Michael Schumacher Formula 1 Debut Racing Car at Bonhams Paris Sale

A 1991 Jordan-Ford 191 Formula 1 Racing Single-Seater 191-6, the very car in which Michael Schumacher first made his mark in Formula 1 more than three decades ago, lines up on a grid of motorsport star cars at Bonhams Grandes Marques du Monde à Paris sale in the Grand Palais Éphémère on 2 February. It has an estimate of €1,400,000-2,000,000.

The seven-time Formula 1 World Champion – who holds this record jointly with Lewis Hamilton – finished eighth in the first practice session of the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps in August 1991, his very first outing for the newly formed Jordan team, and was an instant sensation.

So too was the Jordan-Ford, launched by the former Formula 3000 team, which won the Autosport Racing Car of the Year award. Powered by a Ford-Cosworth V6 circa 650 hp HB engine, the 191 was designed by Chief Engineer Gary Anderson and has been voted the 'best looking F1 car of all-time'.

In the hands of teammate Andrea De Cesaris in that same Belgian Grand Prix, Chassis 191-6 moved up the grid to second place behind Ayrton Senna, before experiencing engine failure with just two laps to go. Schumacher, starting in seventh but unused to a racing start with a full fuel load, burned out the clutch and retired on the opening lap. This was his only appearance with the Jordan team as he was snapped up by Benetton F1 before the next Grand Prix in Italy.

Meanwhile, for the remainder of the season, chassis 191-6 served as a spare car for De Cesaris and Schumacher's replacements Roberto Moreno, followed by Alex Zanardi. The team would finish fifth in the Constructor's World Championship that season.

Thirty years later, having been kept by several collectors, notably Belgian endurance racing-driver Jean 'Beurlys' Blaton, the Jordan was driven by Mick Schumacher at Silverstone to mark the anniversary of the launch of his father's Formula 1 career.

Philip Kantor, International Chairman, Bonhams Collector Cars, said: "This is an unmissable opportunity to follow in the tyre tracks of a racing legend and own a piece of Formula 1 history."

With 2023 marking the centenary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the world's most famous and evocative endurance race, it is fitting that the Bonhams sale is offering several important former participants. Leading the field is a 1948 Talbot-Lago "Chambas" T26, Grand Sport, estimate €2,000,000 - 2,500,000.

First owned and campaigned by French racing driver and wealthy industrialist André Chambas, who designed its lightweight streamlined aluminium body (the clay model of which is included in the sale), this T26 competed five times in the famous French race between 1949 and 1953. It is believed to hold the record as the two-seater Talbot with the most Le Mans starts.

With Chambas and renowned co-driver André Morel at the wheel, the T26 placed 13th in 1950, Talbot's winning year, and finished in 9th place overall in 1951, its best Le Mans result. With known provenance from new, this car is eligible for the most prestigious historic motor sports events including the Le Mans Classic and Mille Miglia Storica and of course this year's Le Mans centenary celebrations in June.

Other motorsport highlights in the Grandes Marques du Monde à Paris sale include:

1972 De Tomaso Pantera Group 4 Coupé, estimate €650,000 - 850,000
Also eligible for the Le Mans Centenary is the second of 14 works-supplied Group 4 cars and supported entry by French De Tomaso importer, Franco Britannic Autos. Following its competitive debut at the Grand Prix de Paris at Montlhéry, this car qualified the fastest of the Panteras in the 1972 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Today this rare Group 4 Pantera is presented in exceptionally original condition for a competition car and in fully running order.

1937 Maserati 4CM Monoposto, chassis 1128, estimate €1,100,000-1,400,000
Delivered new in 1937 to Johnny Lurani, one of the founder members of Scuderia Ambrosiana, this car was one of the very last Tipo 4CMs produced by Maserati.

Lurani enjoyed success with this Monoposto throughout the 1937 and 1938 Grand Prix seasons, winning the 1,100cc category at Turin, Milan, Genoa, Naples and Palermo, and taking the Italian National Championship.

A competitor in the 2021 and 2022 Monaco Grand Prix Historique, the Monoposto is also eligible for the Goodwood Revival meeting.

2000 Oreca Viper GTS-R GT1, estimate €455,000-485,000
The modern-day Cobra-like sportscar was another successful Le Mans competitor, having notched up three class wins at the French circuit in the late 1990s.

This example was prepared on behalf of Chrysler by French firm Oreca for Team Carsport Holland, owned by Dutch touring car and endurance racing driver Toinze Hezemans, a former class winner at Le Mans. Heavily modified by Hezemans, this Oreca Viper achieved 15 podium finishes including five wins and earned the reputation as one of the fastest FIA GT cars in the 2000-2002 seasons.

It is now offered with the potential to enter a special demonstration of GT1 cars in this year's 80th Goodwood Members Meeting 2023 (subject to discussions with the Goodwood team).

1963 Ford Galaxie 500 Lightweight Competition Saloon, €300,000-400,000
One of only three Lightweight Ford Galaxies prepared by NASCAR outfit Holman & Moody for the British Saloon Car Championship, this car dominated the 1963 season in the hands of Jack Sears, winning its class and breaking Jaguar's the stranglehold on the championship.

Other drivers who took the wheel included Graham Hill, who finished second at Oulton Park, nine years before his victory in the 1972 24 Hours of Le Mans, with which he became the only driver to date to have won motorsport's triple crown: the Formula One world championship, the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The 14th Bonhams Grandes Marques à Paris Sale is the largest edition of the sale yet, offering 150 collector cars and motorcycles celebrating more than a century of automotive excellence and innovation, in the Grand Palais Éphémère on 1-2 February.

Star lots range from a single-owner Veteran car and motorcycle collection to a 21st century Pagani hypercar, via a 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Cabriolet Vanvooren, the only one of six bodied by the Parisian coachbuilder to have retained its original bodywork on its 1932 chassis.

All lots will be available to view at the venue, in the Champ de Mars, on Wednesday 1 and Thursday 2 February from 09.00 to 18.00.

The sale programme is as follows:

Wednesday 1 February
14.00h The Dr Peter and Ulrike Bühner Collection of Important Pioneer and Collectors' Motorcycles and Motor Cars

Thursday 2 February
10.00 Luxury Watches Sale
13.00 Automobilia Sale
14.00 Motorcycles and Collectors' Motor Cars Sale

19/01/23

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