Lot 54 (The Pavilion Gardens, 13th April 2005)
Sold for £47,250
(including buyers premium)
Registration No: N/A
Chassis No: 4961
Mot Expiry: N/A
The building of 'Specials' has always had a special place in motoring, particularly so in the pioneering days when the intrepid constructors of one-off machines put their ideas into practice. The exploits of Count Zborowksi and his formidable aero-engined monsters has became part of motor sport folklore, while it was the lightweight specials which dominated competitive vintage motoring, especially in hill climbing in the 1920s, with epic performances from the likes of Captain Archie Frazer-Nash and his diminutive 1.1-litre twin powered GN 'Kim'.
Having been mightily impressed with the successful competition outings at post-war meetings of the Cognac Special driven by Ron Footit, Canadian John Sebert commissioned the Cleobury Mortimer motor engineer to construct a replica in the form of this 1930 GN/AC monoposto special in the early 1970s. The project involved employing a GN chassis, adopting chain-drive with four forward speeds, the sprockets being readily interchangeable depending on the gearing required for different venues, and specially preparing an AC motor of 1991cc capacity with steel camshaft and special rockers, fed by triple SU carbs.
Back home in North America, Sebert and the special enjoyed much success with wins in vintage races at Laguna Seca, in the Detroit GP, at Watkins Glen and Pittsburgh. In the 1980s, the Footit-built car returned home to the UK, becoming a static part of a private collection for around ten years. Soon, however, and the car did see some action again, becoming a top runner in vintage events during most of the 1990s, securing the Motor Sport Brooklands Trophy in 1997 and again in 1999. It also won the Patrick Marsh Trophy, the Holland Trophy and Parry Thomas Trophy races.
The engine was last rebuilt for the 2001 season when the car was shod with new 19ins diameter wire wheels complying with VSCC regs and five-stud Dunlops. Proving to be ultra-competitive, further wins were scored at Cadwell and Donington Parks and Fastest Time of Days achieved at Curborough and Prescott, where the car ascended the famous Gloucestershire hillclimb course in a very creditable 42.09 seconds.
In fact, since acquisition at auction in August 2001, the current owner has only driven the Cognac Special rep once and that was at a Sprint meeting at Long Marston where car and driver, once again, achieved yet another class win. Due to a disability, however, he has found that the single-seater is actually not that suitable for him to compete with and, as a result, the car, which has extensive US and UK racing history, has been moth-balled since late 2001.
Claimed by the vendor to be in perfect condition and fully race prepared, and only requiring basic recommissioning before another season's work, this famous competition car comes with a VSCC logbook confirming the all-important 1930-dating and eligibility of GN/AC chassis number 4963 as a single-seater special.
PLEASE NOTE: We have not had this vehicle running.