James Hunt’s 1974 Hesketh 308 F1 car to go on Auction







Published by Gerald Ferreira Date: February 2, 2014
Categories: General News

JOIN THE RUSH! HUNT’S HESKETH 308 TO GO UNDER THE HAMMER WITH RM AUCTIONS IN MONACO SALE

Works Hesketh 308, chassis number 308-1, which was extensively driven by Hunt throughout the 1974 season

  • Winning chassis at the 1974 Silverstone International Trophy, and the car which contested the Brand Hatch Race of Champions and both the British and South African Grand Prix, also in 1974
  • Also campaigned by Alan Jones in the 1975 season
  • Unique opportunity to acquire one of the most significant mid-1970s grand prix contenders, driven by two true Formula One legends and ex-World Champions
  • RM’s exclusive biennial Monaco sale takes place in the principality during the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique weekend, which takes place from 9–10 May 2014

James_Hunt_1974_Hesketh_308_F1_car

LONDON (31 January 2014) - Hesketh Racing was formed in 1972 by the British Peer, Lord Alexander Hesketh, who was a keen motorsport enthusiast with a desire to compete in the sport at the highest level. After two seasons of racing in lower formula, Hesketh commissioned well-known racing car engineer Harvey Postlethwaite to design and construct an all-new, bespoke car in which Hesketh’s lead driver, James Hunt, could contest the 1974 Formula One World Championship. And so was born the Hesketh 308.

With its aluminium monocoque body, the new 308 certainly looked the part, and with power coming courtesy of Ford’s powerful and reliable Cosworth DFV, the car had all the = credentials to be successful. However, with the might of such highly funded, established teams as Ferrari, Lotus, and McLaren to compete against, few people gave the fledgling and unsponsored Hesketh team any real chance of proving to be competitive. This view was to quickly change when Hunt took to the track at the start of the season.

Only four Hesketh 308 chassis were built, of which the car being offered for sale, chassis no. 308-1, is both the first and, arguably, the most significant. Chassis 308-01 made its debut appearance at the 1974 Brands Hatch Race of Champions, where Hunt staggered the paddock by placing the car on pole position; but the race itself ended up proving less successful, as Hunt spun off and retired on lap four. Two weeks later, 308-01 started its first grand prix in South Africa, where Hunt ran in 5th position for much of the race, until he retired with a mechanical failure. Hunt again took the chassis to pole position at the International Trophy race at Silverstone, where, after a slow start, Hunt clawed his way up the field until he finally passed the great Ronnie Peterson's Lotus down the inside and into the Woodcote corner; this is now regarded as a landmark, classic moment in racing history, and one that resulted in Hesketh’s first ever Formula One victory. The chassis was taken to most championship rounds during the 1974 season, serving as either the race car or the team’s spare T-car. Chassis 308-01 is also the car in which Hunt started the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch, before spinning out on the second lap of the race.

Chassis 308-01 remained in service with the team into the 1975 season, during which the young Alan Jones and Harald Ertl took it to three top 10 finishes. Sadly, the 1975 season proved to be less promising than expected for Hesketh Racing and at the end of that year, the financially stretched Lord Hesketh pulled the plug on his Formula One ambitions. Famously, Hunt left the team to join McLaren, where he went on to win one of the hardest fought World Championships of all time, beating the brave and badly injured Nikki Lauda to the top step of the podium. Most recently, this story has been told to cinema goers around the world in the blockbuster movie Rush. The car is estimated to fetch €400,000–€650,000 at RM’s 2014 Monaco sale.

Hesketh 308-01 Race History
Date Race Drivers Entrant Result
17.3.1974 Race of Champions James Hunt Hesketh Racing DNF
30.3.1974 GP South Africa James Hunt Hesketh Racing DNF
7.4.1974 International Trophy James Hunt Hesketh Racing 1st
28.4.1974 GP Spain James Hunt Hesketh Racing T-car
12.5.1974 GP Belgium James Hunt Hesketh Racing T-car
23.6.1974 GP Netherlands Hesketh Racing T-car
7.7.1974 GP France James Hunt Hesketh Racing T-car
20.7.1974 GP Great Britain James Hunt Hesketh Racing DNF
4.8.1974 GP Germany James Hunt Hesketh Racing T-car
18.8.1974 GP Austria Ian Scheckter Hesketh Racing DNQ
Date Race Drivers Entrant Result
12.1.1975 GP Argentina James Hunt Team Hesketh T-car
26.1.1975 GP Brazil James Hunt Team Hesketh T-car
13.4.1975 International Trophy Alan Jones Harry Stiller Racing 7th
27.4.1975 GP Spain Alan Jones Harry Stiller Racing DNF
11.5.1975 GP Monaco Alan Jones Harry Stiller Racing DNF
25.5.1975 GP Belgium Alan Jones Harry Stiller Racing DNF
8.6.1975 GP Sweden Alan Jones Rob Walkers Custom Made Racing 11th
3.8.1975 GP Germany Harald Ertl Team Hesketh 8th
17.8.1975 GP Austria Harald Ertl Warsteiner Brewery DNF
7.9.1975 GP Italy Harald Ertl Team Hesketh 9th

 

For further information on the upcoming Monaco auction, or to discuss consignment opportunities, please call + 44 (0) 20 7851 7070.