100-year old Peugeot expected to start bidding war 0

Peugeot

A 100-year-old Peugeot race car is set to start a bidding war amongst classic collectors, and is expected to fetch a whopping £4 million when it goes under the hammer.

The 1913 L45 was one of the great speedsters of its time, capable of 100 mph (faster than a modern day Peugeot 108). The hefty expected price reflects the huge interest in the vintage racer, 250 times more expensive than any model currently on sale and more than three times any amount ever paid for a Peugeot.

The L45 is a fine example of the output Peugeot was turning out when it was known as a king of the racetrack instead of the practical family car maker we think of it as today.

The car was fitted with a 4.5-litre, 112bhp engine capable of turning out ludicrously fast performances and prompted many rivals of the French car maker to copy the design.

World War One saw the car transported to the US and whilst there it was entered into the Indy 500, where it finished an impressive third place in 1916.

A statement from Bonhams said: “The 1913 Peugeot 4.5-Litre L45 is not only regarded by many as the father of all racing engines, but this specific car ran in the 1916 Indianapolis 500.

“Decades later when Bothwell took the Peugeot back to Indianapolis to compete in the Veteran Class, he beat Dario Resta’s 85mph lap record at over 103mph – a record that had stood for 30 years.

“Tremendously historic and full of provenance, the significance of this race car cannot be overstated, particularly when one considers that it was this engine that inspired Miller, Offenhauser and a host of others.

“It is one of the most original and pure racing cars of this era we have ever had the pleasure of offering.”

Rupert Banner, vice president, group motoring director at Bonhams, added: “Lindley Bothwell never parted with the car, and it has remained in his family ever since.

“Its remarkably uncomplicated life particularly for a race car, has meant that it is not only one of the most important cars of all time, but that its originality and authenticity is incredibly well preserved.”

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