The Jody Scheckter Collection Is For Sale

The 1979 Formula 1 driver’s world champion Jody Scheckter puts up his entire car collection for sale. RM Sotheby’s will auction Scheckter’s cars at the Monaco Sale on May 11th. 

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Photo RM Sotheby’s

Jody Scheckter, the only South African F1 world champion to date, has harboured a rich collection of racing cars for a very long time. From his very first Formula 1 car to the one with which he took his world title, they are all present in the collection… and are all up for auction.

Championship winning Ferrari

The most important car in the collection is easily the 1979 Ferrari 312 T4. This is not just the car with which Scheckter took the 1979 world title, he was also the only one who has ever driven this specific chassis – #40. He won the Belgian GP, the Monaco GP and the Italian GP in it, that last drive securing him the title. The car is unrestored, as it was how Ferrari handed it to Scheckter, who bought the car from the factory in 1982.

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Ferrari 312 T4. Photo RM Sotheby’s
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Photo Ferrari

Ferrari built just 5 chassis of the 312T4, the final flat-12 Ferrari to win a world championship. The originality reflects in the asking price. RM Sotheby’s expects this Ferrari to reach a price between €5.2 million ($5.7 million) and €6.5 million ($7.1 million).

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McLaren M19A. Photo RM Sotheby’s

First F1 start

Scheckter’s first F1 – the M19A with which he made his debut in the US Grand Prix in Watkins Glen in 1972 – is also part of the collection. McLaren made just four M19 chassis, of which two were A-versions. The McLaren M19A carries an estimate of €750,000 to €1 million ($820,000 – 1,092,270).

The McLaren M23 from the 1973 season is priced much higher, from €1,750,000 to €2,250,000 ($1,9 million – 2,45 million). The car – chassis #M23-2 – was raced for much of the season by Peter Revson, but Jody Scheckter drove two Grand Prix in it as well. Revson won the British Grand Prix in this chassis, a race famous for a multiple-car pile-up caused by… Scheckter in another McLaren M23.

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Tyrrell 007. Photo RM Sotheby’s

Winning with Tyrrell

After the Canadian Grand Prix in 1973, McLaren told Scheckter he would not be retained. The South African started talks with Tyrrell. At the final Grand Prix, in Watkins Glen, Jackie Stewart announced he would retire from F1. The announcement came after Stewart lost his teammate at Tyrrell, François Cevert, who had died in a crash. In 1974, Jody Scheckter thus made his debut with Tyrrell. Scheckter won two Grand Prix that year.

The Tyrrell 007 that is offered here, was the car Scheckter raced in 12 races in 1975 and 1976 season. Without much success, it has to be said. Third place at the 1975 British Grand Prix was the car’s best result. The car comes with a Ford-Cosworth DFV engine, and is expected to sell at around €650,000 to €900,000 ($710,000 – 983,000).

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Tyrrell P34. Photo RM Sotheby’s

Tyrrell P34

Next up is an F1-legend, in the form of the six-wheeler Tyrrell P34. The car was never Scheckter’s favourite, but he could not deny its unique place in F1 history. And Scheckter’s name is linked to it, as he gave the car its only F1 win, at the Swedish GP in Anderstorp in 1976. The reason this Tyrrell P34 has a surprisingly low estimate – €450,000 to €650,000 ($492,000 – 710,000), is because this is a car without actual racing history. The car was assembled around an unused P34 chassis and is generally seen as ‘chassis 8’.

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Wolf Racing WR1. Photo RM Sotheby’s

The Wolf miracle

Moving on to what may be the hidden gem in the sale: Scheckter’s 1977 Wolf WR1. Walter Wolf was a self-made oil trader for whom the seventies oil crisis brought serious wealth. He indulged his passion for cars and racing through Lamborghinis (mostly) and through his own Formula 1 team. After an initial association with Frank Williams and Patrick Head, Wolf Racing had a highly successful season in Formula 1. Success that was for one part due to engineer Harvey Postlethwaite (who built upon a design by Patrick Head) and for the other part, Jody Scheckter signed on.

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Jody Scheckter avoids trouble in Wolf #20 in Dutch GP, Zandvoort, 1977. He’d finish third. Photo Koen Suyk/Anefo

Despite being just a one-car entry, Scheckter made the most of it, winning no less than three GPs (Argentina, Monaco and Canada). He finished on the podium on six other occasions. The South African finished the season in second place, behind Niki Lauda. If it did anything, it alerted Ferrari that Scheckter was championship material.

No reserve

WR1 is priced with an estimate of €450,000 to €650,000 ($492,000 – 710,000). Apart from the Ferrari, all cars are offered ‘no reserve’. But with a history like this, and offered at the sale coinciding with the Monaco GP Historique, don’t expect any bargains.

More on the other cars from RM Sotheby’s Scheckter collection here.

Report by Johan Dillen

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