Lot 314: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16V Group A Racing Saloon
The compact and extremely high-performance Cosworth-developed Mercedes-Benz 190E saloon or touring cars were very highly regarded during their heyday in the 1980s. This particular example now offered here was campaigned by the Leyton House racing team in Japan during the 1985 and 1986 seasons. The Cosworth-modified engine developed some 280bhp and the Leyton House-sponsored Mercedes-Benz became a familiar competitor within the immensely popular Japanese class of Group A touring car racing. Its rivals included cars campaigned by the cream of the Japanese motor industry, featuring teams from Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Honda, Isuzu, Subaru and Mitsubishi.
The sponsoring Leyton House company was headed by the enthusiastic Mr Akira Akagi who found his feet in the motor racing world partly through his association with this potent Mercedes. In 1989 he bought the March Racing Formula 1 team, and changed its name to Leyton House Racing. The team then contested the Formula 1 World Championship series in 1990 and 1991, Leyton House designers including the now much celebrated Adrian Newey.
The Japanse touring car series dated back to the late 1960s and had been widely dominated by Nissan Skyline models until the Mazda Savannah broke their stranglehold. As Japanese racing emphasis shifted to endurance sports-prototype cars, the touring car Championship was replaced in 1979 by Formula Silhouette racing, with qualifying rounds being run as support events to the sports-racing Grand Championship.
After a brief hiatus, the touring car competition was revived within Japan in 1985 catering for Group A cars such as this Mercedes-Benz. At its height the Championship was contested by Toyota Supras, Nissan Skylines, BMW M3s, Honda Civics and Toyota Corolla variants. It was hard fought and in many ways a very sophisticated class, and in the mid-1980s the Mercedes-Benz 190E was very much a new face, and new shape upon that particular block.
This car was driven by the late Akira Hagiwara who was successfully in Formula 2 and Grand Championship race series back in early 1980ÃÂs and he was planned to drive the Leyton House Formula 1 program in 1987, but had an accident with this Mercedes test in 1986 at Sportland Sugo. This car is in a running condition.
Sports, Competition & Collectors Motor Cars|
Bonhams, Goodwood Revival, Chichester, Sussex
|Hammer Price (inc premium)||£14375|
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