Thursday, 1 December 2011

Macklin Healey

NOJ 393 is a car with a tragic history; indeed, it was responsible for the worst and deadliest crash in motor racing history. Competing in the 1955 24 Heures du Mans, Lance Macklin swerved the Austin-Healey 100 at the end of lap 35 to avoid Mike Hawthorn, whose disc brake-equipped D-Type Jaguar, slowing for a pit stop, caught Macklin unawares and sent him to the centre of the track... and right into the path of Pierre Levegh's Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR. Levegh had no time to react and, with Macklin's Healey acting as a ramp, he launched into the air and hit an earth bank at great speed. The car splintered into countless pieces; the engine rocketed through the crowd while the wreckage ignited - rich in magnesium, it burned for hours. In total, over eighty people were killed.

...and now this legendarily cursed Healey is due to be auctioned by Bonhams - click here to see. So - what price would you put on such a volatile symbol of the dark side of racing?

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