San Francisco – 16 July 2010 –- Bonhams is delighted to announce that the history-making 1961 Abarth 1000 GT Bialbero Cunningham Team car will join Bonhams’ impressive list of competition cars at its annual auction at Quail Lodge in Carmel, California, this August.
Replete with an impressive pedigree, this diminutive powerhouse – powered by one of only three Cunningham-created Abarth engines – was raced to victory by none other than Bruce McLaren at the 1962 Sebring 3 Hours after a hard fought battle with Stirling Moss in his Austin Healey. Then, with Walt Hansgen behind the wheel, it placed 2nd in the Bridgehampton 400. And, when Abarth won the FIA GT2 World Manufacturers Championship for the first time in 1962, it was this car that probably accounted for more championship points than any other.
Eventually restored by Italian experts under the direction and ownership of noted Abarth historian Greg Paris, the race car retains its original body while its authentic Cunningham engine is the original 600cc block bored out to 982cc with the Abarth-designed double-OHC and twin Weber 40DCOE dual carburetors, producing an impressive 99bhp at 7100rpm. The quality and accuracy of the restoration is confirmed by the fact that the car won first in its class at the 2002 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
This rare and historic Abarth will be joining a very noteworthy roster of competition cars at Bonhams’ auction, which includes, to name just a few:
•1959 Lotus Fifteen, ex-Roy Pierpoint/Win Percy
•1937 BMW 328 Roadster, ex-Ernst Loof racing team, Sandizell owned
•1976 Porsche 934/5, the ex-GELO Racing Team/Claude Haldy/Enrique “Jan Sal” Molins, one of the winningest 934/5s in existence
•1932 Lucenti Special, ex-Herb Ardinger Indianapolis 500
For more information about Bonhams Auction of Exceptional Motorcars & Automobilia, to be held August 12-13 in conjunction with the Quail Motorsports Gathering, visit bonhams.com/quail.