“Old Number 1”, the Iron Man of the Le Mans 24 Hours race
• The single car that has taken more 24 Hours of Le Mans starts than any other in history
• Entered 9 Le Mans 24 Hours races between 1978 and 1988
• Six Le Mans finishes with 2 podiums (third overall in 1980 and 1981) and 2 class wins at the Le Mans 24 Hours race
• Competed in 19 races over 10 seasons, including Monza, Spa, Brands Hatch and Hockenheim
When a 1972 rules change banned the Porsche 917, French manufacturer Matra won three Le Mans 24 Hours in a row, withdrawing after 1974. The 1975 race saw Cosworthpowered Gulf-Mirages and Lolas mix it up with Porsche Carreras. Then, two French entrepreneurs surfaced in 1976.
Jean Rondeau, who had raced at Le Mans in 1972, ‘73 and ’75, and Peugeot designer Gerard Welter both planned to use the Peugeot/Renault/Volvo 2.7-litre V-6. This would have meant strong French support but Rondeau was convinced that the English Cosworth V-8 held more promise. He designed a steel space frame with aluminium box sections around the engine. His aerodynamic GTP cars weighed just 1,796 pounds, generating 415 horsepower at 9,000 rpm.
The English engine eliminated local sponsorship, but Rondeau’s solution was ingenious: he named the car after his sponsor, coloured paper maker Inaltera. French TV stations would not mention the name, which must have handicapped announcers. Two cars were built in Rondeau’s backyard for the 1976 Le Mans 24 Hours. The turbocharged Porsche 936 put the overall win out of reach, but Jean-Pierre Beltoise and Henri Pescarolo won the GTP class and finished 8th overall, whilst Rondeau and Jean-Pierre Jaussaud finished 21st and 3rd in GTP. In 1977, the Inalteras did even better, with Rondeau and Jean Ragnotti finishing 1st in GTP and 4th overall, and the other cars finishing 11th and 13th overall.
No longer sponsored by Inaltera, Rondeau returned to the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1978 as a constructor, with chassis no. 001. Rondeau went on to win the GTP class for the third time, placing 9th overall with Bernard Darniche and Jack Haran in M378/001, “Old Number 1”. It would be the first of 10 appearances in 10 years at Le Mans for this car, and no other has matched its record since the first edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours race in 1923.
In 1979, Rondeau updated chassis no.001 to M379 specifications upon which the car finished 10th overall at Le Mans driven by J.P. Beltoise and Henri Pescarolo at the Le Mans 24 Hours that year. Rondeau finally won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1980 (driving chassis 003, sister car to chassis 001) with Jean-Pierre Jaussaud, and the Energy Efficiency Prize. Chassis no. 001 was right behind, crossing the line in 3rd, driven by Belgian brothers Philippe and Jean-Michel Martin and Gordon Spice, and also winning the GTP class. No other driver than Jean Rondeau has won Le Mans in a car of his own design and construction !
Sponsorship follows success, and Rondeau entered five cars in 1981’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. Driven by Gordon Spice and François Migault, chassis no. 001 finished another impressive 3rd overall and 2nd in GTP.
1982 was a tough year for the Rondeau team, who had won the World Sportscar Manufacturer’s championship until the FIA allowed Porsche to claim credit for a privateer’s victory, stripping Rondeau of their title.
The world was changing and Porsche 956s dominated Group C. In 1983, chassis no. 001 was driven by Vic Elford in his last race before retirement but suffered engine failure; five other Rondeaus were entered in the race that year. The only Rondeau to be classified ultimately finished 19th. Following this disappointment, Rondeau was forced to close up shop. Sadly, he was killed in a tragic car accident in 1985.
One might think this is the end of the story for M378/001, but Jean-Phillippe Grand bought chassis no. 001 in 1983 and entered it in 1984’s Le Mans. There, he finished 11th overall and 2nd in Group C2. He also ran the car at the Monza 1000 Kms in Italy, though retiring, and the Spa 1000 Kms in Belgium, where he was 10th and 2nd in C2.
