Bonhams : HISTORIC EX-ROY SALVADORI FRAZER-NASH LE MANS REPLICA TO BE OFFERED AT BONHAMS GOODWOOD REVIVAL SALE
It was the race that would forever haunt him due to a crash that very nearly ended his fledgling racing career.
“I was leading, a big thing for me then, ahead of Bob Gerard, Tony Crook and the other Frazer-Nashes. So I was feeling pretty good about life,” Salvadori told Motorsport magazine in 2008. “…we came up to lap a group of slower cars which were having their own battle. I tried to overtake them all, but it couldn’t be done.”
The car slid wide and clipped a cement-filled oil drum, causing the car to roll several times.
“At Northampton hospital they decided they could do nothing for me, and pushed me into a corner. They rang my parents, but told them I was unlikely to be alive by the time they got there. A priest was summoned and gave me the last rites.”
Miraculously, Salvadori survived, later claiming he had no memory of the crash that almost claimed his life. “Well, that’s the best way to have an accident you know,” he later said in a TV interview. “I’ve had very many accidents and those that never worry me are the accidents which may be horrific, but I don’t remember anything about them. I don’t remember the start of the day; I don’t remember anything about that particular day in my life.”
“Shortly thereafter, the Frazer-Nash was successfully rebuilt to the latest 1951 Le Mans Replica specification,” said James Knight, Bonhams International Group Motoring Director. “Salvadori recovered and resumed racing in the very same Frazer-Nash later that year on October 6, 1951, at Castle Combe, immediately finishing a strong third overall in the unlimited-capacity sports car event.”
Salvadori went on to campaign the car in 1952, winning the 2-litre class and finishing sixth overall in a return to Silverstone at the May Meeting’s Production Sports Car event. He later came fourth and second in class to Mike Hawthorn in the May 29 British Empire Trophy event at Douglas, Isle of Man, and second to Ken Wharton’s works Mark II Le Mans car in the 100-mile sports car race at Boreham on August 2.
The famous racer always recalled ‘VHX 839’ with great affection: “I decided I really needed a car I could use on the road, and that’s why I bought the Le Mans Rep. It was a super car to drive. Unfortunately, I nearly wrote myself off in it at Silverstone but I was racing it again less than a year later. It was a lovely car and I adored driving it…”
Essex-born Salvadori was of Italian descent, and had immense charm and charisma. Well respected in the sport, he competed in an incredible 47 world championship Formula One Grands Prix in his lifetime. Now offered at Bonhams Goodwood Revival Sale on 10 September, the 1950 Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica is estimated at £580,000-640,000.
The Ferrari 275 GTB is one of the finest classic sports cars ever designed. The front-engined Gran Turismo features sleek curves and a powerful engine, and has a bevvy of loyal fans, including the king of cool, Steve McQueen, who famously owned a GTB/4 model.
The Revival sale features a long-nosed model, the 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB/2 Cam Berlinetta, that has been lovingly cared for by the same owner for more than 15 years, now estimated at £1,100,000-1, 500,000.
The Lamborghini Diablo named after the Spanish word for ‘devil’ was the marques replacement for the outgoing Countach. It was the fastest, most advanced, and indeed, expensive model the marque had ever built. The Bonhams sale offers a 1997 Lamborghini Diablo SV, estimated at £200,000-250,000.
Leading the sale is the fierce ‘Red Dragon’ Aston Martin Speed Model. The historical racing car has an outstanding competition history that includes multiple wins at the Italian Mille Miglia, the RAC Tourist Trophy in Ulster, and France’s famed Le Mans 24-Hour race. It is estimated at £1,600,000-2,000,000.