Pretty much every racing car that Ayrton Senna drove became legendary, but there are a few which manage to stand out – his title-winning McLaren MP4/4 from 1988, the McLaren MP4/8 he drove to victory at Donington Park in 1993, and this – the Toleman TG184.
It was the car he drove during his debut season in 1984, the highlight of which was his stirring drive to second place at a soaking Monaco – and it’s that very car that’s being offered for auction.
Designed by Pat Symonds and Rory Byrne, the Hart-powered Toleman wasn’t the quickest car on the grid, but a rainy Monaco circuit negated the horsepower disadvantage and allowed Senna to shine. He raced through from 13th on the grid to run second and started taking chunks of time out of leader Alain Prost – around three seconds a lap.
The rain was worsening, however, and the red flag controversially came out just as Senna was passing Prost for the lead. With results counting back a lap in a red flag situation, Prost was declared the winner with Senna second – still an incredible result, but it’s hard not to imagine what might have been.
The car is now heading back to Monaco to be auctioned by Bonhams. The same car was sold for £1,000,000 a few years ago, so who knows what it might fetch now.
As well as having provenance, it’s also just an awesome-looking car. You’ve gotta love that double rear wing arrangement!
It’s not the only piece of Senna memorabilia going under the hammer, either. Senna’s MP4/8 is also going up for sale, as is the Lotus race suit he was wearing when he won his first Monaco Grand Prix in 1987.
If you’ve got a few million spare, why not head down to Monaco in May and buy all three! You’d have the makings of your very own Senna museum.