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Classic Motoring Memories

Classic Motoring Memories

The ‘most famous Austin Healey in the world’, URX 727, driven to victory by trailblazing female rally driver Pat Moss in the notorious Liege-Rome-Liege Rally, will slide into Bonhams Goodwood Members Meeting sale, leading a trio of British sporting cars under the hammer on April 16.

Also lining up will be one of the famous Monte Carlo Mini-Cooper Ss which secured the maiden win for the BMC team in the 1964 rally and another Healey which contested the very first New Zealand Grand Prix in 1954.

Mossie, Wizz and URX

Affectionately known as URX after its registration number, the 1960 Austin Healey 3000 Mark 1 BN7 (sale estimate £350,000-£450,000) made history piloted by Pat – sister of racing driver Stirling - with co-driver Ann Wisdom to overall victory in the Liege-Rome-Liege Rally. The year’s toughest European event was a 96-hour, circa 3,500km marathon across Germany, Austria, Italy and Yugoslavia. The pair were not only the first winning female crew but also the first British crew in a British car to place first.

‘Mossie and Wizz’ were one of only 13 teams to finish the gruelling event, having overcome a damaged gearbox, which had to be replaced en-route, and Pat’s fatigue from driving nearly 90 hours non-stop. The victorious pair led their fellow works Healeys in second and third place, thus winning the team prize for the marque.

The result was the greatest triumph of Pat’s successful career, which started at the age of 18 in club rallying. Pairing up with Ann in 1955, the duo finished fourth in the 1958 RAC Rally and Liege-Rome-Liege – the first women to finish in the Top 10, also winning that year’s Ladies European Championship, a title they would clinch again in 1962 (and on three further occasions).

However, 1960 was the standout season, with the pair also taking the Ladies Prize at the Monte Carlo and Geneva Rallies before teaming up with URX. In this brand-new Healey, they finished 8th overall and 1st in class in the Tulip Rally, followed by a 2nd overall and 1st in class result in the Alpine Rally, again winning the Ladies prize for both, before their triumph in that year's Liege - Rome - Liege. Not surprisingly, the team was awarded the Driver of the Year Award.

In 1961, Pat acquired her beloved Healey in 1961 for £500. She and Ann were later reunited with URX at an Austin Healey event in 2007, where the meticulously-restored 3000 won first prize for best car, and later at Silverstone where the duo signed its roof. The autographed URX

is offered with a full history file including its original logbook with entries for the MG Car Company and Pat Moss as first owners.

Lining up with the historic Healey are:

The Rauno Aaltonen/Tony Ambrose1964 Monte Carlo Rally Team Winning 1963 Austin/Morris Mini Cooper 'S' Rally Car, 569 FMO, (sale estimate £120,000-£150,000).

One of the ‘Three Musketeers’ which started the Mini-Cooper S legend at the Monte Carlo rally, 569 FMO secured the team trophy for BMC along with its sister cars famously driven by overall winner Paddy Hopkirk and Timo Mäkinen.

Fully restored in the 1980s, this Mini was acquired twenty years ago by vendor Paul Roberts and has since appeared in many high-profile events, including the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where it has once again been driven by Aaltonen and Hopkirk.

Keith Roper 1954 New Zealand Grand Prix 1953 Austin Healey 100/4 Competition Roadster, chassis 145246, (sale estimate £140,000-£180,000).

An incredibly rare survivor of the early Grand Prix era when sports cars competed against single seaters, this 100/4 was one of three Austin Healeys contesting the inaugural New Zealand Grand Prix in Auckland, against the likes of Jack Brabham’s Cooper-Bristol MkII.

Following its subsequent successful racing career in New Zealand, the Healey was put into storage for 34 years before being restored in 2005. Repatriated by the vendor in 2014, the Carmine Red 100/4 looks as it did when it left the factory in October 1953, with its original chassis, body and engine and 16-inch racing wheels.

Bonhams UK’s first collector car sale of 2023 will offer a wide selection of racing and sporting cars from the dawn of motoring to the present day. All lots will be available to view at the Bonham Marquee at the Goodwood Motor Circuit on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 April before going under the hammer at 1pm on the Sunday. Final consignments are being invited. Contact for further details and to register.

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