Nigel Mansell’s Auction of Stuff Is Something Completely Different for Race Fans

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  • The Nigel Mansell Legacy Collection auction at Sotheby’s features more than 300 memorabilia items up for sale.
  • Along with the racing trophies and helmets are some really unusual pieces: crocheted Nigel doll, anyone?
  • Have a hunt through and see if there are any little treasures that you absolutely have to add to your mantelpiece. You’ve got until October 4, the starting date of the auction, to decide.

For us mere mortals, cleaning out the attic rarely involves uncovering treasure. If, however, you happen to be England’s most famous mustachioed racing hero (with apologies to the late Graham Hill), then dispensing with clutter means putting an Aladdin’s cave worth of rarities up for sale. It’s clear 1992 F1 champion Nigel Mansell has read one of Marie Kondo’s books recently, as he is currently auctioning off hundreds of items of racing memorabilia at Sotheby’s.

With 329 lots up for grabs, it’s a veritable cornucopia, some of it quite strange. Mansell sold two of his personally owned Formula 1 racing cars last year at Monaco, netting some $8.2 million, but the suggested prices here are much more reasonable. Further, all of the lots are offered without reserve. You might well score the kind of deal that would put a smile on the face of a thrifty son of Birmingham, U.K.

And also, some of the stuff ol’ Nige is de-cluttering is delightfully weird. There are plenty of old racing suits and signature crash helmets, but also some really fun souvenirs.

Simon Clay Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Take, for instance, this 1988 Honda ST-70 bike. Known as the Dax in Europe/Japan, and the Trail 70 over here, this little Honda was used as a pit bike by Mansell during his time at Scuderia Ferrari. It wears its Ferrari shields legitimately, and there are photos of Mansell giving fellow world champion Alain Prost a ride around the paddock at the British Grand Prix.

Not odd enough? Would sir or madam be interested in a Magic Mansell fuel pump for the living room, complete with Nigel’s signature bushy-eyebrowed visage beaming out at you? Just think of what a hit it would be at dinner parties.

Speaking of dinner parties, what better place for your guests to set down their drinks than on a collection of wheels of a William F1 car, one of which is signed, “Happy birthday Nigel, lollipops for ever.” Lollipops forever? No explanation is given in the listing.

Simon Clay Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Simon Clay Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

You yourself can relax in a molded seat from a 1989 Ferrari F1 640 racing car, contoured to those famous Brummie buttocks. Might need to dig up a stand for it, but it’d make an ideal chair, and go well with a 640 model of unspecified scale that is also up for auction.

1985 Canon Williams Honda European Grand Prix helmet ’First Win.’

©2023 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Besides the F1 memorabilia, don’t forget that Mansell was also a champion in CART/Indy racing. If so inclined, you can add an unopened bottle of champagne from his 1993 rookie attempt at the Indy 500, where he placed third. It’s not the only unopened champagne bottle up for auction—you could very nearly put a cellar together.

But perhaps what you’re after isn’t the third-place trophy from the 1989 Belgian Grand Prix, nor a Ferrari-branded leather briefcase, nor an IndyCar Fastest Qualifier award which is also, for some bizarre reason, a knife. Maybe you want some of that Nigel Mansell swagger, what the kids call drip.

Hurry, then, to the multiple lots of wonderfully throwback vintage clothing, including Canon-Williams livered ski jackets. Top it off with one of Mansell’s signature blue-and-gold Goodyear caps, and all you need is to grow a moustache and and a pair of eyebrows like two small bears.

Have a browse through the Sotheby’s auction here, and see what other Mansell-ian treasures await. Nigel might not need these strange delights cluttering up his life anymore, but very possibly you do.

Contributing Editor

Brendan McAleer is a freelance writer and photographer based in North Vancouver, B.C., Canada. He grew up splitting his knuckles on British automobiles, came of age in the golden era of Japanese sport-compact performance, and began writing about cars and people in 2008. His particular interest is the intersection between humanity and machinery, whether it is the racing career of Walter Cronkite or Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki’s half-century obsession with the Citroën 2CV. He has taught both of his young daughters how to shift a manual transmission and is grateful for the excuse they provide to be perpetually buying Hot Wheels.

Source: Motor -


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