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Cosworth to sell Barry Sheene's Goodwood Festival of Speed soapbox racer in July 19 auction
Sheene’s Cosworth Racing soapbox car is now up for sale as part of the unique auction staged by Cosworth at their Northampton HQ on July 19.

NORTHAMPTON.- When the Earl of March introduced the soapbox racing challenge at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2000, one of the first drivers invited to take part was the late great Barry Sheene.

Swapping his usual two wheels for four and relying entirely on gravity, Sheene joined 24 other hopefuls on the circuit, in what was to become one of the most hotly contested events at the Festival.

The rules were simple – a maximum weight of 165kg (including the driver), total cost no greater than £1,000 and maximum dimensions of 170cm long and 75cm wide.

Sheene’s Cosworth Racing soapbox car is now up for sale as part of the unique auction staged by Cosworth at their Northampton HQ on July 19 in association with H&I Auctions.

Accompanying it will be a framed photo of Sheen racing it. H&I Auctions have yet to announce an estimate – nothing like this has been offered at auction before – but anticipate a price of at least four, if not five figures.

The event will provide an opportunity for enthusiasts and collectors to acquire components and memorabilia from iconic engine projects over its illustrious 60-year history.

Cosworth are staging the auction to celebrate a major new partnership with the Aston Martin Valkyrie project, together with other recent client wins.

“There are some truly stand-out lots available including unique serial-numbered Cosworth engine coffee tables, Cosworth branded promo artwork, historic motorsport photographs and a one-off sculpture entitled ‘chequered flag’ by Tim Tolkien, great-nephew of author J.R.R. Tolkien,” revealed Richard Travis, H&I’s Managing Director.

Even more exciting is the prospect of rare Cosworth models being offered via the Cosworth Owners Club, which has expressed a great deal of interest in the sale series.

Cosworth is expanding its operations to meet growing demand for its state-of-the-art powertrain and electronics solutions, and this means that it must repurpose its storage facilities.

That is great news for performance car enthusiasts running classic British, European and Japanese cars, memorabilia collectors and art lovers, who will be able to bid for items ranging from pistons, exhausts, camshafts, air filters and brake pads to thousands of other high quality lots.

Highlights include a limited edition of individually numbered Cosworth engine coffee tables; the last remaining Subaru / Cosworth exhaust systems – never to be remanufactured; limited edition Cosworth promotional artwork; laser-etched engine components; large print original framed motorsport photographs; road car, Indy car, rally car and Formula One parts; and a unique 'Chequered Flag' life-size sculpture by Tim Tolkien, great-nephew of author J.R.R Tolkien.

“This is a huge opportunity for us at H&I,” said Mr Travis. “We're all passionate about motorsport at H&I and it’s is a great honour and privilege to be involved in this project.”

The July 19 sale follows an already highly successful timed online auction that ended on June 22.

“We’re delighted with the results from the on-line sale and pleased there is a lot of interest surrounding the live event on the Thursday before the Silverstone Classic event,” said Bruce Wood, Managing Director of Cosworth Powertrain.

“For years our levels of stock have increased as it is the nature of design and development programmes, particularly in racing, that not everything will get consumed but new and used stock will be left when a programme is completed. Over literally 50 years we have kept parts on the shelf ranging from a DFV thrust washer to sets of V8 era F1 exhausts and everything in between! Many of these are very high value items as well as being engineering works of art in many cases so we’ve been searching to find a way of getting them to new homes and allowing us to liberate some much needed storage capacity for a while. The auction process has proved exactly what we were looking for.”

The live auction to be held at Cosworth headquarters in Northampton on July 19 is broadcast live worldwide for bidding.

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