Ayrton Senna fans looking to pick up a piece of the famed Formula One driver’s history will be able to do so in a big way in February.
A 1992 Honda NSX purchased as a gift for the late racer by his manager will be one of hundreds of cars sold at auction by Silverstone Auctions on Feb. 22 and 23.
“Very rarely does a car with such pedigree and provenance come to market, especially with such a powerful and personal link to arguably the greatest F1 driver of all time, and as such, we’re incredibly excited to offer it for auction,” Nick Whale, managing director of Silverstone Auctions, said in a statement.
The NSX was a mid-engine supercar built by Honda from 1990 to 2005 and sold under the Acura brand in the U.S. It featured an all-aluminum monocoque chassis and a 3.0-liter V-6 engine (later bumped up to 3.2 liters) which made 270 horsepower. It has long been regarded as not only one of the most accessible supercars of its era, but also one of the most reliable.
The link is inextricable between the NSX and Senna -- a man considered one of the greatest F1 drivers ever and immortalized in the 2010 documentary "Senna."
The Brazilian driver was integral to the car’s development and tuning prior to its production run. The relationship stemmed from Honda’s serving as the engine supplier to Senna’s McLaren team in all three of his world-championship seasons.
After the production NSX models were released, Honda gave Senna his own as a gift that still remains in his family’s possession. In 1992, his manager, Antonio Carlos de Almeida Braga, bought this particular car for Senna to use during visits to Portugal, Silverstone said.
Following Senna’s tragic death during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix in Italy, Braga kept the NSX covered in a garage for two years, insisting that it not be moved. He finally sold it to a buyer who kept it for only a short while before selling it to the current owner, according to Silverstone.
The black-on-black car has a manual transmission and 31,800 miles on it. Pre-sale estimates for the car range between $125,000 and $141,000. Such a high price, especially for a car Senna technically didn’t even own, demonstrates the famed racer’s reach even to this day. A similar model in excellent condition and the same mileage would likely sell for around $35,000.
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