Market: Senna's first and last Monaco cars sell at Bonhams

Senna’s Monaco GP Toleman and McLaren fetch over £5.1m during a £12.7m evening in a new hillside villa location at the Monaco Historic GP, where 77% of cars sold

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Ayrton Senna’s debut and final Monaco Grand Prix cars fittingly occupied the first two steps of the Bonhams podium at the chic Villa La Vigie during a €14.4m (£12.7m) evening during Historic GP weekend.

Topping the results was the 1993 McLaren-Cosworth Ford F1 (below) driven by the Brazilian three-times World Champion to a record-breaking sixth and last of his historic race victories around the daunting street circuit.

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With matching Ford HB 3.5-litre V8 engine number 510 and gearbox number 2, both fully functioning originals from the 1993 GP winning car, the superbly presented 1993 McLaren-Cosworth MP4/8A was contested by registered mega-players in the seats until hammered down to a winning Bernie Ecclestone for €3,650,000. The Senna McLaren cost the former F1 supremo and major collector €4,197,500 with premium (£3,693,800).

Also displayed on the terrace parked next to the champagne pits, and in earshot of where battle was joined 34 years ago, was the Toleman-Hart Turbo (below) in which F1 rookie Senna put up a sensational debut performance. He nearly beat McLaren’s Alain Prost to win the 1984 GP, and might have had it not been red-flagged. Senna’s first F1 podium finishes were achieved in TG184-02, his highest points-scoring car of 1984.

Senna’s teammate Stefan Johansson also drove this Toleman and, as part of his contract with Toleman, then became the second owner, the car residing in his home town of Malmo for ten years, before acquisition first by a restoring consortium in the UK followed by a current F1 executive, only the third private owner.

The €750,000-1,000,000 auction estimate here was speedily overtaken and the buyer had to pay €1,610,000 with premium (£1,416,800) to secure the car. This has to be a world record auction price for both a pre-Benetton Toleman as well as for a Hart-engined race car.

Although unsold under the hammer at €580,000, the Ferrari F1/87 F1 number 100 driven both by the late Michele Alboreto and Gerhard Berger, who was present at the sale, did sell afterwards for €666,666 with premium (£586,666). In the preceding automobilia session, the Austrian had been bemused to see his 1987 season issue Marlboro F1 kit holdall, guided at €500-800, being carried away by a fan for €6325 (£5566)!

The 1969 Tecno-Novamotor Ford 69 F3 driven to 16 race wins (including Monaco in 1969) by the late, great Ronnie Peterson had been bequeathed to daughter Nina by her godfather Staffan Svenby, Ronnie’s business manager. A contributor to F1 lifestyle reports on Swedish TV, Nina was in Monaco to see the F3 that launched Peterson’s international career sell for an applauded €92,000 with premium (£80,960).

A unique replica of the TAG Heuer Carrera 1158CHN 18k gold automatic watch with engraving to back 'SUCCESS RONNIE PETERSON FROM JACK.W.HEUER’ was then also applauded for raising €97,750 euros (£86,020 – more than the Tecno).

The proceeds will go to the Ronnie Peterson Memorial Foundation, which supports emerging young race drivers in Ronnie’s native Sweden. Earlier, a no reserve Finnkart 85cc SF A1 driven to victory in the 1982 Ronnie Peterson Memorial Championship by Scandinavian world champ Mika Häkkinen was picked up for €3450 (£3036).

The most heady performance at this stunning (though only in fine weather) location was that of a once accident-damaged 1955 XK140 SE coupé that had been repaired and re-bodied by Giovanni Michelotti with opening panels in aluminium. Last in action in the mid-2000s, and now in part-commenced but long-abandoned form today, the unique piece intriguingly had a C-type engine number and block. Read about its discovery here.

Auctioned without reserve, and guided at £20,000-50,000, the project raised a snortingly impressive €356,500 (£313,720) for the Animal Rescue Centre in Ghent to much deserved applause. The unique Italian-styled Jag is likely to be revived in the workshops of Jaguar Land Rover Classic.

Top-priced road classic was a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster with matching chassis, engine and block numbers that had been treated to HK Engineering restoration in 2007 and had patinated most agreeably during the last 11 years of vendor ownership. A mid-estimate €1,060,000 was bid and the premium-inclusive €1,219,000 paid was retail money.

The 1993 Frankfurt International Motor Show Bugatti EB110 GT had been resident in Germany, South of France and Norway before coming to market here with a fully charted 16,500km on the odometer. it cost the new owner €603,759 with premium (£531,300), the low estimate.

After 248,000km, a 1973 Porsche 911 2.7 Carrera RS ‘Touring Spec’ Coupe, one of only four French-delivered cars unusually fitted with a factory-fitted steel sunroof, looked to be highly original and unmolested. It went for €575,000 euros with premium paid (£506,000), only just over what had been forecast.

A Mercedes-Benz 280SL manual with hardtop parked beside the Villa gate had been first owned by Daimler-Benz in 1967 and restored by marque specialists Motor Classic in Hungary in 2017. In really stunningly authentic and well detailed condition, it was no surprise therefore that this early example, the 77th in the production sequence and one of fewer than 300 with the rare and desirable ZF 5-speed box, made a within estimate €230,000 with premium (£202,400).

This Friday night out in Monaco ended with 77% of all cars sold at Bonhams' new venue. Bonhams held their sale at The Fairmont within the GP circuit two years ago, while this Villa setting was just out of town with access by occasional shuttle-buses followed by a steep hike up the drive.

It was generally well received on this sunny weekend – but if it were to rain in 2020 however, five-star hotel facilities trackside might prove preferable to would-be buyers.

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