The ex-Works, Hoshino/Wada/A Suzuki, Le Mans 24 Hours,1987 Nissan R87E Group C Sports Prototype  Chassis no. 87G-3 Engine no. VE45

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 325
1987 Nissan R87E Group C Sports Prototype
Chassis no. 87G-3 Engine no. VE45

£ 420,000 - 480,000
US$ 520,000 - 600,000
The ex-Works, Hoshino/Wada/A Suzuki, Le Mans 24 Hours
1987 Nissan R87E Group C Sports Prototype
Chassis no. 87G-3
Engine no. VE45

Footnotes

  • This Nissan sports prototype, chassis number 'R87G-3', is one of four upgraded to R88C specification for the 1988 season of Group C sports car racing. Regarded by many as a modern 'golden age' of international sports car competition, the FIA's Group C category for roofed prototypes lasted from 1982 to 1993. Rather than being based on engine capacity and weight, the traditional parameters of motor racing formulae, Group C placed a limit on the amount of fuel permitted but otherwise allowed constructors virtually a free hand in design. As interest in the class grew, the world's major motor manufacturers joined the fray with Ford, Porsche, Jaguar, Aston Martin, Lancia, Mercedes-Benz, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota all fielding works entries.

    Nissan's initial support for the formula was relatively low-key. In 1983 they supplied engines for the privately run Hoshino team and it was not until 1985 that a factory competitions department was formed, known as Nissan Motorsport, or 'Nismo'. In 1986 Nissan commissioned the British manufacturer March to supply a chassis suitable for Group C. Designed by former McLaren Formula 1 engineer Gordon Coppuck, it was a monocoque fabricated from aluminium honeycomb panels, and featured side-mounted radiators for greater aerodynamic efficiency. The four chassis built were shipped to Nissan in Japan for completion.

    The Japanese manufacturer already had experience of building an engine for sports car racing, its production-derived V6, used initially by the Electromotive team for the IMSA GTP series in the USA, having been undergoing development for the preceding couple of years. For 1986 this engne was extensively reworked to take advantage of the less restrictive Group C rules, re-emerging with an aluminium block and twin Garrett turbochargers, replacing the cast-iron block and single turbocharger of the GTP unit. Around 700bhp was available from this 3.0-litre engine in race trim, with up to 1000 horsepower on tap for qualifying.

    The first of Nissan's new R86 Group C prototypes debuted at a national race at Suzuka but was sidelined following a fire in practice. Lacking development, the R86 failed at Le Mans while an earlier R85 could only manage 16th. All four cars competed at Fuji later in the year, the two survivors finishing 10th and 11th. Undeterred by these poor results, Nissan regrouped for 1987.

    Its hopes for success were centred on a new purpose-built 3.0-litre V8 'VEJ30' racing engine equipped with twin IHI turbochargers, which out-performed the old V6 in terms of both maximum power and fuel economy. An exclusive chassis supply deal had been concluded with March, which shipped three new 87G cars to Japan. In Nissan nomenclature they became the R87E. Surprisingly, given the disappointments of 1986, Nissan once again undertook very little competition proving prior to Le Mans, which was its primary objective, a single entry at Fuji being the R87E's solitary outing. The car failed to finish, as did the two R87Es that ran at Le Mans. Engine failures had been the cause of all these retirements so the V8 was completely redesigned for 1988 as the 'VRH30', the existing March 86G/87G chassis being adapted to accommodate the new power plant. These changes included a lengthened wheelbase and revised aerodynamics on the resulting R88C cars.

    Learning from past mistakes, Nissan entered more races in the run up to Le Mans where it was represented by two works R88Cs and two privately entered V6-engined cars. Reliability once again proved to be the Nissan's Achilles heel, though the Japanese manufacturer did manage to get one of the R88Cs to the finish, albeit 50 laps behind the winning Jaguar XJR-9. The other car, that offered here, completed 286 laps before the engine failed. '87G-3' also competed in six races at Fuji and Suzuka in 1988. Always carrying competitor number '23', it was usually driven by Kazuyoshi Hoshino and Kenji Takahashi. They were joined by Win Percy for the Fuji 1000km in May, while for the Le Mans 24 Hours, Hoshino was partnered by Takao Wada and Aguri Suzuki. Its complete 1988 race history is as follows:

