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Schumacher’s first F1 championship car hitting auction block

Nov 24, 2013, 9:35 PM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Brazil - Qualifying Getty Images

If you’ve got the cash, you can own a piece of Formula One history on Dec. 1, when the car that took Michael Schumacher to his first of seven World Driving Championships goes up for auction.

British auction house Bonhams is set to sell the 1994 Cosworth/Ford-powered Benetton B194, and it is expected that the car will fetch a price upwards of 600,000 GBP – or almost $1 million USD.

This won’t be the first valuable F1 machine that Bonhams has sold this year. Back in July, Juan Manuel Fangio’s 1954 Mercedes W196 was sold for 19.6 million GBP, which made it the most valuable motor vehicle ever sold at auction.

The B194-05 chassis that will be auctioned off Dec. 1 was used in the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix – known infamously as the race in which Formula One great Ayrton Senna lost his life. Schumacher won that race and went on to more wins in Monaco, Canada and France that year in the B194-05.

According to Bonhams, extensive recent engineering work on the car includes a restoration of its Cosworth/Ford Zetec engine, a new gearbox, and a paddle-shifting gear change system. Additionally, the lucky buyer will also receive a test drive of the B194 at its current base in Spain.

“Unlike so many other modern era Formula 1 cars, this one is complete, fully operational and effectively in race-ready condition,” said Bonhams Group motoring director James Knight in a release.

  1. worknman24hours - Nov 25, 2013 at 8:17 AM

    Formula One management really sees nothing in the value of preserving the history of the sport it derives many billions of euros from managing.

    I am surprised they have no Formula One museum that promotes the grand history of the sport.

    You would think for all the pageantry of the sport, someone would see value in the hardware that earned the drivers all those wins-other then a euro amount.

    I guess it will take someone buying a F1 legends Championship winning race car and putting a set of 26 inch Dubs and chandeliers on it before they see the value in promoting the history of Formula One.

    • indycarseries500 - Nov 25, 2013 at 11:22 AM

      Bernie has a nice collection of Grand Prix machinery, he just doesn’t have a big museum to put them on public display. A lot of these cars are either sold, donated or loaned to many various museums or sold to collectors/vintage drivers that I don’t think would ever do anything like that to them.

    • redrock81 - Dec 1, 2013 at 9:20 PM

      I don’t think F1 management has a say in the matter. These cars are owned by the constructors that make them so they have the right to sell them.

  2. wallio - Nov 25, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    Well unlike NASCAR, the FIA doesn’t own the cars, the teams do. So the teams can do whatever they want with them. Often teams need money, so off they go. The vast majority end up in museums anyway. Just smaller general ones.

    • indycarseries500 - Nov 25, 2013 at 11:07 AM

      What?! NASCAR teams own their cars, the ones in the NASCAR HoF or the IMS HoF museum, or any museum were either donated, on loan or sold to them from the teams.

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