Nigel Mansell’s Famous ‘Senna Taxi’ F1 Car Is Going up for Auction
The British driver famously gave Senna a lift after the Brazilian ran out of fuel during the 1991 British Grand Prix.
Formula 1 cars don't come up for sale every day, but virtually all those that do can tell a story or two from their time in competition. This Williams FW14 as raced by Nigel Mansell is no exception, with the car up for sale at RM Sotheby's in May, as reported by CarScoops.
The car in question took Nigel Mansell to second in the driver's championship in 1991, finishing behind the legendary Ayrton Senna in the Brazilian's last championship victory. It's being sold alongside other vehicles from Mansell's personal collection; other highlights include Mansell's 1989 Ferrari 640 as driven to victory in Brazil and Hungary that year, and a 2005 Reynard 2KIwhich gave Mansell the win in the 2006 Grand Prix Masters series.
As for chassis FW14-05, Mansell first took victory at the French Grand Prix on his first weekend competing in the car. Mansell went on to score pole position and the win at the British Grand Prix, with a dominant performance leading him to finish a full 42 seconds ahead of Gerhard Berger's McLaren MP4/6. It was at this race that Senna famously ran out of fuel on lap 58, finishing fourth, with Mansell stopping by the side of the track to pick up the rival driver and carry him back to the pits on the in-lap.
Further victories came at the German, Italian, and Spanish Grand Prix. The latter saw Mansell and Senna dueling wheel to wheel, throwing sparks as they diced for position, in one of the more famous images from the early 90s era of Formula 1.
The FW14 was widely considered the most technologically advanced in the field upon its introduction in 1991, but reliability issues held the team back from claiming either the driver's or constructors' championships that year. The car was later developed into the dominant FW14B, which often trounced the rest of the field by up to 2 seconds a lap with its active suspension and traction control electronics. Mansell claimed the 1992 title behind the wheel of the FW14B, taking a then-record 9 race wins for the year.
The car was gifted to Mansell at the end of the season as a reward for his success, with the car remaining in his personal collection until now. The car is for sale sans its Renault V10 engine, and is expected to sell for between €1.5-€3 million, or $1.6-3.2 million USD, when it hits the auction block in Monaco on May 14.
Those eager to see the car move once more may contemplate fitting a Judd V10 or similar engine commonly used in privately-owned F1 cars. However, given the provenance of the car, and the big names attached to its history, we suspect this one will remain preserved in very much original condition.
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