In 1985, Noel de Bello entered chassis no. 001 at Le Mans, yet again, but mechanical problems ended his race in the 7th hour. Noel de Bello went on to race the car at Hockenheim, Brands Hatch and Spa that year, and returned to Le Mans in 1986, finishing 17th and 5th in C2, where the front runners were Porsche 962s.
The last owner to have campaigned chassis no. 001 was Pierre-Alain Lombardi, who won a Swiss Championship race at Monza in 1987. He then entered the 1988 Le Mans 24 Hours, where the car finished but was not classified. Following the 1988 Le Mans race, “Old Number 1” was sold to an American collector who also ran the car at the Monterey Historics in 1998.
“Old Number 1” has had an extensive racing career at the world’s most famous and gruelling race. This is the single car that has taken more Le Mans 24 Hours starts than any other car in history, with some excellent finishes. Since the gruelling 24-hour race started in 1923, there has never been a car that has had as much success as this Rondeau, chassis no. M378/001. With 9 Le Mans 24 Hours entries, 7 finishes and 2 podiums, it is truly an impressive car with arguably one of the best Le Mans 24 Hours histories to date.
With it comes the fascinating history of Jean Rondeau, a Le Mans native and the only driver to win the famed 24 hour race in a car of his own making. Since its last race at the Monterey Historics in 1998, chassis no. 001 has undergone a thorough restoration. All suspension arms and the chassis have been crack tested and x-rayed, the engine rebuilt, and the car has been correctly restored in its 1980 Le Mans 3rd overall and GTP-winning red/white “Belga” livery. Two large history files accompany the car, detailing the extensive restoration and race preparation work that has been carried out. Over Euro 200,000 was spent for the work carried out on the car.
The next logical step for this historically important car was a return to the historic racing scene and the famed Le Mans 24 hour Classic where it will be a welcome entry and a beloved hero to the legions of loyal fans at Circuit de la Sarthe. So Old Number 1 went back to Lemans Classic 2014 where it ran without any fault. It has continued its historic racing career at Jarama in 2016 upon which M378/001 was again entered for LeMans Classic 2016 where it ran at the front, finished 4th overall in a very competitive field also setting fastest speed of 307.8 km ! It is clear that the car was designed with the LeMans track in mind as can be seen from the Youtube film below.
M378/001 is sold in race-ready condition with current FIA HTP and a good spares package.
This historically important and distinctive car is a great addition to any serious race car collection while it is also able and willing to continue to give its new owner many more years of enjoyment !More...
We are delighted to offer this exceptional 1967 Chevron B6, chassis DBE-3, for sale on behalf of its current owner.
Chevron cars burst onto the British GT racing scene in 1966 with a dream debut for its B3, the very first GT car produced by Derek Bennett which won at Oulton Park in its maiden race. The B3 was followed by the BMW engined B4, essentially the prototype B6 which was raced by Derek himself, and the one-off BRM engined B5, which was numbered “DBE-1”. They were followed by the B6 of which seven were built and numbered “DBE-2” to “DBE-8”. Both the B6 and its closely resembling successor the B8, were more often than not powered by BMW's two litre four cylinder engine and went on to dominate national GT racing and enjoy much success in Europe from 1968 onwards. Both the B6 and the B8 shared the same space frame chassis with all independent wishbone and coil-spring over damper suspension, while its svelte and curvaceous fiberglass bodywork by Specialised Mouldings made it one of the prettiest GT/sports racers of its era.
With its mid-mounted engine mated to a Hewland transaxle, it was duly built in the required numbers for homologation as a Group 4 Sports car in 1968 and the B8 proved highly successful; no different today in historic racing where the Chevron B6 and B8 are regular podium finishers in historic sports car and GT events.