    3rd March - Fuji 500km, Hoshino/Takahashi, DNF
    10th April - Suzuka 500km, Hoshino/Takahashi, 6th
    1st May - Fuji 1000km, Hoshino/Takahashi/Percy, 7th
    12th June - Le Mans 24 Hours, Hoshino/Wada/A Suzuki, DNF
    24th July - Fuji 500miles, Hoshino/Takahashi, 5th
    28th August - Suzuka 1000km, Hoshino/Takahashi/T Suzuki, DNF
    9th October - Fuji 1000km, Hoshino/Takahashi/Grice, 9th

    Despite a switch to Lola chassis and the development of an enlarged V8 engine, Nissan had little to show for its involvement in Group C by the time the factory pulled the plug on the campaign, pole position at Le Mans in 1990 being the summit of its achievement.

    '87G-3' later passed into the ownership of Robert Berridge of Beckley, Oxfordshire, from whom it was acquired by the current vendor. The car has been restored (see certification on file) and retains its 1988 Calsonic sponsor's livery and Le Mans driver listing. The transmission and engine were rebuilt as part of the restoration, and Xtec Engineering's £27,347 bill for its work on the latter, dated May 2011, is on file also. Rebuilt to the specification of the later 3.3-litre unit, the engine recorded a power output reading of 780bhp on the dynamometer. A later Stack dashboard is the only other notified deviation from factory specification.

    '87G-3' has run for less than one hour since the rebuild's completion and is presented in commensurately good condition. Offered with (lapsed) Group C Racing Technical Document, '87G-3' represents a rare opportunity to acquire an ex-works Group C sports prototype with in-period Le Mans history.
Contacts
The ex-Works, Hoshino/Wada/A Suzuki, Le Mans 24 Hours,1987 Nissan R87E Group C Sports Prototype  Chassis no. 87G-3 Engine no. VE45
The ex-Works, Hoshino/Wada/A Suzuki, Le Mans 24 Hours,1987 Nissan R87E Group C Sports Prototype  Chassis no. 87G-3 Engine no. VE45
The ex-Works, Hoshino/Wada/A Suzuki, Le Mans 24 Hours,1987 Nissan R87E Group C Sports Prototype  Chassis no. 87G-3 Engine no. VE45
The ex-Works, Hoshino/Wada/A Suzuki, Le Mans 24 Hours,1987 Nissan R87E Group C Sports Prototype  Chassis no. 87G-3 Engine no. VE45
The ex-Works, Hoshino/Wada/A Suzuki, Le Mans 24 Hours,1987 Nissan R87E Group C Sports Prototype  Chassis no. 87G-3 Engine no. VE45
The ex-Works, Hoshino/Wada/A Suzuki, Le Mans 24 Hours,1987 Nissan R87E Group C Sports Prototype  Chassis no. 87G-3 Engine no. VE45
The ex-Works, Hoshino/Wada/A Suzuki, Le Mans 24 Hours,1987 Nissan R87E Group C Sports Prototype  Chassis no. 87G-3 Engine no. VE45
The ex-Works, Hoshino/Wada/A Suzuki, Le Mans 24 Hours,1987 Nissan R87E Group C Sports Prototype  Chassis no. 87G-3 Engine no. VE45
The ex-Works, Hoshino/Wada/A Suzuki, Le Mans 24 Hours,1987 Nissan R87E Group C Sports Prototype  Chassis no. 87G-3 Engine no. VE45
The ex-Works, Hoshino/Wada/A Suzuki, Le Mans 24 Hours,1987 Nissan R87E Group C Sports Prototype  Chassis no. 87G-3 Engine no. VE45
The ex-Works, Hoshino/Wada/A Suzuki, Le Mans 24 Hours,1987 Nissan R87E Group C Sports Prototype  Chassis no. 87G-3 Engine no. VE45
The ex-Works, Hoshino/Wada/A Suzuki, Le Mans 24 Hours,1987 Nissan R87E Group C Sports Prototype  Chassis no. 87G-3 Engine no. VE45
The ex-Works, Hoshino/Wada/A Suzuki, Le Mans 24 Hours,1987 Nissan R87E Group C Sports Prototype  Chassis no. 87G-3 Engine no. VE45
The ex-Works, Hoshino/Wada/A Suzuki, Le Mans 24 Hours,1987 Nissan R87E Group C Sports Prototype  Chassis no. 87G-3 Engine no. VE45
The ex-Works, Hoshino/Wada/A Suzuki, Le Mans 24 Hours,1987 Nissan R87E Group C Sports Prototype  Chassis no. 87G-3 Engine no. VE45
The ex-Works, Hoshino/Wada/A Suzuki, Le Mans 24 Hours,1987 Nissan R87E Group C Sports Prototype  Chassis no. 87G-3 Engine no. VE45
The ex-Works, Hoshino/Wada/A Suzuki, Le Mans 24 Hours,1987 Nissan R87E Group C Sports Prototype  Chassis no. 87G-3 Engine no. VE45
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

