Bonhams is preparing a unique opportunity to buy a one-of-a-kind piece of motorsport history in November 2023. A chance to bid on a world championship-winning Formula 1 car at the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix 2023. The vehicle in question is the 1978 John Player Special Lotus-Cosworth Type 79. The same race car Mario Andretti won the 1978 Formula 1 World Championship, making him the second American to win an F1 championship.
This Type 79 is the only existing race car driven by an American to win an F1 World Championship. In addition to being tied to Mario Andretti, one of the greatest racing drivers in history. Moreover, the car is a pioneering example of motorsport engineering with breakthroughs in aerodynamics still in use today. As a result, the Type 79 holds its weight in history, fame, and collectability.
The John Player Special Lotus-Cosworth Type 79 chassis 79/4 is an improved version of its Type 78 predecessor. The car’s aerodynamic ground effects created a suction effect that glued the tires to the track, allowing maximum grip. This advantage in the hands of Andretti and teammate Ronnie ‘Super-Swede’ Peterson resulted in six wins, five podium finishes, ten pole positions, and five of the fastest racing laps during the 1978 F1 season.
The car earned the Black Beauty nickname thanks to its signature black and gold livery. This Bonhams auction will be the first to be held at a Grand Prix event, as Bonhams is now an official partner of the Formula 1 Paddock Club. The 1978 John Player Special Lotus-Cosworth Type 79 will be auctioned by Bonhams during the weekend of November 24-26 at the season-closing Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
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