Contrary to many other Chevron B6/8, DBE-3 - the 2nd B6 built - has continuous history from new with all owners accounted for while also having excellent in-period UK racing history (see the history section below).
The car comes off a 2 year back-to-bare-chassis (the original chassis !) rebuild by Ian Jones with a zero miles Craig Beck 2.0 litre engine and a brand new FT200 gearbox. Suspension, brakes, fuel cell, seats and extinguisher have all been renewed and crack testing done. DBE-3 is now finished in its original orange livery and simply looks stunning in this striking period colour.
Several nice original parts are still with the car such as fuel tank, dynamo, pulley, shocks, one set of original magnesium wheels, etc..
The car is sold with a new, 2016 FIA HTP and comes with a set of new, mag wheels and gear ratio's.
This exceptional Chevron B6 is known as "one of the best" in Chevron circles and it is a welcome and competitive entry to every historic race event such as Masters, CER, Le Mans Classic and others.More...
We are delighted to offer this genuine and rare 1972 Porsche 911 2.5 litre S/T for sale on behalf of its current, long-time owner.
This gulf blue factory S/T (delivered w/ M491 option) is one of only 24 built with continuous history from new. Known as the ex-Bartels/Tebernum car with excellent in-period int'l race and hillclimb history which includes a 1973 Daytona 24hr 9th OA finish !
#0987 was restored in the early 90ies by renown specialist Mario Linke of Methusalem to stunning, concours condition and has been used sparingly up to the present day.
Original monococque chassis with all numbers present and original. Correct 911/73 type engine and matching gearbox.
This car is one of the best 911 2.5 S/T's existing, has continuous and undisputed history from new and is exceptionally well documented (original Wagenpass, Fahrzeugbrief, Porsche letters, etc.).
One of the rarest and "blue-chip" Porsche 911's of all time which will give its new owner plenty of enjoyment on the road, rally and/or race track !More...
We have the pleasure to offer for sale the ex-Riccardo Patrese 1980 Arrows A3 chassis #3.
In chassis #3 Riccardo did the entire 1980 and 1981 F1 seasons and achieved the best ever race results for the Arrows team including (amongst others) 2nd overall at the 1980 US West GP, fastest lap at the Monaco GP and pole position at the 1981 Long Beach Grand Prix. During the 1980 season, A3/3 ran in its well known and fabulous looking gold Warsteiner livery (with Penthouse and Rizla as additional sponsors) while – for the 1981 season – a sponsorship deal was struck with Italian Ceramiche Ragno and Utili Beta of Milan.
When Arrows moved on to the A4 design for the 1982 season, they sold three of the A3s to wheeler-dealer John harper and retained Patrese's car #3 for display at the factory. When Arrows was sold, the A3 passed into the ownership of Jackie Oliver and was driven up the hill by Oliver at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 1994. It then passed to Tony O'Neill who sold it to Paul Southgate but the Arrows was never raced during their successive ownership and remained completely original. After Southgate died in June 2008 the car was sold via Duncan Hamilton & Co to Philip Hall in November 2009 who sold it to the current owner in 2012.
Since 2013, A3/3 is being raced by its current owner with race preparation by WDK Motorsport. No expense has been spared to keep this iconic "Warsteiner" Arrows in excellent condition throughout while it also benefits from an extensive spares package.
This ex-Patrese Arrows A3/3 continues to be a regular sight in the FIA World Championship Grand Prix Masters!More...
We are pleased to offer this rare, early Lola T70 Mk1 chassis SL70/6 for sale on behalf of its current, long-term owner.
To many, the Mk1 - being the first iteration of the famous Lola T70 line - is still the purest in design. With only 15 T70 Mk1's made and all of them being accounted for, these cars are sought after and front running in the pre-66 historic racing scene.
The history of SL70/6 is listed below in the history section. Key item is that its history is continuous from new, its chassis plate genuine and SL70/6 has no "stories" whatsoever.
