Best of the historic cars and drivers at Autosport International
Nigel Mansell sets fire to himself on stage, Howard Donald's Cortina Mk1 race car and 60 years of BTCC and at the weekend's Autosport show
The annual Autosport International Show at the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre marks the start of the motorsport year. Granted Formula E continues over the off-season as a winter series, but it’s the January show that acts as a curtain-raiser.
Last weekend’s ASI built on that hugely with, for the first time, the World Rally Championship swapping Casino Square in Monte Carlo for the mainstage at the NEC to launch its season. New liveries were unveiled and the team bosses and championship hopefuls all lined-up for the media. Billy Monger plus past and current famous drivers guest-starred and Ginetta unveiled its new LMP1 sportscar contender.
For most, the greatest historic element to the show was the guests interviewed on the Autosport Stage. Most notably was Nigel Mansell who in particular played to the audience, unsuccessfully attempted a fiery magic trick and recounted iconic moments from his career, including his dynamic with Ayrton Senna.
Two-time Champ Car champion Gil de Ferran, wearing his 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner’s ring, was also present, talking through his coaching of Fernando Alonso ahead of the 2017 Indy 500. Five-time Le Mans winner and touring car legend Emanuele Pirro also shared his memories.
Obvious classic car highlights included AutoClassics’ sister title Motorsport News and its celebration of 60 years of the British Touring Car Championship. Alongside the launch of the new Motorbase Ford Focus RS challenger and the new Alfa Romeo Giulia was the Rover SD1 raced by Steve Soper in 1983, an Alfa 155 to represent Gabriele Tarquini's 1994 championship win and the Lotus Cortina currently raced by Take That's Howard Donald and BTCC champion Andrew Jordan.
The Historic Sports Car Club was also honouring an anniversary with six Formula Junior cars on show and a selection of the series’ former drivers. The formula also celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2018 and kickstarted a year of special events at ASI.
The line-up of cars included a 1958 front-engined Stanguellini, representing the marque that won the first Formula Junior race at Monza in April 1958. And from the short-lived series’ final season was a 1963 ex-Denny Hulme Brabham BT6 – effectively a scaled-down grand prix car.
Ferrari celebrated its 70th year with a collection of race cars, most notably the F2004 F1 car with which Michael Schumacher won his seventh and final title. The marque’s 2017 contender was also on display, as was the revised and more extreme Ferrari FXX K special for Corse Clienti use.
Over 50 lots went up for auction with Coys including a Ferrari F40 built up to LM racing specification and a Mercedes CLK DTM. A Zakspeed Ford Capri was also on display ahead of its running in Group 5 demonstration laps at this year’s 76th Goodwood Members’ Meeting.
Classic Cars for Sale
DAX Cobra "Powered by Ford" This stunning Cobra was professionally built by Dave Brooks "DB Replicas" and correctly registered 01/01/2012 It has covered only 2631 miles with its one owner from new! Finished in stunning Imperial blue with white stripes Removable Le-mans hard top. Detailed with 3 x front air scoops, Chrome lifter jacks, Chrome mirrors, Stainless steel wipers, Smoked sun visors,
Spectacular, body-off-frame restoration Meticulous attention to detail including correct T3 headlights National Corvette Restorers Society (NCRS) Top Flight Award winner! Driven less than 3,000 miles since restoration Rare and desirable 1959 270hp “Dual-Quad” Roadster Original 283ci CU suffix code engine One of only 1,846 built Stunning color combination Documentation i
Spectacular, highly original condition Displaying only 52,240 actual miles! Rare and desirable 1986 911 Carrera Cabriolet One of only 1,986 built for the U.S. Numbers matching engine and transmission Largely original paint and interior Excellent documentation includes owner’s manual, Porsche Production Specifications Certificate, tool kit, original window sticker and more!
Wonderful condition Displaying only 62,193 actual miles! $8,500 service performed by Porsche less than 300 miles ago! Previous long-term family ownership (over 20 years) Rare and desirable 1985 911 Carrera Targa One of only 1,942 built for the U.S. Numbers matching engine & gearbox Stunning factory correct color combination Documentation includes owner’s manual, Porsche P