Is this £500,000 Revival star the best transporter ever?
One thing racing cars are not complete without… a racing car transporter. There are two classic beauties coming up for sale at the Bonhams auction at Revival on 8 September. They are similar in lots of ways, but not in price…
For race car transport, Italian style, look no further than the 1956 Fiat Bartoletti Tipo 642. This stylish three-car transporter (one inside, two on the top deck) has been home to some of the greatest cars and their drivers in its time.
It began life as works transporter for Maserati before serving with the Shelby American Cobra works team and then Alan Mann Racing. So it’s seen everything from Maserati 250Fs through Cobra Daytona coupes to Ford GT40s.
Its provenance doesn’t end there. If you think it looks familiar it’s possibly because you have seen in on the big screen. It was a star of the great Le Mans movie. The 9m long Fiat had been acquired by Steve McQueen’s production company and it featured several times in the film in a variety of different race car liveries, including that of Scuderia Ferrari.
The Fiat might have Italian glamour on its side but it’s beaten for practicality by the second race car transporter in the sale: a 1959 BMC 5-tonner, ex BMC Competitions Dept. It comes complete with kitchenette, shower room and toilet.
Cheerfully red and white and emblazoned with that BMC rosette, it might not have the Fiat’s cachet but it was designed by Pinin Farina, built with all-aluminium coachwork and equipped to a very high specification. It was originally commissioned as one of 20 mobile service schools to tour BMC dealerships training mechanics in servicing the new-fangled Mini.
It was transferred to the competitions department later, repainted in Unipart livery and served as the Leyland ST team transport for the racing Triumph Dolomite Sprint in 1975.
Over the decades it was lost and then it was found and after a 10 year restoration is now in top notch form. The vendor, who bought it at the Bonhams Festival of Speed sale in 2011, says it will cruise all day at 65mph and that there’s room to spare with his Healey 3000 on board. With 20ft from cab partition to tailgate it would just about take a brace of Mini Coopers, says Bonhams.
So which do you think comes with the highest price estimate? One of them Bonhams estimates will make between £45-60,000. And the other one… £500-600,000.