The car is offered for sale in its current, excellent condition and as last raced in 2011. As the car has not run for a few years, it will need going through, crack testing and installation of a new fuel cell , fire extinguisher and belts. The engine is a strong 5.7 litre Tim Adams SMB Chevy with only about 10 hours running and the Hewland LG-500 gearbox is in excellent condition. SL70/6 also benefits from an accusump anti-oil surge system and comes with a set of spare wheels.
A new, 2016 FIA HTP has been applied for and will come with the car.
This ex-Mecom Lola T70 Mk1 is eligible for all pre-66 sportscar racing including Masters, CER, the Goodwood Members Meeting as well as the Goodwood Revival.More...
We are proud to offer for sale this beautiful 1965 McLaren M1B (chassis nummer 30-04) which took part in the inaugural 1966 CanAm championship while also benefitting from continuous ownership from 1965 up to the present (see below for the race- and ownership-history).
Its prior owner actively campaigned this M1B in the CER race series up to 2014 where it always was a welcome and competitive entry. At that time, the car was in post-66, dry sump configuration. The current UK owner bought the car at the beginning of 2015 after which he immediately ordered a complete no-expense-spared recommissioning by renown preparer WDK Motorsport (all invoices are available).
As such, this potent M1B has now been put back to its original, pre-66 configuration : a 5.7 ltre wet-sump SMB Chevy (freshly rebuild) mated to its original Hewland LG-500 gearbox and riding on 8” front wheels and 10” rears). After its complete overhaul, this CanAm "Big Banger" car made a successfull appearance at the Goodwood members meeting after which it was tested and sorted by Nick Padmore at Donington who was most impressed with the car's quality, riding and handling.
The car comes with a good spares package including bodywork, wheels, multiple gear-ratios and other miscellaneous items. It also has current FIA HTP papers and comes with a fully documented history file.
This archetype McLaren CanAm sports car is 100% ready to give its new owner a lot of “bang for the buck” and is a competitive entry in the many prestigious events it is eligible for !More...
We have the pleasure to offer this late specification Argo JM19D Group C(2) car for sale.
Argo Racing Cars Ltd was a British racing car constructor founded in the 1980s by Swiss designer Jo Marquart and British mechanic Nick Jordan as part of their Anglia Cars racing team. The company initially constructed a variety of single-seater cars for Formula 3, Formula Atlantic and Formula Super Vee but later on built sports prototypes for the World Sportscar Championship C2 class and the North American IMSA GT Lights category winning several championships in the process.
The JM19 was the second sports prototype design from the company and followed the successful JM16 with this particular car, chassis 129, the eighteenth of nineteen JM19s and was built to “D” spec, the second of only three cars built as such. It was sold by Jo Marquart of Argo Cars Ltd Suisse to Helmut Bross of Herrenberg, Germany in the early summer of 1989. Helmuth Bross was a former car salesman and clerk who excelled in Formula Vee early in his career, but he also had a long career in many disciplines including Interserie and most of the time he acted as his own mechanic and team boss. JM19D/129 was one of four cars in the Bross Racing stable and as well as being raced by Bross himself over the following nine seasons, many rent-a-drivers took their turn.
A solid and reliable enough performer, the car often finished in the top 10. By far the most successful behind the wheel was British driver David Coyne who finished 2nd in the Brands Hatch Interserie race in 1990, and later on in 1993, David won a British National event at Castle Combe recording JM19D/129C’s only ever win. Main sponsors through the year were Valvoline Oil, the Druck Chemie pharmaceutical company, Angles Jeans and Hotsound Records, the Rotterdam based dance label founded in 1981 by Erik van Vliet who raced JM19D/129C for a few races in 1992 managing a respectful 7th place finish at the Zolder Interserie.
In late '97 the car was converted to WSC spider spec and fitted with a Ford Cosworth DFR engine wassold to Swiss driver Josef "Sepp" Sacher who campaigned the Argo under the Sacher Motorsport banner in the Swiss championship in 1997 and '98 with the car being looked after by Heinz Hunziker. In 1999, in what was his farewell year, former owner Helmuth Bross borrowed the car for one race, at Hockenheim where he finished 6th.
