Rarely does a Formula One car go on auction, and even rarer does one go under the gavel after having been driven to victory by a man who would become Formula One world champion... James Hunt. You may have heard of him.
RM Auctions will be selling the Hesketh 308 driven by James Hunt during the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique weekend from May 9 to 10, 2014.
The story of the 308 began with Lord Hesketh commissioning Harvey Postlethwaite, a well-known race car engineer, to design and build a new bespoke car which James Hunt, the lead driver of Hesketh Racing, could use in competing for the 1974 Formula One Championship. The 308 has an aluminum monocoque body that is powered by Ford’s Cosworth DFV.
There were only four Hesketh 308 chassis built, and this one has chassis number 308-1. This car made its debut at the 1974 Brands Hatch Race of Champions wherein Hunt managed to take pole, but the race itself wasn’t that successful because Hart was only able to be in the race for four laps. Two weeks later, it had its first grand prix at South Africa were Hunt ran in fifth for much of the race, but once again stopped due to a mechanical failure. Coming from this upset, Hunt once again managed to take pole position at the International Trophy race at Silverstone. After a slow start, Hunt drove his way into the race up until he passed Ronnie Peterson’s Lotus to land Hesketh’s first ever Formula One victory. This event is considered as a landmark for Hesketh Racing and a classic moment in racing history.