Like the vast majority of auctioneers Bonhams charge what is known as a Buyer's Premium. Buyer's Premium on all Automobilia lots will adhere to Bonhams group policy:

25% up to £50,000 of hammer price,
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 of hammer price,
and 12% on the balance thereafter. This applies to each lot purchased and is subject to VAT.

For Motor Cars and Motorcycles a 15% Buyer's Premium is payable on the first £50,000 of the final Hammer Price of each Lot, and 12% on any amount by which the Hammer Price exceeds £50,000. VAT at the standard rate is payable on the Premium by all Buyers, unless otherwise stated.

Some lots may be subject to VAT on the Hammer Price. These lots will be clearly marked with the relevant symbol printed beside the lot number in the catalog.

Collection Notices

Automobilia
All purchased lots must be cleared from the sale venue by 6pm on the day of the sale. All un-collected purchased lots shall then be removed to Bonhams storage facility at:
Unit 1 Sovereign Park, Coronation Road, Park Royal, London, NW10 7QP, and will be available for collection from 10am Tuesday 1 July 2014 by appointment only.

To arrange collection please contact the
Automobilia Department 020 8963 2840 or automobilia@bonhams.com to make an appointment.

All lots will be charged £10+VAT uplift and storage at £1+VAT per day per lot.
All lots marked with a ◊ will be charged £25+VAT uplift and storage at £5+VAT per day per lot.
All lots marked with a ◊◊ will be charged £50+VAT uplift and storage at £10+VAT per day per lot.
All lots marked with a ◊◊◊ will require specific shipping and storage arrangements, as they are either extremely large or heavy objects.

Shippers or Agents wishing to collect on behalf of the purchaser must provide written instruction from the client before Bonhams will release the lot(s).

All purchases are at buyers risk from the fall of the hammer.

Motor Cars
Vehicles must be collected from the sale venue on the evening of the day of the sale. After this cars are moved to local store where they need to be collected by 12 noon on Monday 30 June. (Please see Guide for Buyers in the printed and online catalogues).

Buyers should satisfy themselves that they have collected all relevant log books, documents and keys relating to their Lot(s) at time of collection. Otherwise Lots shall be
removed to storage at the Buyer's expense (see below)
. Lots are at the Buyer's risk from the fall of the hammer. It is strongly advisable that overseas purchasers and absentee bidders make arrangements regarding collection with Bonhams in advance of Sale.

Removal and Storage of Vehicles
All Lots not removed in accordance with the above will be transported by Polygon Transport to local store:
Polygon Transport
Unit 2H North Road
Marchwood Industrial Park
Normandy Way
Marchwood, Southampton
Hants SO40 4BL
02380 871 555
02380 862 111 fax
polygon@polygon-transport.com

Vehicle Removal charges
£220 + VAT per vehicle

Vehicle Storage charges
First 14 days
£14 + VAT per motor car per day
Thereafter
£10 + VAT per motor car per day

Transport and Shipping
A representative of Polygon Transport, will be at the Sale and can arrange national and international transportation as agent for the Buyer or the Seller (as the case may be).

Transporter
Polygon Transport
Unit 2H North Road
Marchwood Industrial Park
Normandy Way
Marchwood, Southampton
Hants SO40 4BL
02380 871 555
02380 862 111 fax
polygon@polygon-transport.com

Vehicle Insurance
Hagerty International Limited
The Arch Barn
Pury Hill Farm
Towcester
Northamptonshire
NN12 7TB
0844 824 1134
www.hagertyinsurance.co.uk

Payment Notices

For payment information please refer to the sale catalog.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.