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Rally Trailblazer Pat Moss’ Historic Healey at Bonhams


Goodwood Members’ Meeting

16 Apr 2023

Chichester, Goodwood

The ex-Works, 1960 Liege-Rome-Liege Rally Winner, Pat Moss/Ann Wisdom
1960 Austin Healey 3000 Mk1 BN7 Rally Car

World Famous Austin Healey URX 727 Leads British Sporting Cars at Goodwood Members Meeting Sale

The ’most famous Austin Healey in the world’, URX 727, the historic works car 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 crossing the block on 16 April.

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.

Mossie, Wizz and URX
Affectionately known as URX after its registration number, the 1960 Austin Healey 3000 Mark 1 BN7, 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 notorious 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 female crew to win the notorious rally but also the first British crew driving 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. She pairing up with Ann in 1955, the duo finished fourth in the 1958 RAC Rally and the 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 notching up the Ladies Prize wins at the Monte Carlo and Geneva Rallies before being teamed 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 prizes for both. Not surprisingly, the team was awarded the Driver of the Year Award.

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, estimate £120,000-150,000

The Rauno Aaltonen/Tony Ambrose1964 Monte Carlo Rally Team Winning
1963 Austin/Morris Mini Cooper ’S’ Rally Car, 569 FMO, 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.

Rauno Aaltonen was at the wheel of 569 FMO, one of six identical Cooper Ss fielded by BMC in a field of 277. Along with co-driver Tony Ambrose, the Finn finished seventh overall and third in class.

Famously prepared by John Cooper, racing car designer and head of the eponymous Formula 1 Championship-winning team, the Minis were powered by a new 1071 cc four-cylinder engine delivering around 90 hp – still modest compared with rivals Mercedes-Benz 300 SEs and Ford Falcons but the cars’ front-wheel drive, low weight, wide track and comparatively long wheelbase made them able to punch above their weight, particularly in the snowy conditions.

Post-victory the Minis appeared at Prestwich Hill Climb where Paddy Hopkirk drove 569 FMO, recording the best time of the day. The car was then sold to its first private owner, favoured works driver Mike Wood in November 1964 and was entered in numerous UK rallies.

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, estimate £140,000-180,000

Keith Roper 1954 New Zealand Grand Prix 1953 Austin Healey 100/4 Competition Roadster, chassis 145246, 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.

The trio of private entries were sent direct from the factory to the Ardmore Circuit, specially prepared to Works specification with extra large Carburettors and 16“ wheels.

Of the 42 starters, 24 failed to complete the 100-lap, 210-mile race, but all three Healeys crossed the finish line, including chassis 145426, driven by Keith Roper, an experienced racing driver from Auckland, who finished13th overall.

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.

Tim Schofield, Head of Department, Bonhams Collector Cars UK, said: ”Led by arguably the world’s most famous Healey and one of the legendary Monte Carlo Minis, this exciting selection of historic racing cars perfectly complements Goodwood’s 75th anniversary of hosting motorsport meetings this year"

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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