Classify of the Week: Senna’s F1 car

26 March, 2013 | by topgear

Picture the scene: it’s June 1984 – no, not 1984, though the torrential rain could have been cooked up in an Orwellian nightmare – and the Monaco GP is host to a very special Formula One debutante. One Ayrton Senna da Silva.

Starting from 13th on the grid, he is hemmed in by drivers such as Keke Rosberg, Nelson Piquet, Niki Lauda and Nigel Mansell. On the top spot sits Alain Prost. Once the race begins however, this young Brazilian promptly wows the world by posting the fastest lap, overtaking F1 royalty and getting on the tail of Prost.

Some reckon Senna would have taken Prost given time, but the race was canned because of that rain, meaning Senna finished second. But… what a debut. And this week, TopGear.commers, is a special week: not only would it have been Ayrton’s 53rd birthday, but here we have the exact car he drove at the 1984 Monaco GP up for sale.

It’s the Toleman-Hart TG184-2 (the same one that failed to sell at Silverstone’s auction last year), designed by Rory Byrne and Pat Symonds, and powered by a 1.5-litre straight-four turbo engine. It’s got double wishbones and pull-rod actuated coil springs over dampers at the front, and double wishbones and push-rod actuated coil springs over dampers at the back. A setup Senna used to good effect: along with Monaco, he got onto the podium at the 1984 British GP, and finished 4th at the Italian GP that same year.

Of course, he would go on to cement himself as possibly the greatest Formula One driver in history, securing three world championships (1988, 1990, 1991), 41 race wins and 65 pole positions. But this unassuming little Toleman is the car where it all began for Senna.

It’s being sold by Memento Exclusives on behalf of a private collector, and the price is on request. Do bear in mind though, it had a reserve price just above  R7.5 million when it was auctioned last year. So what do you think… Is that worth it for this piece of Formula One history?

     

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