25 April 2015
Senna F1 car up for auction
A rare opportunity to obtain a piece of Ayrton Senna's F1 heritage is on the horizon - for anyone with a spare £1m...
F1 fans with deep pockets will be interested to learn that an authentic piece of Ayrton Senna memorabilia will shortly be going up for auction.
And it's no ordinary piece either.
The Toleman-Hart TG184-2 that the mercurial Brazilian drove to one of the sport's most famous second places – in the 1984 Monaco Grand Prix - is being offered for sale at Prindiville of London for a cool £1m. With a proven provenance, this is the car in which Senna so nearly won the blue riband event from 13th on the grid, despite dismal conditions and it being his first F1 appearance on the daunting street circuit,
The rain was so heavy that the street circuit had more in common with a water park than a race track. The Toleman-Hart was a good race car, but was up against formidable opposition – McLaren, Ferrari, Lotus, Renault, Williams, Brabham and Ligier amongst others – and, despite his burgeoning talent, Senna started off trailing the big guns of the day, including Alain Prost, Niki Lauda, Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet to name but a few.
Heroically, and almost unbelievably, he was ahead of everyone, including leader Prost by lap 32 - at which point, the race was stopped and the field reset according to the order on the lap prior the red flag. Senna, believing that victory was his, had the success ripped from his grasp and it would be a long time – Estoril 1985 – until he was in such a position again.
Despite the heartache, Senna's charge through the pack in such treacherous conditions was one of the defining moments of his career, marking out the Brazilian as a maestro of the wet and the elevating the Toleman-Hart from a position of underdog to 'must watch'.
This iconic piece of Senna's heritage can be viewed by appointment at Prindiville's London showroom on the edge of the City of London. Previous owners of the Toleman include ex-F1 star Stefan Johansson, who also raced it late in 1984 when he was briefly Senna's team-mate. The car is in exceptional condition, retains the general livery from Senna's epic Monaco drive, and comes complete with a thick history file and a full set of studio photographs. Before use by a new owner, the Toleman-Hart will require re-commissioning, but this work is included within the purchase price.
“I don't believe in the paranormal,” confesses Prindiville's founder, Alex Prindiville, 'but, sometimes, when I'm working in our London showroom late at night, I feel a presence, a change in the atmospherics of the room.
“This only started happening after we took delivery of the ex-Ayrton Senna Toleman-Hart F1 car that we're selling on behalf of its owners. It's not a spooky feeling, but I definitely get the sensation that I'm not alone. Then again, perhaps the goosebumps are simply because I know what a fantastic history this car has, and its ultimate association with one of motorsport's great heroes and great tragedies.”
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