Ex-Mussolini Alfa to Headline H&H February Sale

McRae and Hopkirk Works rally cars also on offer

A 1935 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 Pescara Spyder that competed in the Mille Miglia and was once owned by Benito Mussolini will be auctioned by H&H at The Centaur, Cheltenham Racecourse on February 27, 2008. Of huge historical importance, the stunning dark red Two-Seater carries an estimate of £600,000-800,000.

By order of Il Duce

Chassis 700635 clothed in striking coachwork by Carozzeria Touring was built to the special order of Benito Mussolini. Before delivery he had it modified with a dickey seat and the engine was specially tuned to deliver 95bhp rather than the 68bhp of the standard model.

The car was driven in the 1936 Mille Miglia by Ercole Boratto – an ex-Alfa Romeo test driver who was Mussolini’s chauffeur at the time. The car finished 13th overall and 3rd in class. Mussolini retained the car until 1939, since when it has only had three owners, the latest of which had it restored by Dino Cognolato to a standard good enough to achieve second in class in the 2005 Pebble Beach Concours and victory in the New York Concours meeting of the same year.

This ‘matching numbers’ car of enormous historical interest even retains traces of the partial alcohol fuelling system it is believed to have operated during the Mille Miglia, when the fascist regime was promoting the use of alternative fuels in the face of stringent petrol sanctions!

An ex-Colin McRae Works Subaru to come under the hammer

It is still only a few months since the rally world lost one of its all time heroes – Britain’s first ever World Rally Champion, Colin McRae, who sadly died in a helicopter accident. Under the circumstances, it is especially poignant for H&H to be offering one of Colin’s former cars – the 1992 Subaru Legacy ‘J314 PWL’ in which he won the British Rally Championship of that year, the second of his career. Estimate – £70,000-100,000.

……and a pair of ex-Paddy Hopkirk Works Minis

Ex-Paddy Hopkirk Minis have long since been sought by collectors the world over and H&H will be auctioning not one but two in the Cheltenham sale.

1. 1964 Morris Mini Cooper S ‘CRX 90B’ was the prototype for the hydrolastic rally Minis and contested the 1964 RAC Rally in the hands of Hopkirk and Henry Liddon. It was then used by BMC stalwarts Don and Erle Morley on the 1965 Monte Carlo Rally. It remained with the BMC Competition Department until 1968, when it was purchased by Works co-driver Paul Easter. It subsequently passed through several hands before being fully restored and finishing second to Hopkirk’s AJB 44B on the RAC Golden 50 Rally of 1982. Estimate – £40,000-50,000.

2. 1967 Morris Mini Cooper S ‘OBL 45F’ began and ended its Works career as a circuit racer (a response to the increasing domination on rally stages the world over of models such as the Porsche 911 and Renault Alpine 110). First driven in anger by John Handley at Brands Hatch in 1969, it went on to contest the Tour de France that year in the hands of Paddy Hopkirk and Tony Nash, winning its class.

The car passed into private ownership when the Competition Department was wound up. Following a lengthy restoration, it is now offered as seen at Brands Hatch nearly 40 years ago. Estimate – £30,000-40,000.

For further details of H&H’s sale of collectors’ cars, motorcycles, bicycles, registration plates and automobilia at Cheltenham Racecourse on February 26/27, logon onto www.handh.co.uk or call 01925 730630.