The world’s fastest 500cc car, as well as a 1957 Australian racing special that has an invitation to Goodwood and what launched as “the fastest unsupercharged standard British car,” are highlights of the Mossgreen Auctions sale scheduled for November 27 in Melbourne.
In 1953, John Brisse of England set a land speed record for a car with a 500cc or smaller engine by averaging 118 mph for one hour. The record stood until 1997, when Henry Julien and Bernard Boyer, working with Honda France and Michelin, among others, launched their small French Blue-colored streamliner and averaged 138.26 mph at a race track at Mortefontaine, some 25 miles from Paris.
Their record still stands.
The Julien & Boyer Matra-Honda has a carbon fiber and epoxy resin body over a tubular steel chassis. Power from a 499cc Honda V-twin engine flows through a six-speed manual gearbox. The driver’s compartment includes a wooden steering wheel, plastic seat, rev counter and temperature gauge.
According to Mossgreen Auctions, the car remains in “virtually pristine” condition and will be sold with its original concept drawings, construction photos, speed-attempt records and official FIA documentation. Pre-auction estimated value is $30,000 (Australian) to $45,000 (Australian), or approximately $23,000 to $35,000 (U.S.).
The 1957 Molina Monza racing special was a project by Melbourne restaurateur and racer Lou Molina, his friend Sil Massola and coachbuilder Brian Burnett. The car has extensive bodyside sculpting and two tall rear fins over an X-braced tubular chassis. Power comes from a supercharged Holden “grey” engine with Repco Highpower crossflow head, which reported produced 199 horsepower on the Repco dyno.
In addition to racing, the car was featured in the 1959 movie On the Beach, with Molina at the wheel during scenes of the races on Philip Island.
The car has been restored and reportedly is ready for vintage racing. Its pre-auction estimated value, in U.S. dollars, is $190,000 to $267,000.
Also on the docket is a 1934 Lagonda M45 Rapide, hailed at the time as the “fastest unsupercharged standard British car.” A Lagonda M45R won at Le Mans in 1935.
Being offered in Melbourne is an example owned by the same family for 82 years. Before their ownership, the car was a factory demonstrator entered in a 1,000-mile endurance run at the Brooklands circuit in England. The car averaged more than 90 mph by half-distance but the torrential rain forced an end to the attempt after less than 600 miles.
The car was purchased and shipped to Fremantle in Western Australia in 1935 and is being offered by the son of its original Aussie owner, Mossgreen said, “in its original color and very much as the current owner’s father purchased the car 82 years ago.”
Pre-auction estimated value is $190,000 to $220,000.