RM Sotheby’s is delighted to announce the inclusion of a delightful 1934 MG PA/B, chassis PA/1711, which showcased female driving talent at the 1935 Le Mans 24 hour race, at its annual London sale, 7 September at Battersea Evolution. Representing an important part of British pre-war motorsport heritage, the diminutive 948 cc four-cylinder MG is one of approximately 75 automobiles slated for the central London auction.
Chassis PA/1711 was raced as number 56 in the 1935 version of the legendary endurance competition, where it was driven exclusively by well-known female racers of the period as part of a high-profile three car Works team. The trio of identical cars was managed by Captain George Eyston, himself a veteran of the 1928 and 1929 Le Mans races and a holder of the word land speed record. The group was unfairly dubbed by the media at the time as ‘Eyston’s Dancing Daughters’, with PA/1711 driven by Joan Richmond and Barbara Simpson, who had been a familiar sight on the international racing scene before the war, and who boasted solid and successful racing records. The meticulously prepared cars featured a wide range of special components and unique modifications, including significant performance upgrades to the engine, brakes and gearbox. The three MGs proved quick and reliable on the track, with all three making steady progress during the notoriously hard race. Richmond and Simpson brought #56 home in first place among the team, which finished 24th, 25th and 26th overall.
Today, the example on offer is the sole survivor of that 1935 three-car team. After Le Mans, two of the cars, including PA/1711, were reborn as supercharged Works hill-climbers, while one car was sold off by the factory. PA/1711 has spent much of the last 35 years in long-term ownership; fully restored in 1995, it is presented in fantastic condition, ready to be enjoyed. (Est. £95,000-£120,000).
Annette Abaci, Car Specialist, RM Sotheby’s, and one of very few women professionally involved in the collector car auction scene, says: “I love this little car. Pre-war sports cars are a particular passion of mine but this particular car is an important touch point for all women involved in the classic car industry and in the broader motorsport world. It also happens to be a wonderful car to participate with in clubs such as the VSCC and in other international pre-war clubs and events.”
Other significant early entries for the RM Sotheby’s London sale include:
- a 1964 Ferrari 250 GT/L Berlinetta ‘Lusso’, chassis 5885GT (Est. £1,200,000-£1,500,000);
- a 1950 Aston Martin DB2 Vantage, chassis LML/50/19 (Est. £290,000-£320,000);
The official auction of the UK’s prestigious Concours of Elegance, RM’s exclusive evening London sale will be held at Battersea Evolution on 7 September, with a preview of auction vehicles scheduled for 6 September. For full event information or to view a frequently updated list of entries, please visit www.rmsothebys.com or contact RM’s London office at +44 (0) 20 7851 7070. For further information on the Concours of Elegance, this year held at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, please visit concoursofelegance.co.uk.
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Note: Press release courtesy RM Auctions.