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25th Anniversary

Surtees History Under The Hammer

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11 Jul 2014
Surtees History Under The Hammer
  • Auction includes Lotus 18 once raced by John Surtees
  • “A wonderful piece of motor sport history” 
  • Harrier Jump Jet and RAF Tornado also in Silverstone Classic Sale

The catalogue for this month’s expanded two-day Silverstone Classic Sale (26-27 July) contains a number of star lots including one of the first single-seater cars ever campaigned by racing legend John Surtees OBE.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Surtees becoming the only man to win World Championship titles on both two and four wheels, and a special BRDC Silverstone Classic Dinner in the Silverstone Wing building on Friday 25 July will honour his remarkable achievements.
Surtees’ switch from bikes to cars started in 1960 and the Lotus 18 coming under the Silverstone Auctions hammer was the Formula Junior car acquired by then team boss Ken Tyrrell to speed up the change in discipline.
Tyrrell was anxious to give Surtees his first win and persuaded Colin Chapman to supply him with a car – complete with a really top-notch Cosworth Ford engine – on the understanding the power unit would only be used in the Lotus. Surtees debuted the Lotus 18 at Snetterton in September and was dicing for the lead with Jim Clark before spinning back to finish in fourth.
The car was subsequently raced to victory by Henry Taylor in a very wet Empire Trophy race – appropriately at Silverstone – and since then has more recently become hugely successful in historic Formula Junior with countless wins. It is estimated to be sold for between £65,000-£75,000. 
“We are delighted to be able to offer this wonderful piece of motor sport history in our sale at the Silverstone Classic,” said Nick Whale, managing director, Silverstone Auctions. “Surtees is one of the true greats of motor sport and it’s an honour to play a part in the history of a car he drove to such success.”
Among a large number of notable lots under Silverstone Auctions’ hammer are two of the world’s most famous fighter aircraft from the Cold War era: a Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR3 Jump Jet plus a Panavia Tornado F3.
Both have incredible histories  and are offered without armaments and for display purposes only. The vertical take-off Harrier GR Mk3 on offer entered RAF service in 1976 and served a distinguished 15-year flying career with operations in Germany, Belize and the Falklands. Similarly the Tornado F3 swing-wing fighter to be auctioned has more than 3000 hours of active service including RAF exercises in Malaysia and Alaska. It is the only privately owned Tornado F3 in the world and represents an amazing opportunity for a discerning collector or investor to own what’s another very rare and exclusive piece of aviation history.

Among the other automotive lots are a number of significant Ferraris, Jaguars and Porsches – some with particular relevance to this year’s Silverstone Classic.

With the Ford Mustang celebrating its 50th birthday at the Classic, the inclusion of a resplendent 1965 289 Notchback is sure to whet some appetites. A rare 1996 Jaguar XJ220 – one of just 281 produced – will also attract considerable attention, not least as the incredible line-up of grids at this summer’s staging of the World’s Biggest Classic Motor Racing Festival includes a mouthwatering field of 90s GT Legends for the very first time.

A verified Mika Hakkinen race suit from 1994 and rare, original Steve McQueen ‘Le Mans’ movie poster are among a wide range of automobilia also up for grabs.

Further information about the Silverstone Classic Sale can be found on the website. For the latest news plus full details on tickets and hospitality packages for the 2014 Silverstone Classic, visit the official website. A limited number of tickets for the BRDC Silverstone Classic Dinner honouring John Surtees are also still available.

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    Opening times

    Venue: Silverstone Circuit

    Friday 24th July 7:30 - 23:00
    Saturday 25th July 7:30 - 23:00
    Sunday 26th July 7:30 - 18:30
    *Provisional dates  

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