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GHOST IN THE MACHINE

The ex-Senna Toleman-Hart causes goosebumps in Prindiville’s London showroom

‘I don’t believe in the paranormal,’ confesses Prindiville’s founder, Alex Prindiville, ‘but sometimes when I’m working in our London showroom late at night I feel a presence, a change in the atmospherics of the room.

‘This only started happening after we took delivery of the ex-Ayrton Senna Toleman-Hart F1 car that we’re selling on behalf of its owners. It’s not a spooky feeling, but I definitely get the sensation that I’m not alone. Then again, perhaps the goosebumps are simply because I know what a fantastic history this car has, and its ultimate association with one of motorsport’s great heroes and great tragedies.’

The ex-Senna Toleman-Hart TG184-2 is currently on sale at Prindiville for £1million. With a proven provenance, this is the car in which the gifted Brazilian, during his rookie season in Formula One and his first time on the Monaco Grand Prix street circuit, so very nearly won the 1984 event in dismal conditions, despite starting 13th on the grid.

For the Monaco Grand Prix in 1984 the rain was so heavy that the street circuit had more in common with a water park than a race track. The Toleman-Hart was a good race car, but was up against formidable opposition – McLaren, Ferrari, Lotus, Renault, Williams, Brabham, Ligier and illustrious others. And while Senna’s talents were becoming more defined with each race of his debut season, on that day he was trailing the big guns of F1 – Prost, Lauda, Mansell, Piquet, Arnoux, Tambay, and Rosberg, to name but a few.

Yet heroically and almost unbelievably, by lap 32 of the waterlogged race Senna was ahead of all his rivals, including race leader Prost. At which point the race was stopped and Senna believed he had won. A controversial decision to base the final race placings on the lap prior the red flag meant that Senna’s victory was immediately ripped from his grasp: was a bitter moment.

However, Senna’s charge through the pack in such treacherous conditions was one of the defining moments of his career, marking out the Brazilian as a maestro of the wet and the elevating the Toleman-Hart from a position of underdog to ‘must watch’.

This iconic piece of Senna’s Formula One heritage can be viewed by appointment at Prindiville’s London showroom on the edge of the City of London. Previous owners of the Toleman include ex-F1 star Stefan Johansson; the Swede also raced this car during 1984 when he was for a short time Senna’s team-mate. The Toleman is in exceptional condition, retains the general livery from Senna’s epic Monaco drive, and comes complete with a thick history file and a full set of studio photographs.

Before use by a new owner the Toleman-Hart will require re-commissioning: this work is included within the purchase price of the car.

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