Niki Lauda's Race-Winning Ferrari 312T Formula 1 Car Expected to Auction for $8 Million
Formula 1 ace Niki Lauda collected five poles, three podiums, and a Grand Prix win in this car, helping end Ferrari's 11-year title drought.
'Tis the season to sell historic Ferrari Formula 1 cars as along with Schumacher's, one of the late Niki Lauda's Grand Prix-winning Ferrari 312Ts will be auctioned off this August at Pebble Beach, where it is expected to sell for as much as $8 million.
Introduced in 1975, the 312T was a successful evolution of the fast-but-flawed 312B3, which claimed nine poles but converted only two into Grand Prix wins. Lauda piloted the 312T to the first of his eventual three drivers' titles, taking five race wins, and earning one of which in the car headed to auction—chassis 022. Each of the five times Lauda drove 312T number 022, he achieved pole position, which he thrice converted into a podium finish, and once, a race win, at the French Grand Prix.
This distinguished Ferrari will make its trip across the auction block during the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, as part of a large auction consigned by Gooding & Company. The eponymous David Gooding reportedly appraised this renowned Ferrari's value at between $6 million and $8 million.
In the release ahead of the auction, Gooding & Co.'s Hans Wurl said, “The Ferrari 312T is among the most important and dominant Grand Prix models in the marque’s celebrated history. Never before has a 312T been presented at auction, and this example, having been an integral part in legendary Austrian driver Niki Lauda's championship win, makes this a once in a lifetime opportunity. This is a consignment several years in the making, and it is a truly rare chance to acquire a Formula One car of this significance."
As mentioned, the car's current American owner has been in talks with Gooding & Co. to sell no. 022 for several years now and comes just a month after Niki Lauda passed away at age 70, from kidney failure. Not the way we thought one of F1's greatest, and toughest, drivers to go out—if we're being honest. Lauda's life was celebrated not only by fans of racing, but also his competitors—who thanked him for his unwavering devotion to safety in motorsport—and proteges, one of whom attributes Lauda's influence for his tremendous success in racing.
Anyone who has ever flown in certain Boeings has Lauda to thank for their safe travels, too. He once went head-to-head with Boeing over faulty thrust reversers, the cause of a crash that killed 223 people. Boeing admitted fault and fixed the problem after Lauda's public campaign.