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The iconic McLaren Formula 1 driven by James Hunt, one half of the legendary rivalry with F1 driver Niki Lauda depicted in Ron Howard‘s Rush, is expected to fetch between $9 and $12 million at auction next month.
The McClaren M26, chassis number 3, is embedded in F1 racing lore as the car driven in Hunt’s tenth and final win, at the 1977 Japanese Grand Prix. The 1976 race on the same course forms the climax of Rush, as Hunt, portrayed by Chris Hemsworth, and Lauda, played by Daniel Bruhl, battle during one of most intense seasons in racing history dominated by a see-sawing battle between the rivals for first place .
The McClaren up for auction is powered by a Ford Cosworth DFV 90º V8 and produces 525 horsepower, hits 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds and has a top speed of 195 m.p.h., roughly the same performance as a stock 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S, indicative of the tremendous leaps in automotive engineering since Hunt’s heyday.
The auction will feature another race car with a Hollywood pedigree: a Shelby GT 500 S-Code Mustang custom built by Cinema Vehicle Services, which created the vehicles for Gone in 60 Seconds.
But the McLaren is expected to steal the show.
“In the last few years, vintage race cars have really held their value as there are very few out there and all are in private hands,” says Bill Mathews, vice president of auctions for RK Motors Collector Car Auctions. “James Hunt was one of the boldest, brashest and most colorful F1 drivers of all time and it’s an honor to put his McLaren up for auction. The car showcases the sportsmanship and bravery of these early F1 drivers.”
The auction will be held at the Charlotte, N.C. Convention Center Oct. 31-Nov. 3.
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