NOV 28th 2014

How Much?! Could Schumacher's 'first podium' car be a bargain?

benetton

Normally, when I proclaim ‘How Much?!’ it is to marvel at some of the strong prices achieved for cars at auction like this Porsche 904-6 replica which recently mowed down its upper estimate of £90,000 on the way to a total of £146,250. The market has been very lively to say the least in recent years and so it’s becoming less often that anything resembling a bargain turns up, but I reckon the prospect of owning the first F1 car with which Michael Schumacher scored a podium finish for below £300,000 might just about qualify.

Michael-Schumacher-Benetton

It was driven in period not just by Schumacher, but also Martin Brundle and Nelson Piquet, who drove his last-ever Grand Prix in the car. This means that two world champions drove it, with a combined total of 10 world championships! 

Michael-Schumacher-Benetton

The John Barnard-designed Benetton B191B-06 was driven predominantly by Piquet during the 1991 season, then upgraded to ‘B’ specification and entrusted to Brundle for the South African Grand Prix in 1992. After that it was driven by a young, promising German by the name of Schumacher. First time out he qualified third behind the dominant Williams-Renaults of Mansell and Patrese and the car is presented in the same livery it ran in when Schumacher first drove it. He apparently drove it just one more time in Brazil before it was retired.

Michael-Schumacher-Benetton

It will be sold at Bonhams’ Bond Street sale in London on Sunday and comes with a Ford HB V8 in ‘fine fettle’ having been maintained by its previous owner’s specialist race preparation firm.

Michael-Schumacher-Benetton

Come Sunday I reckon there will be a number of keen buyers wanting to make it their own. I’d argue that, even if the amount of interest pushes its sale price north of Bonhams’ high estimate, it could still be decent value. I wonder what it might have cost to acquire in, say, 1996. For that matter, what might it be worth in ten years’ time?   

The Benetton will be in first class company at Bond Street. Bonhams will also be offering for sale the utterly gorgeous Ferrari 288GTO we fawned over recently, as well as an ex-Sir Elton John Dino Ferrari, a stunning alloy-bodied, long-nose Ferrari 275 GTB (could it clear £2,000,000?) and for fans of two-wheeled exotica how about this astonishing Brough Superior, which has every chance of clearing the £300,000 mark. As ever with Bonhams there is so much good stuff to peruse in the list of lots and I highly advise you to do just that by clicking here.

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