A rare 1970 Plymouth Superbird Roadrunner, believed to be one of only four in the UK, will star at Bonhams MPH December Sale on December 11 at Bicester Heritage, which rounds off Bonhams’ 2021 motoring calendar.
Developed specifically for NASCAR racing, the Superbird was a highly modified, short-lived version of Plymouth’s Road Runner ‘muscle car’, named after the cartoon character. Features include its distinctive protruding nosecone, a high-mounted rear wing as well as its ‘Road Runner’ cartoon character graphics and ‘beep beep’ sounding horn.
Fewer than 2000 Superbirds were produced to meet homologation requirements for racing and of these, only 300 were powered by the 426cu/7.0-litre Hemi engine of this example and were capable of top speeds of more than 200mph. Production was limited to one year due to the increasing emissions regulations, combined with higher insurance premiums for high performance cars.
Another motorsport inspired model was Mitsubishi’s Lancer ‘Evo’ series, derived from the firm’s rally programme, which was successfully produced in 10 versions. The 1997 Evo IV Sports Saloon offered was first owned by Mitsubishi Ralliart Europe, the firm’s UK motorsport division and was used as a company car by a former World Rally Champion and one of Britain’s most successful rally drivers, the late Richard Burns.
Richard Burns had already secured the British Rally Championship – its youngest winner in 1993, when he joined Mitsubishi in 1996, driving for its works team, with whom he secured his first World Rally Championship win at the 1998 Safari Rally. His World Rally Championship title win with Subaru would follow in 2001, two years before he tragically died due to a brain tumor, at the age of 34.
The Evo IV was also used by Richard Burns’ co-driver Robert Reid, who has authenticated the car, who kept it until the pair left Mitsubishi in 1998. In more recent years, the car has had its engine and running gear built and a full re-spray, with a total of £28,000 spent over the years. It is offered with its original registration number ‘P66 MRE’ (Mitsubishi Ralliart Europe).
The Bonhams MPH December Sale will present more than 100 modern, historic and popular collector’s cars in its traditional drive-through auction, from Aston Martins to a Lancia Flavia Sport Zagato, including crowd-pleasing Fast Fords and classic Land Rovers. Further highlights comprise:
1973 BMW 3.0 CSL Coupé - Popularly known as the ‘Batmobile’, the 3.0 CSL was the roadgoing version of one of the most renowned modern racing saloon which was the European Touring Car Champion of 1973. This example has been owned for more than 40 years by the vendor, who installed a new ‘factory’ reconditioned engine at 68,000 miles. Having covered a further 19,000 miles, the car has recently been stored and will require general re-commissioning.
1998 Lotus Esprit V8 GT - The pinnacle of Lotus’ supercar development, the Esprit V8 was launched in 1996 powered by the firm’s own 918 V8 turbocharged engine, with a top speed of 175 mph. The Esprit has covered 37,500 miles with its four owners.
1997 Rover Mini SPI Margrave Saloon, coachwork by Wood & Pickett - Originally a Mini Mayfair built in December 1997 for the Japanese market, the Mini was instead purchased by a member of the Wolfson family, known for its philanthropic and political interests. It was sent to Wood & Picket coachbuilders and completed to ‘Margrave’ specification, including a full leather interior and walnut dashboard and trim.
Used as a city car, the Mini has had just one other owner and has completed just 6,600 miles from new.
The Bonhams MPH December Sale will be staged on Saturday, December 11 from 1pm as a live and online drive-through auction, held in The Hangar at Bicester Heritage. Bids will be accepted in the sale room as well as online, telephone and absentee bids.
All lots will be available to view onsite on Friday, December 10 and Saturday, December 11 from 9am to 6pm. In addition, live and interactive video condition reports and enhanced online ‘walk around video’ preview content will be made available to bidders. Contact email@example.com for further details and to register to bid.
Sale: Bonhams MPH December Sale
Location: Bicester Heritage
Date: December 11, 2021
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest and most renowned auctioneers, offering fine art and antiques, motor cars and jewellery. The main salerooms are in London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, with auctions also held in Knightsbridge, Edinburgh, Paris, San Francisco and Sydney. With a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 22 countries, Bonhams offers advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full list of forthcoming auctions, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit bonhams.com.
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