The SuperSwede’s Monaco-winning Formula 3 car will be auctioned by Bonhams at the Monaco auction in May.
It’s a milestone machine that marked a milestone moment. And now, the 1969 Tecno – the machine which marked the arrival of ‘SuperSwede’ Ronnie Peterson onto the world stage – is heading to auction. Bonhams will offer the car at its Monaco auction on 11 May, with an estimate of €80,000-€120,000.
Peterson raced the Tecno in the Formula 3 Supporting Race in the 1969 Monaco Grand Prix - the race that catapulted the unknown Scandinavian driver into the higher echelons of motor racing.
But Peterson wasn’t just a driver. The ‘SuperSwede’s’ reputation was as much based on his personality, indeed his retiring and friendly demeanour won him many friends in the paddock. Together with his beautiful wife, Barbro, the Petersons were F1’s golden couple.
The son of a motor racing enthusiast father Peterson began his racing career in karting, and rapidly demanded attention as a star in the making. He first entered 1-litre Formula 3 racing in the Svebe, a car which he co-designed and built with his father, copying a contemporary Brabham design. But his career soon progressed to the Italian-made Tecno – now on offer at the Monaco sale by Bonhams.
Peterson drove the Tecno to no fewer than sixteen race wins through the 1969 season with his Monaco victory focusing Formula 1 team attention upon the blonde new boy from Sweden. By 1970, Peterson was elevated to Formula 1 – initially driving a privately-entered March-Cosworth 701 – but in 1971 he became the March F1 team leader, finishing second in no fewer than five Formula 1 Grand Prix races.
His results were impressive: by the end of the year he was runner-up to Jackie Stewart in the World Championship table. Joining John Player Team Lotus, Ronnie Peterson then confirmed his ‘Superswede’ nickname, winning eight Grands Prix from 1973-76. But in 1978 – after winning both the South African and Austrian GPs – Peterson was killed at Monza in one of the most controversial accidents in motorsport history. A multi-car pile-up at the start of the Italian GP caused ten cars to crash into each other with some – including Peterson’s – bursting into flames. Peterson’s injuries resulted in a fat embolism, which caused him fatal brain damage.
But his memories live on indeed with this car, as Bonhams’ Co-Chairman Robert Brooks said: ‘Ronnie Peterson was both quietly engaging off track, and an absolutely pace-setting rumbustious demon upon it. In period, I was a great fan and his daughter, Nina’s, decision to entrust Bonhams with this 1969 Tecno in which he launched his glittering career upon the global stage, is really special to us. To be offering this car at the very location where Ronnie scored that momentous attention-grabbing victory with it is extra special. After so many years’ preservation in Sweden, ‘Ronnie’s Tecno’ is one of those most rare motor racing pieces - a truly iconic car which was not only a 16-race winner, it also launched the career of a much-loved legend and will forever be associated with him.’