Fancy owning a Honda chassis like the one in which Jenson Button secured his first race win? If so read on – fans of the defunct BAR and Honda teams, and of drivers like Panis, Villeneuve and Sato, could be in for a rare treat.
Brawn GP is selling off its collection of Honda and BAR racing chassis to boost its finances, giving fans a chance to get their hands on some unique, if not particularly front-running, memorabilia.
To refresh your memory, these are the classes of cars that netted Jacques Villeneuve two podiums in 2001, or saw Button leading a race for the first time in 2003.
They were knocked about by Sato and Button in 2004, in what looked at the time to be a ground-breaking season for the team, but which soon proved to be a false dawn.
They trolled around at the back during 2005, provided Button with his first – and for a long time only – race win at the Hungaroring in 2006 then contributed to increasing frustrations for fans and drivers for the final two years of the team’s existence.
However, Brawn GP CEO Nick Fry seems confident that the strength of the current market in used Hondas will more than justify their sale.
He said: “Brawn GP is extremely proud of our heritage with British American Tobacco and Honda. We have inherited a vast collection of historic race cars and memorabilia from the team’s early years.
“We are delighted to give collectors and our fans the opportunity to share in our history and purchase some fantastic items, including actual race cars, through this unique sale.”
The cars will be sold by auction at the Silverstone Classic weekend from July 24th with James Knight from auction house Bonhams giving fans a preview of what is on offer.
Prices are expected to range from £7,000 to £22,000 and there will be plenty of other memorabilia included, with prices from £40 upwards, should you want to make a personal contribution to the future development of the BGP001.
Mr Knight told the Northampton Chronicle: “During the 1990s and 2000s some F1 teams were building 12 chassis a year for all the different races and testing they had to do. Once a season ends these cars are effectively obsolete, as the following year’s car is either performing better or the regulations have changed.
“Teams can only have so many of these cars in their permanent collection. They might give some to engine manufacturers and some to sponsors but over the years they start developing a stockpile and really, with the best will in the world, don’t have the space or the resources to keep them all.
“These items will appeal to collectors, as well as owners of motorsport and F1-themed restaurants and bars who might want to put them on the wall or suspend them from the ceiling.
“Then, of course, there are those who feel Jenson may be the next world champion and like the idea of buying a car he once owned. I think anything Jenson has sat in and competed in is going to be the most collectable lot and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work out why.”
You can check out for yourself what is available here.