Shannons Winter Auction

Trio of Significant Historic Racing Cars Headline Shannons Winter Online Timed Auction

Shannons upcoming Winter Online Timed Auction will offer a trio of significant historic racing cars, including a pair of magnificent Brabhams and a fabulous works prepared Lotus Cortina. The online auction, which is to be held from June 8 -15, will be sure to capture the interest of collectors both in Australia and around the globe.

From a private Sydney collection, Shannons will offer a pair of Brabhams dating from the team’s glory years, starting with an example of the first sports racing car made by Motor Racing Developments Ltd at Chessington, the BT5.

Here’s a closer look at these three sought after historic vehicles Shannons have on offer:

1963 Brabham BT5 Sports Racing Car

The company, Motor Racing Developments, was founded in 1960 by World Champion racing driver Sir Jack Brabham and chief designer Ron Tauranac. It rapidly grew into one of the significant players in all forms of motorsport for the next decade, competing at every level from Formula One to Indianapolis.

While the single-seaters took center stage, Brabham also dabbled in sports car racing. The BT5 was the first two-seater model, sharing many of the components with the BT3 and BT6.

Brabham BT5 Sports Racing Car
Brabham BT5 Sports Racing Car. The second of only two Brabham BT5s made

Built in 1963, chassis SC-2-63 was the second of two mid-engined machines built around a Ron Tauranac-designed multi-tubular spaceframe, powered by the legendary Ford Cosworth twin-cam and mated to a Hewland Mark IV gearbox.

Aimed squarely at the Lotus 23, both BT5s were campaigned by quasi-works team Ian Walker Racing, the first driven by Frank Gardner, while this vehicle appeared later in the season with a smaller 1100cc engine for Aussie racer Paul Hawkins.

Subsequently driven by Ed Zeller in the Swiss Hillclimb Championship with a larger 1500cc engine, SC-2-63 went on to race in North America with Bob Randall, reportedly winning the 1965 Northwest SCCA Championship before beginning a new career in vintage racing in the USA and later Europe and Australia, including appearances at the Goodwood Revival in 2006 and 2008.

Meticulously restored back to 1963 colors and bodywork in the current ownership, the BT5 presents in stunning condition, ready to resume its racing career, and comes with current CAMS Certificate of Description and a spares package.  

Shannons Winter Online Timed Auction

1967 Brabham BT23B Intercontinental Single Seater Racing Car

Dating from 1967, the second Brabham on offer is one of only three BT23B single-seaters made, effectively a Formula Libre or hillclimb version of the Formula 2 chassis.

Brabham’s BT23 was the mainstay of the 1967 season, a single-seater chassis that principally raced in Formula 2 that year followed by the updated BT23C in 1968. 

1967 Brabham BT23B Intercontinental Single Seater Racing Car
1967 Brabham BT23B Intercontinental Single Seater Racing Car. One of only three BT23B Brabhams ever made.

Only 3 BT23B chassis were built, two of them sold to hillclimbers and the third intended for Formula Libre events. 

This example, BT23B-2, was completed for wealthy Swiss privateer and regular Brabham customer, Charles Voegele, who competed in both circuit races and hillclimbs with Coventry Climax 2.5 power. 

Remaining in Switzerland for some years, the Brabham eventually passed into the hands of well-known UK collector and historic racer Phil Walker. It was completely restored by Retro Tack & Air in 2000 and then raced in the Masters GP series with some success in the 2000s.  

More recently the current Sydney owner has campaigned the BT23B in local events with great success by pilots John Bowe and Richard Carter guest driving. 

Competing in ten meetings at Sydney Motorsport Park (formerly Eastern Creek) between 2010 and its last race in November 2017, the car usually qualified on the grid’s front row and only had one DNF. 

Shannons Winter Online Timed Auction

Presented in fabulous race-ready condition and eligible for virtually every significant historic race meeting on the planet, the Brabham comes with an extensive spares package.  

1964 Lotus Cortina Mk 1 ‘Works Prepared’ Sedan

The final vehicle on offer by Shannons is a genuine works prepared 1964 Lotus Cortina Mk 1 campaigned by Australian Lotus distributors Ian ‘Pete’ Geoghegan and his brother Leo under the banner of their Sydney-based Total Racing Team.

1964 Lotus Cortina Mk 1
1964 Lotus Cortina Mk 1 ‘Works Prepared’ 2Dr Sedan. One of three works prepared Lotus Cortinas supplied to Australia

One of just three genuine factory-built Mk 1 Lotus Cortinas sent to Australia and virtually identical to the those raced in Britain with great success by champion drivers like Jim Clark and Sir John Whitmore, the Total car – in its distinctive black team livery – was campaigned by the Geoghegan’s for just one season, competing at Warwick Farm, Lakeside, Sandown, Mount Panorama and Catalina Park in 1964.

Meticulously restored to the smallest mechanical detail over a 20-year period by local Lotus Cortina expert Graham Mein, the car retains all its period special features, including its suspension, designed by Tom Geoghegan and legendary motor racing engineer, John Sheppard in conjunction with Tom’s racing sons Leo and Ian.

engine of 1964 Lotus Cortina Mk 1

Because of its rarity, racing provenance and the quality of its restoration, it is expected to appeal to a global audience, with a guiding range of AUD$200,000-$250,000.


Complementing the Cortina is a bevy of fantastic small Fords, including a superbly restored Escort GT1600 (the Australian version of the Twin Cam) estimated at AUD$70,000-90,000), a BDA-powered Escort RS1600 freshly rebuilt to Group 4 specification using all the best bits (AUD$90,000-120,000), a pair of Capri GT V6s – one in Lime Glaze with two long-term owners (AUD$45,000-55,000) and the second an automatic (guided at AUD$35,000-45,000).

Other cars of interest to international collectors include an Australian-delivered 1971 Ferrari 246 GT Dino in beautifully restored condition (AUD$600,000-650,000), a left-hand drive 1967 Maserati Mexico 4.2 Coupe (AUD$80,000-95,000) and a 1965 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III with rare coachbuilt ‘Flying Spur’ bodywork by Mulliner Park Ward (AUD$450,000-500,000) in stunning condition.

A fabulous 1949 Bristol 400 originally owned by local motoring identity Tom Barr-Smith is estimated at AUD$80,000-100,000 and one of the nicest E-types in Australia, an absolutely stunning 4.2 Series 1 Roadster with impeccable provenance, delivered with a factory hardtop and presenting in the original colour scheme of Cream with red leather, is priced at AUD$280,000-340,000. 

With 86 classic cars, 16 motorcycles plus memorabilia, Shannons Winter Timed Online Auction has a huge range of classics from Australia, Japan, Europe, and America on offer.

Further details of all the vehicles on offer at Shannons Winter Timed Online Auction can be found on their website or contact auctions@shannons.com.au.