The Ayrton Senna McLaren MP4/8A 6

McLaren MP4/8A 6 is for sale, to be sold at the Bonham’s Monaco Auction in May. As someone who was an ardent McLaren and Senna follower of the period, this is an amazing car to be coming to market. The car that Senna drove to his 6th Monaco victory, it is a remarkable piece of history. Like many, I was of the belief that all McLaren Formula One cars in recent decades still resided at the secret location kept by the team ion an industrial estate, never to be sold on the open market. MP4/8A 6 is one of the very few exceptions.

Old racing cars used to be merely obsolete equipment to be discarded. No longer competitive, no longer the latest engine or chassis, they were no longer of use and unceremoniously discarded like a broken toy. Of course, this gave rise in subsequent years to the fascinating developments of barn find racing cars, where long lost chassis were unearthed from the most incredible locations and then lovingly restored to their former glory.

Ayrton Senna's Mclaren MP4/a8 6

Formula One teams eventually caught on to the fact that last year’s championshiop winner was actually a future investment and in recent decades most teams have found a way to retain many of their historical cars. As they become more complex, the associated technology must also accompany the car on it’s journey.

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McLaren are renowned for retaining their cars, with very, very few cars from the last three decades moving into private ownership. So when the Ayrton Senna Monaco winning McLaren MP4/8A 6 comes to the market, everyone sits up and takes note. This car is famously the car in which Senna won his final Monaco victory and is also famous as being a year in which McLaren were struggling for pace following a last minute engine deal with Ford. Senna himself was not convinced that the car would be a winner and negotiated a contract with Ron Dennis for a race by race deal, in which at any time he could switch teams should another drive become available. In fact, while the Ford twin turbo V6 was not the most powerful out there the McLaren package as a whole worked well for Senna and his talents made up for any shortcomings.

Ayrton Senna's Mclaren MP4/a8 6

As we write this, MP4/8A 6 is for sale at Bonham’s Monaco sale in May. Alongside other iconic racing cars this car is to be sold. It is believed to have passed into the private hands of an American collector at some point in a deal done with Ron Dennis. Many have speculated that the owner is Zack Brown, though that is unlikely given his current position as McLaren head and owner of other McLaren F1 cars. Why would you sell it?

MP4/8A 6 has been seen on occasion, at demonstration events and also on the Goodwood hill.

The car comes complete, ready to go and with the associated support equipment needed to run it. In these pictures from Bonhams it looks utterly beautiful, retaining the Malrboro sponsorship livery that was of it’s time and a steering wheel with beautiful patina, once held by Arton Senna as he attacked the streets of Monaco.

There are a great many truly wonderful and famous historic racing cars that come to the market from time to time. And you cannot simply buy hem all. However, if ever there was one car that would be the one to go for broke to own, for me, this would be the one.

I cannot think of a more desirable Formula One Car that would come to the market at this time and it will be fascinating to see the final sale price.

Images via Bonhams
Ayrton Senna's Mclaren MP4/a8 6

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Author: Neill Watson

If you love the sound of the Cosworth V8 as much as the V12 Merlin, the smell of Jet A1 as much as Castrol R and admire the late Ray Hanna as much as Sir Stirling, you’ll find you’re both on the same page. Neill's love of art deco buildings means that his ideal home would be a brilliant white, 1930′s control tower in Southern France, with crisply mown grass, biplane parked on the driveway and a Ferrari 288GTO in the garage. This is something that those around him tolerate, though it does concern them from time to time.

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