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Auktion: Exceptional Motorcars and Automobilia
wurde versteigert am: 12. August 2010
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The Ex-Bruce McLaren Briggs Cunningham Team Sebring 3-Hours winning 1961 Fiat-Abarth 1000 Bialbero Competition Coupe Chassis no. 1128948 Engine no. 229/235

Schätzpreis: 0 $
Zuschlagspreis:  337.000 $
Los-Nr. 621•, Aufrufe: 103

This exquisitely well presented and historically important Fiat-Abarth Bialbero (‘Twin camshaft’) is the car in which the legendary New Zealand racing driver, Bruce McLaren, won the 1961 Sebring 3-Hours race for up-to-1-liter Grand Touring cars. The car was prepared and entered for the race by Briggs Cunningham’s iconic American racing team. It is one of three sister Fiat-Abarth Bialberos delivered to the Cunningham Team in February 1962. The individual chassis numbers of these three 1000GT models were 1127998, 1128948 and 1127862. They were entrusted to Alfred Momo’s well-known Momo Corporation workshops for preparation prior to entry in the Sebring 3-Hours race on March 23, 1962. This was the opening race of that year’s FIA Grand Touring Car Manufacturers’ World Championship, and the three Cunningham-entered Fiat-Abarths were to be driven by Bruce McLaren, Walt Hansgen and Roger Penske. Bruce won in this car bearing race number ‘8’ after a hard-fought battle with none other than superstar Stirling Moss in a works Austin-Healey Sprite. Walt Hansgen’s Cunningham team Bialbero race number ‘7’ finished second, while Roger Penske was out of luck in the sister car number ‘9’ – retiring from the race around half distance. This particular 1000GT Bialbero – after its Sebring victory – was subsequently entered for the Bridgehampton 400Kms race on Long Island, NY, on September 15 that year. Walt Hansgen drove it in that event, finishing fourth overall and second in class behind class winner Bob Grossman in an ex-works Fiat-Abarth 1000. These incredibly potent, nimble and good-handling little cars triumphed resoundingly over an impressive field of Porsche 356s and Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZs. It is significant that the overall race winner that day was another lightweight Abarth – a Porsche-Abarth 356B Carrera GTL driven by Bob Holbert. These two American races comprised both the opening and closing rounds of that year’s FIA Division 1 World Championship series, and this 1-liter category proved a total triumph for the Fiat-Abarth marque whose cars won at Lago di Garda in Italy, the Berlin Grand Prix and at the Nurburgring in Germany and at the Coppa Citta di Enna event around Lake Pergusa in Sicily. Leading drivers of the cars other than Briggs Cunningham’s terrific trio included former United States Grand Prix-winner Innes Ireland, Eberhard Mahle and Ferrari’s subsequent Italian GP-winner Ludovico Scarfiotti. A comprehensive documentation file accompanies this Lot. The car was painstakingly restored by respected specialist Nino Epifani and won its class at Pebble Beach in 2002. The car remains in concours condition today as it continues to garner the winners laurels at various events. Amongst all highly-desirable surviving Fiat-Abarths, chassis ‘1128948’ offered here is surely one of the most important to have come to the public market in recent years. Its history of having been prepared in period by none other than Alfred Momo’s Momo Corporation, of having been entered at Sebring and Bridgehampton by the charismatic Briggs Cunningham team, of having been driven to victory in the Sebring 3-Hours by none other than Bruce McLaren, and to another fine World Championship points-scoring finish by that all-American road racing icon, Walt Hansgen, absolutely speak volumes about this beautiful little Coupe’s historic quality. When a frequently-voiced collectors’ mantra exhorts committed enthusiasts always to buy the best…here it is. Offered on a Certificate of Title.

Informationen zur Auktion
Auktionshaus: Bonhams London
Titel: Exceptional Motorcars and Automobilia
Auktionsdatum: 12.08.2010 - 13.08.2010
Adresse: Bonhams London
Carmel, Quail Lodge Quail Lodge's West Field 7000 Valley Greens Drive (at Rancho San Carlos Rd) Carmel CA 93923 Tel: +1 415 391 4000 Fax : +1 415 391 4040 [email protected]