Top picks from Silverstone Auctions’ Race Retro sale
In its five short years of business, Silverstone Auctions has developed an amazing ability to pull together lot lists that put many more established auctions houses to shame.
The catalogue for its sales at Race Retro (26-28 February) demonstrate as much, with an emphasis on high quality, low-mileage post-WWII machinery, including quite a lot of 21st Century exotica.
We’ve trawled the catalogue to pull out our top picks of the sale. Quite a diverse selection it is, too.
1975 Ford Escort Zakspeed Group 2 replica – Highly accurate copy of the unhinged Zakspeed touring cars. Massive spec including weapons-grade suspension and brakes, 13in-wide rear wheels and screaming, 265bhp Cosworth BDG engine. Fully certified for historic racing, hugely fast and a regular winner. Probably cost 2 or 3 time the estimate to build. Unsold
1981 Lamborghini Countach LP400 S – Possibly the most iconic supercar in history, subject of a million Athena posters. This one has been in UK practically all its life and comes with a huge history file. More importantly, though, it’s bright yellow and has a massive spoiler. Which is reason enough to buy it. Sold for: £213,750
1981 Porsche 924 Carrera GT – Group 4 racing homologation special with 210bhp, 2.0 turbo engine, LSD, dog-leg gearbox and massive wheelarches. This is one of only 20 black UK cars, and was ordered with many factory options. In lovely condition with stacks of history and a Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, Sold for: £34,875
1987 Ford Sierra RS500 Group A – One of the best examples of the iconic touring car racer, having been subject to a no expense spared restoration. Raced in Asia in period and still wears its livery from that time. Loads of places to race these, now; this one is a potential front-runner. With c.550bhp, these could allegedly do over 180mph back in the day. Probably still can. Unsold
1989 BMW M3 Johnny Cecotto – Rare special edition celebrating BMW’s hugely successful Venezuelan racer. Marked out by 215bhp engine, ‘Evo II’ spoilers, dashboard plaque and illuminated gearbox. This one has been used regularly and meticulously maintained, backed up by extensive history. Very usable and drop-dead gorgeous. Sold for: £42,750
1990 Lister XJS Le Mans – The ultimate Brit bruiser, with twin-supercharged 7.0 V12 making over 600bhp and a theoretical top speed over 200mph. Looks suitably brutal, too – check out the size of the rear tyres. Just 90 built and now hard to find in this low mileage condition. Looks good value, but try to not to think about fuel economy (5mpg?). Withdrawn
1990 Mercedes 190E 2.5-16 Evolution II – Outrageous DTM racing homologation special with 235bhp engine, 155mph top speed and perhaps the most OTT bodykit ever fitted to a road car. This one has lived in Germany, the UK and New Zeland, but has covered a mere 1,723 miles (recently had a £3.5k service). It’s condition is as stunning as the mileage suggests. But you pay for it. Sold for: £292,500
1993 Ruf 964 RCT – Originally a Carrera 4 30th Anniversary model, this was converted in ’97 to full Ruf RCT spec, with 385bhp 911 Turbo engine, Ruf gearbox and LSD. Plus bespoke Ruf suspension, brakes, exhaust and wheels. Ruf built less than 100 RCTs and this is the only one with a wide body and 4WD. Owned by company boss Alois Ruf until 2007, then passed to an enthusiast. Lovely condition with full history. Sold for: £107,000
1997 Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution – Very rare Dakar Rally homologation special running 280bhp 3.5 V6 engine, automatic gearbox and some of the biggest wheelarches in history. This one came to the UK in 2000 and is in nice condition. Very left-field but could be a bargain. Sold for: £11,250
1999 Aston Martin DB7 V12 Vantage – Early, UK-supplied example of this very fine GT. Stunning to behold – especially in this colour – and epic to drive. We would prefer a manual, but autos perfectly good enough. This one has had money spent in the right places and has full history to back up its 73k miles. These are about as cheap as they will ever be at the moment and are bound to start appreciating seriously. Sold for: £24,750
2001 Honda NSX – Very late pop-up headlight car, originally UK-supplied (1 of 8 that year). Searing 3.2 V6 and Ayrton Senna-tuned handling. This one has the rare, desirable 6-spd manual gearbox, upgraded brakes and suspension and a stainless steel exhaust. In very nice condition with full history. Not sure about the wheels, though. Sold for: £69,750
2003 Vauxhall VX220 Turbo GT3 – Unique car built to race in British GT. Massive engine spec producing over 300bhp, plus state-of-the-art suspension and brakes, 100-litre fuel tank, sequential gearbox and so on, and so on. Cost over £150k to build. Took 3 British GT podiums and still very quick. Unsold
2006 – Ferrari 575 Superamerica – Ultra-rare drop-top model with 540bhp V12 engine and F1 gearbox. This one was sold new in Switzerland and has covered 11k miles. We’re not sure about the pearl white with red interior colour scheme, but these are such lovely things we’ll forgive it pretty much anything. Unsold
2008 Mercedes SLR McLaren Roadster – The drop-top version of Merc/Mac’s GT supercar is one of the fastest convertibles of all time, with a top speed of 206mph. Power comes from a 617bhp supercharged 5.4 V8 that sounds like a WW2 fighter plane and it was one of the first cars with carbon ceramic brakes. This LHD example shows 20k km and has been carefully maintained. Bound to go up in value soon. Sold for: £226,125