3 CSL – £35,000 – £40,000
In an age of inflated classic car valuations and crazy auction prices, a pre-auction estimate of £35,000 to £40,000 looks like exceptional value for money for a BMW M3 CSL. Whether it fetches such a relatively small amount remains to be seen, because we’ve seen some of the best examples on sale for figures nudging £100,000. Just 422 M3 CSLs were sold in the UK, of which 106 were finished in Sapphire Black.
Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth – £40,000 – £50,000
Google ‘E55 DGU’ and you’ll discover that this is a very famous Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth, with a history of magazine appearances in the likes of Max Power and Performance Ford. When it was new, ‘E55 DGU’ was sent to Graham Goode Racing to be turned into a street-legal version of the RS500 BTCC race car. It has a history to die for and will almost certainly be the centre of attention at any fast Ford meet. Having sat in storage for nine years, it requires some recommissioning, hence the ‘low’ pre-auction estimate.
Ferrari F430 – £100,000 – £120,000
Fifteen years is a long time in the car industry, and yet the Ferrari F430 still looks fresh and relevant today. In fact, you wouldn’t bat an eyelid if it was lined up alongside Ferrari’s current range of supercars. It was, at the time, as close to automotive perfection as you could get, benefiting from Ferrari’s F1 expertise, with a V8 engine that was more powerful than the turbocharged F40. While we’d never call a six-figure sum ‘cheap’, you’ll struggle to find a Ferrari as polished as this for less money.
De Tomaso Longchamp – £100,000 – £125,000
Launched at the 1972 Turin Motor Show, the De Tomaso Longchamp was a two-door coupe based on a shortened version of the Deauville chassis. Eight years later, De Tomaso introduced the modernised Series 2, complete with GTSE and Spyder variants. According to the De Tomaso Drivers Club, of the 410 Longchamps built, just 16 were convertibles, making this GTSE Spyder an incredibly rare vehicle.
Jensen Interceptor Convertible – £50,000 – £60,000
Speaking of rare drop-tops… This is one of only 456 Jensen Interceptor Convertibles, with the vast majority exported to the U.S. and the continent. A mere 87 were produced for the British market, although this 1975 example was sold in the U.S. and subsequently converted to right-hand drive. Yours for around half the price of the Longchamp.
Austin Mini Cooper 970 S – £36,000 – £42,000
The Austin Mini Cooper 970 S was a homologation special built to allow BMC to compete in the 1000cc circuit racing class. Just 963 units were produced between June 1964 and April 1965, making it one of the rarest and most sought after classic Minis. This Surf Blue example was originally Old English White and has spent its entire life in the south of England, including a period under the ownership of Chris Middlehurst, the son of racing driver and famed Nissan tuner Andy Middlehurst.
Ford Falcon Sprint – £65,000 – £75,000
The Ford Falcon was a victim of the Mustang’s success, with the pony car utilising its platform to devastating effect. Not even the Sprint package, complete with a V8 from the Fairlane, stiffer suspension and louder exhausts could prevent the Falcon Sprint from a premature death in 1965. But as anyone who has witnessed classic motorsport will testify, the Falcon is a formidable competition car, which is why this is such a compelling prospect.
Aston Martin DB7 Vantage ‘Keswick’ – £26,000 – £30,000
In March 1999, Aston Martin unveiled the DB7 Vantage, complete with a 6.0-litre V12 engine. The ‘Keswick’ was a limited edition produced for the Lancaster Group, with only ten units produced – five coupe and five Volante models. All were finished in Ferrari Nero Daytona Black, with a host of cosmetic upgrades and 19-inch wheels. Owners were treated to a numbered IWC wrist watch.
Ferrari F355 GTB F1 – £85,000 – £95,000
“This example is one of the finest we have seen,” says Silverstone Auctions. Hardly surprising, given the fact that it has covered just 4,985 in its pampered life. The F355 may have been an evolution of the 348, but it moved the game on to such an extent, it felt like an entirely new Ferrari. In an era of dual-clutch transmissions, the F1 automated manual gearbox might seem a bit old-school, but when the car looks this good, who cares?
Sunbeam Tiger – £45,000 – £55,000
Launched in 1964, the Sunbeam Tiger was a development of the Alpine and featured a 4,261cc V8 engine. This example was built in 1965 and marked for export to South Africa, where it spent the best part of 25 years in the sunshine. Over the course of the next two decades, the Tiger was transformed into an historic race car, with the work totalling tens of thousands of pounds.
MGC GTS – £40,000 – £46,000
Only two lightweight versions of the MGC GTS were built by BMC Abingdon, including ‘RMO 699F, a car affectionately known as ‘Romeo’. This 1969 MGC GTS was built as a kind of homage to ‘Romeo’ and it saw plenty of competition action in the 1980s. Today, it is suitable for hill climbs, circuit racing and, according to Silverstone Auctions, “fast road use”.
McLaren MP4-12C – £75,000 – £85,000
Amazingly, this 2012 McLaren MP4-12C wasn’t registered until last year, having spent the first six years of its life in a private collection in Hong Kong. It has since covered 5,000 miles and is presented, we assume, in an as-new condition. The MP4-12C might have been eclipsed by McLaren’s more recent models, but this remains a tantalising prospect. Just be sure to check out Hoovies Garage YouTube channel before you part with your cash.
Lotus Elan Sprint – £40,000 – £50,000
A Lotus Elan Sprint in Gold Leaf Team Lotus colours – where do we sign? The Sprint was introduced in 1971, which makes this 1972 example one of the first to leave the factory in Hethel. Amazingly, it appears to have been owned by the same person until 2015, but has been fully restored, with the work extending to a replacement chassis.
BMW 1800 – £40,000 – £45,000
This 1965 BMW 1800 was originally a German-registered road car and remained so until 1992. Frick Motorsport then converted it into an FIA race car and it has remained in competition use ever since. Its last race was in 2012, so the FIA papers will need renewing.
Land Rover Series III – £18,000 – £22,000
When all is said and done, nothing is cooler than a Land Rover tow truck. Just think how useful it would be if your auction purchase lets you down on the way back from Race Retro. Speaking of which, the Silverstone Auctions Classic Car Sale gets underway on 23 February at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire.