Scheckter in the Ferrari 12t4

Jody Scheckter’s big garage sale

A VERY special 1979 Ferrari is coming up for auction in Monaco in May – so special that it could well be bought by the famed Italian manufacturer itself.

It’s the car that gave Enzo Ferrari his last Formula 1 Drivers’ World Championship, the 312T4 that Jody Scheckter drove to victory in Belgium, Monaco and Italy to secure the 1979 title.

The ground-effect 1979 Ferrari 312 T4, powered by a 3.0-litre flat-12 engine, was one of Mauro Foghieri’s greatest designs, and was the final car to help claim a drivers’ title during Enzo Ferrari’s lifetime.

Scheckter, born in East London, South Africa in 1950, remains the only driver from the entire African continent to have won a Formula 1 World Drivers’ Championship.

He competed in Formula 1 from 1972 to 1980, winning the Drivers’ Championship in 1979 with Ferrari.

Now a prominent farmer in the UK, he is selling the Ferrari, which he bought from the company in 1982, plus 11 other cars from his private collection.

However, the Ferrari is the most prized of the Terrific 12 and RM Sotheby’s expect it to fetch up to 6.5 million euros ($10.7 million Aussie dollars)

The red machine, chassis #040, was campaigned exclusively by Scheckter and took back-to-back victories in the Belgian and Monaco Grands Prix.

Scheckter also led a Ferrari 1-2, ahead of team-mate Gilles Villeneuve, at the team’s home race in Monza to seal a drivers’ and constructors’ championship double.

It made its debut at Kyalami in the 1979 Grand Prix of South Africa, where Jody ran second to the sister car of Villeneuve.

Scheckter retired in 1980 and it was another 21 years before another driver – Michael Schumacher – won a Drivers’ Championship for Ferrari again.

His racing career started with a self-prepared Renault R8 in saloon car races in South Africa, then progressed to Formula Ford and in 1970 he won the national Formula Ford championship – which carried a prize of 1000 rands and an air ticket to London.

There, the first racer he bought was a second-hand Merlyn, from Colin Vandervell.

That car, a 1971 Merlyn Mk21 Formula 3, is also on the auction, likewise most of the other cars he’d raced.

The ‘Magic Merlyn’ was raced by Emerson Fittipaldi, Colin Vandervell, Jody Scheckter and Frank Sytner.

It has a huge race history with many wins including the 1970 British Formula Ford Championship and is presented in the livery of Scheckter’s European debut in 1971.

Sotheby’s say it should go for about $105,000.

Two of his earlier Formula 2 cars are the 1972 McLaren M21 with which Scheckter gave McLaren its first victory in Formula 2, and a 1973 Rondel M1.

One of only three examples in existence, the McLaren M21 was built using a spare chassis for Jody Scheckter himself and is presented in the famous McLaren papaya orange colours of Scheckter’s 1972 Formula 2 season. AU$330,000.

The Rondel is a rare car. It was the first racing car built by Ron Dennis and Neil Trundle before they joined McLaren.

It was raced by Scheckter and Tom Pryce in the 1973 European Formula 2 Championship and has since been restored to the livery used when Scheckter was driving. It’s valued at about $165,000.

Back to Formula 1: The extremely rare McLaren is just one of two M19As and four M19s ever constructed.

It competed in 17 Grands Prix during 1971 and 1972 and was the chassis that gave Scheckter his F1 debut at the 1972 United States Grand Prix.

It should find a buyer at around AU$1.6m.

But the McLaren M23, driven to victory at the 1973 British Grand Prix by Peter Revson and later also by Scheckter in two Grands Prix is expected to be worth a fair bit more, circa AU$3.7m.

If McLaren papaya isn’t your colour, how about something blue?

A Tyrrell 007, driven by Scheckter in 12 races during 1975 and 1976 including a podium finish at the 1975 British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

It is likely to go for about AU$1.5m.

Sure to make eyes pop and open wallets is the unconventional Tyrrell ‘Six-Wheeler,’ one of the most famous Formula 1 designs of all time.

Jody has the unusual distinction of being the only person to ever win a Grand Prix in a car that did not have four wheels.

He won the Swedish Grand Prix driving the six-wheeled Tyrell P34 in 1976.

The car is eligible for historic racing events around the world and was a past winner at the prestigious Monterey Historics race meeting. Estimated sale price is AU$1.07m.

Then there’s the Wolf. Created by famed engineer Harvey Postlethwaite with input from Patrick Head, this Wolf WR1 was the car Scheckter drove to second place at the 1977 South African Grand Prix and finished the season second in the Formula 1 Drivers’ World Championship, behind Niki Lauda.

After being raced by Scheckter, it was raced by another future World Champion, Keke Rosberg. AU$1.07m.

There’s also a Formula 5000 Trojan, which Jody drove in the 1973 SCCA L&M Formula 5000 season where he won three rounds and secured the championship.

It’s the last of six Trojan T101s built and is powered by a 5.0-litre Chevrolet V8 with a Hewland DG300 gearbox.

The car is offered in the livery of Scheckter’s championship winner. $165,000.

Finally, a break from the open wheelers: a beautiful Zagato-bodied Alfa Romeo sports coupe.

It’s a rare example of Alfa’s long running creative partnership with coachbuilder Zagato, and appears to have been acquired by Jody for its lovely lines.

There’s no record of him competing in it, but it was raced by its then owner, Ignazio Giunti, in the 1961 and 1963 editions of the Targa Florio race as well as in several other Italian hillclimbs in that period. AU$750,000.

The Jody Scheckter Collection auction takes place at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco on May 10 and 11.

All up, the collection is expected to fetch some $20 million.

What does the famous former world Formula 1 champ plan to do next?

He’s just going to carry on with what he’s built up through the years: make what many consider to be the world’s finest mozzarella and ice cream at his vast Laverstoke Park farm, where he also holds the annual CarFest, a weekend festival of music, motor cars and much more that draws thousands of visitors and helps to raise money for BBC Children in Need and UK Children’s Charities.


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