Top 5 picks from Silverstone Auctions’ May sale

Silverstone Auctions holds its May sale next weekend (23 May). The team there has assembled a typically eclectic catalogue, including a Mark 2 Ford Escort with 3,000 miles on the clock, an early Ferrari Testarossa and a gorgeously restored Series 1 Land Rover.

Check out the lot list here and you’ll see it’s a proper kid-in-a-sweet-shop selection – we would have literally everything. But the point of these Top 5s is to choose our favourites. To narrow the selection down, we’ve focussed on the racing cars entered in the sale.

1970 MGC GT

The MGC was a bit of a miss-step. Power (not much of it) came from the ancient 2.9-litre straight-six engine from the Austin-Healey 3000 which was too big and too heavy. Not that it was a bad car, but it never caught on – the later Rover V8-engined version was much more like it.

Anyway, this one has been raced since the Seventies and seems to have all the right mods to make it handle and stop properly. The engine was rebuilt five years ago and produces a very healthy 280bhp. It’ll sound lovely, too. With the right papers there’ll be loads of places to race it. Estimate: £14,000 – £18,000

1967 Austin Mini Cooper

This lovely little Cooper has been prepared for trackdays with a spec sheet that reads like a Mini fan’s wish list, including a 1380cc engine producing a very healthy 122bhp.

There are two problems, though. First, and despite the FIA/MSA-spec rollcage, it doesn’t necessarily meet the governing bodies’ standards. And second, it’s not old enough for many of the major historic racing events. There’s still a lot of fun to be had here, though. Estimate: £22,000 – £24,000

2012 Lamborghini Gallardo Super Trofeo

When it was new in 2012, this then-state-of-the-art Gallardo race car would have cost at least 50 per cent more than the road car. Three years later it’s just an old race car, worth about 50 per cent less than the road car.

But make no mistake, there’s still plenty of life left in it and it would be competitive in Britcar or GT Cup racing. These cars are reasonably friendly to drive as well, intended largely for older gentleman drivers. Still be quick, though. Estimate: £45,000 – £55,000

2008 Dodge Viper GT3

For the same sort of money as the Gallardo, you could have this, a proper beast of a thing. It’s probably the most successful Viper GT3 in the country, having won races in British GT during ’09 and winning the Britcar Championship outright in ’11. It’s still a front-runner in Dutch Supercars.

Highly developed and with a huge spares package, it might be one of the most useful, best value race cars on the market. Estimate: £45,000 – £55,000

2012 Aston Martin Vantage GT3

The Viper might not be able to cut it against the latest GT3 machinery anymore, but the Vantage definitely can. Built by Prodrive, its never been a regular winner, but Vantages are always there or thereabouts. This one was upgraded to 2013/14 spec but doesn’t conform to FIA rules, running in lightweight, low drag, unrestricted form. Which means it weighs around 1,200kg, has 650bhp and probably does 200mph. On a wave of the most glorious noise made by any racing car.

There are probably hundreds of racing series its eligible for, even as it stands. That kind of versatility makes the asking price a bit easier to stomach. Estimate: £180,000 – £200,000

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By Only Motors

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