The chance to buy a reigning Guinness record holder doesn’t come up often. But it’s just one of a number of unusual race cars up for auction in Australia on November 27, 2016 via auction house Mossgreen.
Even more surprising may be the fact that it’s a land speed record holder with an engine smaller than the one in whatever car you might own. But despite the fact it’s only got 500cc, it still reached more than 138mph. And it could be yours, with an estimated price of less than £30,000.
1996 Julien & Boyer Matra-Honda
This incredible machine was built in 1996 to capture the 500cc one-hour land speed record. It had been held since 1953, until this streamliner built by Henri Julien and Bernard Boyer averaged 138.26mph. The record set at the CERAM track in Mortefontaine still stands, so you’ll own the title holder.
The car has a lightweight carbon fibre and epoxy resin body, giving a low weight of 290kg. That was combined with a Honda V-twin 499cc engine, and a six speed manual gearbox. The tubular steel chassis was also designed to weigh as little as possible, with four-wheel independent coil-over suspension to soak up the bumps and dual circuit twin-disc brakes to stop when it was eventually required.
The interior is suitably sparse. There’s a plastic bucket racing seat, a wooden steering wheel, and just two gauges. So you’ll only be able to monitor the temperature and the revs, if you take it for a spin. In addition to being in the same condition when it captured the speed record, you also get original concept drawings, photographs of the build, the technical records, official FIA documents and the Certification de la longueur de la ligne de record.
The estimated price for the 1996 Julien and Boyer Matra-Honda is just £18,400-£27,500. Which seems like a bargain for a land speed record holder, even if it is one with a relatively tiny engine.
1957 Molina Monza Racing Car
From the sublimely small, to the ridiculously gorgeous. The 1957 Molina Monza looks incredible today, so one can only imagine what the reaction was in the 1950s when someone saw this cross between a streamlined racer and the Batmobile.
This incredible creation was the work of Melbourne restaurateur and racer Lou Molina, with assistance from friend Sil Massola and coachbuilder Brian Burnett. The cut-out side sections managed to provide good airflow for the brakes but still keeping the exhaust pipes within the bodywork. It all sits upon a cross-braced tubular chassis.
Power comes from the popular contemporary Holden ‘Grey’ motor. It was treated to a Repco Highpower crossflow head, a Marshall blower and a special SU carburettor from a Maybach which famously crashed at the Australian Grand Prix at Southport in 1954. The gearbox was a Jaguar ‘Moss’ box with a short tail shaft connecting it to a de Dion-type rear axle, while steering is Citroen rack & pinion, and the front brakes were from a HWM Jaguar.
Not only did the Molina Monza produced 199bhp at 6,000rpm on a Repco dyno, but it also appeared in the 1959 ‘On The Beach’ film, starring Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, and Fred Astaire. The racing scenes at Phillip Island featured both the car and Lou Molina at the wheel. Since then it’s been invited to compete at the prestigious Goodwood Revival, and been on display at the National Gallery of Victoria.
The 1957 Molina Monza is estimated to sell for somewhere between £153,000 and £215,000.
1934 Lagonda M45R Rapide
The 4.5 litre M45 was introduced in 1933, with the M45R Rapide model arriving the following year. This 1934 Lagonda M45R Rapide is notable for two reasons since chassis number Z11212 rolled out of the factory in November of that year.
The first was that is was used as a company demonstrator. So it was taken from the Picadilly showroom, and prepped for a Brooklands high speed endurance run to try and finish 1,000 miles in 12 hours. But after 203 laps driven by Roland Hebeler from the Fox & Nicholl racing team and F.J Stephenson from Lagonda, the attempt was halted by torrential rain. But it not only managed 164 laps at more than 90mph, but also featured on the front cover of Motosport magazine, and in both The Autocar and The Motor.
It was then bought by C.S Dyer and shipped to his home of Fremantle in Western Australia. And when Dyer passed away in 1958, the registration was transferred to his son, who remains the current owner. So you can believe that the car is very much original in colour and spec, when it’s been owned by father and son for 82 years!
The rarity of the Lagonda, plus the unusual history and provenance means you’re likely to spend £153,000 to £178,000 to become the first person outside the Dyer family to own it.