Ever wanted to own a legit Formula 1 car? Because former world champion and legend of the sport Nigel Mansell is selling his iconic 1989 Ferrari 640 F1 car.
The catch is you’ll need some deep pockets, because RM Sotheby’s reckons it will take a winning bid up around the US$5.5 million mark to take it home with you.
Mansell drove it to victory twice in 1989, at the opening round in Brazil and later on in the season at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
When the season came to an end, the car went home with Nigel – and it’s been in his personal collection ever since.
They’re all due to hit the auction block as part of the The Nigel Mansell Collection in Monaco on May 14..
And to give you an idea of why this is such a big deal, take a look at these words from RM Sotheby’s:
“There will rarely—perhaps never—be another opportunity to acquire two completely original Formula One cars directly from their World Champion owner and driver, who has cherished both cars from the day they were retired from the track and which have been preserved in ‘time-capsule’ condition.”
The auction website calls the them “the most significant Formula One cars to ever be offered at auction”.
What should I know about Nigel Mansell’s Ferrari 640?
RM Sothebys says the Ferrari 640 F1 car is complete and is “unlikely to have had a nut or bolt touched on it since the last Ferrari mechanic put down his tools in 1989”.
If you are interested in the tech side of things, it was also the first of the naturally aspirated Ferraris, powered by a 3.5 litre V12 engine called the Ferrari Tipo 035/5.
It produced 660bhp at 13,000 rpm.
And it is the first Ferrari with an electro-hydraulic semi-automatic gearbox.
Despite reliability issues in testing prior to the 1989 season, it won three of the 16 races that year. It claimed nine podium finishes, four fastest laps and rewarded Ferrari with 3rd place overall in the Constructor’s Championship. All in all, not a bad year.
As you can tell, the car was fast. But it wasn’t very reliable. By the end of the 1989 season, Mansell would either end up on the podium or he would retire from the race.
It was an all or nothing scenario.
Thanks to the reliability issues during testing, Mansell joked that he had booked his flight home for halfway through the race – believing that the car would only last a few laps.
This is chassis #109 of the Ferrari 640 series from 1989. It was the first car that was shown to the world in February of 1989 without Enzo Ferrari in attendance.
This was because the Ferrari and motorsport legend tragically died a few months earlier.
Mansell is now parting with a small number of cars from his personal collection including chassis #109.
Needless to say, but it’s an absolutely gorgeous car and we hope that it finds a loving home with people that truly appreciate it for what it is.
If you want to bid for this piece of history, get your checkbook ready for the 14th May. Then it will be up for auction with RM Sotherby’s in Monaco.