CCW-Profile: Automobiles Historiques
- February 2, 2020
- Posted by Marc Enger
Flavien and Vanessa Marçais are both steeped in motorsport. Brought up around fine motor cars in families rooted in racing on either side of the English Channel, the duo bring huge experience and passion to the challenging and often difficult roles of organising and running events.
French-born Flavien was a very promising competitor who started club racing at 18, progressed through national Formula Renault and Caterham championships then switched to his beloved Historics. Having mastered Grand Prix, sports and GT cars, he starred in a Formula 1 BRM at Monaco. Having worked with the finest cars and written about the sport for many years, Flavien is renowned as a historian and journalist.
Wife Vanessa is British, daughter of leading Jaguar restorer and specialist Aubrey Finburgh. She, too, has raced Historic sportscars. Having carved her career in the historic motoring world from a young age, working with some of the best in the industry, Vanessa founded Automobiles Historiques Limited – parent company of the GT & Sports Car Cup – with husband Flavien some 20 years ago.
As well as dealing in the finest historic cars and automobilia with the utmost professionalism and discretion, Flavien and Vanessa added Ferret Photographic, the motorsport image library built up over decades by Ted Walker, which comprises over 7-million original images to their group in 2017. Augmenting the Marçais family’s extraordinary collection, amassed by Flavien’s late grandfather Serge Pozzoli, it forms one of the world’s finest archives.
1931 Bugatti Type 51
Excellent period racing history at the most significant Grand Prix with victories at Geneva and Rheimes in 1931. Maurice Trintignant’s first racing car, driven to GP des Frontières (Chimay) victories in 1938 und ’39. Owned and cherished by the Le Mans 24 Hours and double Monaco GP winner from 1938-1974. Powered by a 2.3-litre twin overheaded cam straight-eight engine, Ettore Bugatti’s fast and robust T51 was the epitome of 1930s’ artisan engineering. An heroic French blue Grand Prix car of impeccable provenance. Part of a very significant French collection. Offered in fine condition with spares.
1954 Frazer Nash Sebring
First of three beautiful and distinctive alloy-bodied two-litre Bristol-engined road-racers built by AFN Limited. Based on fine-handling Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica MkII chassis. Featured contemporarily in The Motor and The Autocar. Race debuted by future Formula 1 World Championship Grand Prix winner Tony Brooks in 1954 British GP supporting event at Silverstone. Period International race and rally history: RAC Tourist Trophy, Dundrod (Brooks/Peter Wilson); Liège-Rome- Liège (Henry O’Hara Moore). Eligible for premium historic events worldwide and in the same family ownership since 1972.
1973 Maserati Bora
The first mid-engine road-going Maserati ever built, with coachwork designed by illustrious stylist Giugiaro from Ital Design. Highly original matching number example finished in ‘Blue Ischia’ with ‘Senape’ leather interior, retaining the original interior. First registered in France on 14th November 1973, only 4 French owners and 65,000 kilometres from new. One of just 497 examples produced. Well-maintained, ready to be driven anywhere and offered with a Maserati certificate of authenticity.
1957 Maserati 300S
Raced by superstars Stirling Moss and five-time Formula 1 World Champion Juan Manuel Fangio, Maserati’s 300S was among the finest handling sports-racers of the mid-1950s. Completed in 2000 alongside Modenese originals by British marque specialists Church Green Engineering, engine guru Cyril Embrey and Steve Hart Racing, this stunning toolroom copy of the model, evolved from the iconic 250F Grand Prix car line, has an HTP valid to 31/12/2025.
Sensational 300S dynamics, stunning looks and pure-bred Italian stallion cachet at a more accessible price, this little-used masterpiece is eligible for RAC Woodcote Trophy, Stirling Moss Trophy, GTSCC & VSCC 50s’ sports-car races.
Report by Automobiles Historiques