Cosworth motoring collectables up for auction

Barry Sheene’s Cosworth soapbox tops the lots to set petrolheads’ pulses racing

Barry Sheene’s soapbox is expected to realise up to £10,000
Barry Sheene’s soapbox is expected to realise up to £10,000

Even those with little more than a passing interest in cars will recognise the Cosworth name as being synonymous with motorsport, not least because the Northamptonshire-based firm’s celebrated racing engines have powered more than 170 Formula One winners. Established 60 years ago by former Lotus employees Mike Costin and Keith Duckworth, Cosworth has grown from small-scale engine builder to internationally acclaimed engineering consultancy and now develops powertrains and electronic systems for major automotive, marine and aircraft manufacturers around the world.

A poster showing Sheene’s racer in action
A poster showing Sheene’s racer in action

The firm has recently established a partnership with Aston Martin to create the 1,000-plus horsepower V12 engine for the Valkyrie hybrid supercar. As a result of this (and other ventures), it has had to “repurpose” some of its storage space, leading to a clear-out of hundreds of Cosworth collectables that are up for grabs tomorrow (Thursday July 19) in a live and online auction.

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Among the most sought-after of almost 300 lots will be the Cosworth-designed and -engineered carbon-fibre soapbox in which the late motorcycle racing champion Barry Sheene competed in the inaugural Goodwood Festival of Speed “soapbox challenge” in 2000. Tipped to realise up to £10,000, it will be sold alongside a small series of glass-topped coffee tables with bases made from Cosworth “CA” F1 engines of the type used by the Williams F1 team during the 2006 season. The tables are set to realise up to £15,000 apiece, while a unique sculpture entitled Chequered Flag that was made by Tim Tolkien (great-nephew of author JRR Tolkien) is estimated at £5,000-£10,000. Crafted from heavy-gauge steel, it was commissioned by Cosworth to display on its stand at a past Festival of Speed.

Chequered Flag sculpture by Tim Tolkien (great-nephew of the author), estimated at £5,000-£10,000
Chequered Flag sculpture by Tim Tolkien (great-nephew of the author), estimated at £5,000-£10,000

Other lots include Cosworth-branded promotional artwork, historic motorsport photographs, batches of unused pistons, brake discs, engine blocks and cylinder heads and even a new and unused Cosworth Duratec 255-horsepower race engine (£10,000-£15,000) that can be personalised to the buyer’s specification.

The auction includes glass-topped coffee tables, estimated at up to £15,000 each
The auction includes glass-topped coffee tables, estimated at up to £15,000 each

Online bidding is open for all lots now, with the live auction taking place tomorrow. For those wishing to attend in person, the sale will be held at Cosworth HQ in Northampton.

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