‘A lot of people go through life doing things badly. Racing's important to men who do it well. When you're racing, it's life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting’. Steve McQueen, from the film Le Mans (1971).
Perhaps no other era has quite captured the high-octane drama, mystique, danger, heroism and sex appeal of sports car racing than the one so magically depicted by Steve McQueen’s film. In that handful of years belonging to the late 1960s and early 1970s, the mighty Ferrari and Porsche truly did battle on the fields of Le Mans, home of the majestic 24-hour race. At this time, sports car racing was being played out on the main stage in a way that has not since been repeated; a truly global sports car championship with its annual zenith at the La Sarthe circuit. It was the era of factory teams interspersed with their own respective customer and privateer teams. An era immortalized in the dreams of both men and boys the world over. Open almost any history book on the period and the pictures will depict, amongst the front-running pack, a bright yellow Escuderia Montjuich Ferrari. It is that very car that we are now hugely excited to offer for sale.
The Ferrari factory sold this 12 cylinder, five litre sports racing machine to the Escuderia Montjuich in April 1970. The Escuderia was founded by four wealthy Catalan gentleman drivers in the mid 1960s; Enrique Coma-Cros (co-author of the book Ricart - Pegaso / La Pasión del Automóvil), Félix Muñoz (known as Pelé), José Juncadella and Juan Fernández. The latter two of these were both well-known racing drivers of the period and are frequently mentioned in contemporary race reports and magazines.
To set chassis 1002 in context, the 512 model was Ferrari’s aggressive response to Porsche’s emerging dominance in sports car racing in the late 1960s. Ferrari scholar, Dominique Pascal in his book Ferrari at Le Mans, explains that ‘the 512s were created in less than nine months to try and counteract the striking superiority of the Porsche 917s. For the 1970 Le Mans, Ferrari lined up no fewer than twelve 512s, official and non-official.’
Chassis 1002 is, quite simply, a superb example of one of Maranello’s finest sports competition cars. Absolutely steeped in history and provenance, it presents an extremely rare opportunity to acquire a ‘best in class’ 512 with the very finest of racing and ownership pedigrees. The Ferrari has an exquisite period history, with imagery depicting it competing in the 1970 edition of 24 Heures du Mans, as car number 35 in the test and number 9 in the subsequent race, where it was piloted by José Juncadella and J. Fernandez. Unfortunately, 1002 left the race in the eleventh hour after having been holding a credible tenth place in the preceding hour due to an on-track collision.
In that year, 1002 went on to compete at many more high-profile events, including the Jarama Twelve Hours and the 1000 Kilometres de Paris, held at the legendary Montlhéry Circuit. The Matra-Simca of Jack Brabham and François Cevert won the race but Juncadella and Jabouille brought 1002 home to a very respectable second place overall and took first in class.
1971 provided another raft of competition for 1002, taking part in the majority of the World Manufacturers’ Championship rounds. The season started with a non-championship round - the Buenos Aires 1000 kilometre race - where the car placed fifth driven by Juncadella and Carlos Pairetti. Following this was the Daytona 24 Hours where 1002 qualified seventh, although unfortunately did not finish due to fuel pressure problems. Prior to the BOAC 1000 kilometre world championship sports car race at Brands Hatch in April 1971, the car was returned to the factory to be converted to a 512M Berlinetta. In this new, improved guise, 1002 once again contested the grueling Le Mans race. To further strengthen the crew, Juncadella drafted in the support Ferrari factory driver, Nino Vaccarella, an extraordinary driver of the time. Unfortunately, 1002 retired at the fourteenth hour after holding an impressive fifth place in the previous hour. Dominique Pascal, in his book Ferraris at Le Mans, tells us that ‘Nino Vaccarella and his partner, José Maria Juncadella put in a superb performance, up to the front and a lap ahead before they sustained damage to their transmission.’
1971 brought more competition, in the form of the Monza 1000 kilometre, the Imola 300 kilometre, Osterreichring and the 1000 Kilometre de Paris. The season was dominated by the Porsche 917s, with Alfa Romeo in second place and Ferrari in third. 1002 also took part in the Tour de France in September 1971 where it was driven by Juncadella and Jean-Claude Guenard. It placed a magnificent second and hence finished its season in style. One can only imagine the astonishing sight of this pure sports racing car howling through the length of France, on its newly registered Milan number plates.
Following its tenure with the Escuderia Montjuich, 1002 eventually found its way directly to new owner, English gentleman and Ferrarist Robert Horne in October 1974. Robert, who has always had an eye for a great car (and also is a noted collector of cold war jets!), acquired 1002 after seeing it during a trip to Mantua, Italy. He sent the 512 to well-known marque specialist, Bob Houghton of Greypaul Motors for remedial works and 1002 has subsequently been prepared and lovingly maintained by Bob to this day. Horne’s own ambitions did not stretch to running a car in international competition, but he instead decided to use the 512 to attempt a British Land Speed Record. In 1977, 1002 – driven by Robert Horne – was taken to a very credible speed of 192mph over a flying mile distance to set a record. Thereafter, Horne used 1002 on special occasions, enjoying the Ferrari for a remarkable period of thirty-five years and finally passing it on to the current owner in 2009. In the capable hands of the current owner’s son, 1002 was beautifully driven at a recent edition of the Le Mans Classic, where it showed that it has lost none of its period performance.
Presented with a remarkable history file and a Certificazione di Autenticita from Ferrari Classiche, 1002 represents a once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire a truly exceptional and seriously important ‘time capsule’ condition sports racing prototype. To step into the cockpit of 1002 is to step back in time to that glorious epoch of racing. How wonderful it would be for its new owner to take 1002 back to the Tour de France and the Le Mans Circuit. The stuff, we believe, that dreams are made of….
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