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Historic Ex-Roy Salvadori Frazer-Nash Le Mans replica to be offered at Bonhams Goodwood Revival Sale
1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica, estimated at £580,000-640,000. Photo: Bonhams.

CHICHESTER.- In 1951, the celebrated British racing driver, Roy Salvadori, debuted his glorious new Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica at Silverstone for the BRDC International Trophy Meeting.

It was the race that would forever haunt himdue to a crash that very nearly ended his fledgling racing career.

“I was leading, a big thing for me then, ahead of Bob Gerard, Tony Crook and the other Frazer-Nashes. So I was feeling pretty good about life,” Salvadori told Motorsport magazine in 2008. “…we came up to lap a group of slower cars which were having their own battle. I tried to overtake them all, but it couldn’t be done.”

The car slid wide and clipped with a cement-filled oil drum, causing the car to roll several times.

“At Northampton hospital they decided they could do nothing for me, and pushed me into a corner. They rang my parents, but told them I was unlikely to be alive by the time they got there. A priest was summoned and gave me the last rites.”

Miraculously, Salvadori survived, later claiminghe had no memory of the crash that almost claimed his life. “Well, that’s thebest way to have an accident you know,” he later said in a TV interview. “I’vehad very many accidents and those that never worry me are the accidents whichmay be horrific, but I don’t remember anything about them. I don’t remember thestart of the day; I don’t remember anything about that particular day in mylife.”

“Shortly thereafter, the Frazer-Nash wassuccessfully rebuilt to the latest 1951 Le Mans Replica specification,” saidJames Knight, Bonhams International Group Motoring Director. “Salvadorirecovered and resumed racing in the very same Frazer-Nash later that year onOctober 6, 1951, at Castle Combe, immediately finishing a strong third overallin the unlimited-capacity sports car event.”

Salvadori went on to campaign the car in 1952, winning the 2-litre class andfinishing sixth overall in a return to Silverstone at the May Meeting'sProduction Sports Car event. He later came fourth and second in class to MikeHawthorn in the May 29 British Empire Trophy event at Douglas, Isle of Man, andsecond to Ken Wharton's works Mark II Le Mans car in the 100-mile sports carrace at Boreham on August 2.

The famous racer always recalled 'VHX 839'with great affection: "I decided I really needed a car I could use on theroad, and that's why I bought the Le Mans Rep. It was a super car to drive.Unfortunately, I nearly wrote myself off in it at Silverstone but I was racingit again less than a year later. It was a lovely car and I adored driving it…”

Essex-born Salvadori was of Italiandescent, and had immense charm and charisma. Well respected in the sport, hecompeted in an incredible 47 world championship Formula One Grands Prix in hislifetime. Now offered at Bonhams Goodwood Revival Sale on 10 September, the1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica is estimated at £580,000-640,000.

Further auction highlights:

The Ferrari 275 GTB is one of the finest classic sports cars ever designed. The front-engined Gran Turismo features sleek curves and a powerful engine, and has a bevvy of loyal fans, including the king of cool, Steve McQueen, who famously owned a GTB/4 model.

The Revival sale features a long-nosed model, the 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB/2 Cam Berlinetta, that has been lovingly cared for by the same owner for more than 15 years, now estimated at £1,100,000-1, 500,000.

The Lamborghini Diablo – named after the Spanish word for ‘devil’ – was the marques replacement for the outgoing Countach. It was the fastest, most advanced, and indeed, expensive model the marque had ever built. Bonhams auction offers a 1997 Lamborghini Diablo SV, estimated at #200,000-250,000.

Leading the sale is the fierce ‘Red Dragon’ Aston Martin Speed Model. The historical racing car has an outstanding competition history that includes multiple wins at the Italian Mille Miglia, the RAC Tourist Trophy in Ulster, and France’s famed Le Mans 24-Hour race. It is estimated at £1,600,000.

Bonhams Goodwood Revival Sale takes place in Chichester, West Sussex, on 10 September 2016.

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