In 2009 the car was bought by the owner of ATEC Fluid Systems of Germany who created Argo Racing based in Stavelot, Belgium and prepared and entered two Lamborghinis in the German and FIA championships in 2009 and 2010. Fully rebuilt and re-painted yellow, JM19D/129C was scheduled and ready to take part in the Historic Group C championship until the ATEC/ARGO team owner unexpectedly passed away.
JM19D/129 was then garaged for the next three years in the Stavelot Museum at Spa-Francorchamps until bought by the current owner from the ATEC Estate in November 2012. A couple of days later the Argo was displayed at the Motor Sport World Expo held in Cologne, Germany. After a full ground up restoration and rebuild over the winter, JM19D/129C was taken along to the Spa Spring Test Day in April 2013 for a full shakedown and track test. The car has been very sparingly used since and is regularly maintained and started.
The engine is a 3.5 liter Cosworth DFR with electronic management which has been serviced by Geoff Richardson in August 2015 and has hardly been used since. The car is in excellent condition throughout and only needs crack testing, a new fuel cell and belts to go racing again; the estimated cost of which is less than Euro 10k.
JM19/129C, located in Belgium, is well documented and comes with an extensive spares package including multiple wheel sets, pre-heating system, body work, gear-ratio's, uprights, radiator, drive shafts, etc.
If you are looking for a reliable and cost effective entry into Group C racing, this Argo JM19D 129C would be an excellent buy !
We are pleased to offer this magnificent 1967 Lola T70 Mk3, chassis SL73/109, for sale.
SL73/109 was delivered new as a Mk3 spider to John Mecom, the US Lola importer, on the 21st March 1967 and then passed to Carl Haas, who was in the process of taking over as the US Lola agent.
Delivered in plain white and fitted with a Bartz Chevrolet V8, it was sold to Moises Solana of Mexico. Entered by the Aztec Racing Team, Moises raced the car in the ’67 USRRC and also in Mexican track, road racing and hillclimb events over the next two years before letting his brother, Hermann take over the car when Moises switched to a new McLaren M6B. In 1969 SL73/109 was sold to Spurlock Taylor of Panama, Central America who raced the car for some time and won the Panamanian GP in 1970. It was later donated to the Indianapolis Museum where it resided for some years before being sold on. SL73/109 was then owned by Jeff Stevens in the mid-70s who did some minor club events with the car thereby crumpling its nose.
Chuck Haines bought the car from Jeff complete and with a Bartz Chevrolet V8, repaired the nose, and quickly sold it on to Fernando Stirling of Mexico who in turn sold the car to Roly Nix in England for historic racing. Unfortunately, the car was badly damaged when it fell off its trailer on the way to an event. The damaged car was rebuilt on a new tub with Mk3 coupe bodywork (blue with a central white stripe), then did a couple of races and was put up for sale.
In 1993 it was sold to Richard Dodkins (UK), who did several years of European historic racing with the car until selling it to its current Portuguese owner in 1999, now already more than 15 years ago. The current owner has spared no expense to maintain the car at a very high standard and has campaigned it successfully for many years on the historic racing scene until a few years ago.
As can be seen from the above, SL73/109 has continuous, solid history from new and benefits from a 2013 FIA HTP.
The car is in very good and race-ready condition carrying a 5 litre SMB Chevy Lucas injected engine with only 3 race hours under its belt. The LG-600 5-speed gearbox has been completely overhauled. Seat belts and fire system are current, crack testing per Appendix K is done and the fuel cell is new. Spares consist of a spare radiator, oil coolers, rear suspension arms, drive shaft CV joints and spare wheels.
This impressive, long-term ownership Lola T70 Mk3 is eligible for all historic race events around the world including LeMans Classic and is priced-to-sell.More...