Got a couple of hundred grand burning an F1 car-shaped hole in your pocket? Well, now you have something to spend that cash on, as four Marussia F1 cars have come onto the market.
There are plenty of old F1 cars in circulation, but post-1995 machinery is rare. Partly because teams simply stopped building so many chassis and tended to keep hold of those they did, and partly because the cars became so fiendishly complicated to run that they need very expensive, specialist teams to look after them.
A few have escaped out into the wider world, though. Some teams will pass cars on to star drivers and specially selected – loaded – collectors. And Ferrari has released some of its old cars through its Corsa Clienti programme. The rest were sold off when the team folded/needed cash in a hurry.
The Marussias fall into the latter category. The team entered administration towards the end of 2014 and a number of assets were sold off before a rescue deal was put together – it will contest the 2016 F1 season as Manor Racing.
So, what have we actually got here? One car each from the 2010-2013 seasons. The 2010 car is actually a Virgin Racing – as the team was then – VR-01, driven by Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi. Next is a 2011 Marussia Virgin Racing MVR-02, driven by Glock and Jerome d’Ambrosio. Then there’s a 2012 Marussia F1 Team MR01, driven by Glock and Charles Pic and finally a 2013 MR02, driven by the sadly departed Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton.
None of the cars were any good, scoring not a single point between them, but even a bad F1 car is absolutely astonishing by any other measure.
Though the chassis and bodywork appear complete, it’s not clear if any of the cars are in running order It may be possible to track down the original Cosworth V8s and refit them or find another engine that will fit.
But even if you did get them running, what do you do with them? There’s nowhere to race them – though hillclimbs might a possibility – which means they would just become an incredibly expensive track day toy.
Though that would be better than their most likely fate: being put on display in the lobby of some corporate headquarters or a private collection or worse, being turned into a simulator.
If you’re tempted – there’s a huge Euromillions jackpot this week – John Pye Auctions is handling the sale. It’s a private treaty sale, so bids are being taken in secret. The 2013 car is estimated at £200,000, the older ones at £150,000.
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By Only Motors