The last car raced by renowned actor Paul Newman will be one of the features at RM Auctions’ Amelia Island sale next month in Florida. As lot #130, Newman’s 2002 #83 SCCA Corvette racer will cross the block on March 10, 2012. Newman raced the car from 2003 to 2007 and was victorious in it at his last race one year before he died in 2008.
Newman, who was nominated for 55 major acting awards, began his racing career in 1972. Later he went on to pilot Datsuns for Bob Sharp Racing from the mid-1970s on into the 1990s. In that time he won four SCCA national titles. In addition, finished fifth in the 1977 24 Hours of Daytona and second at the 1979 24 Hours of Le Mans. His first pro Trans Am triumph came in Brainerd, Minnesota in 1982. He took the checkered flag again at Lime Rock in 1986.
At 70 years young, he became oldest driver to be part of a team in a major sanctioned race and promptly went on to win his class at the 1995 24 Hours of Daytona. Newman also competed in the gruelling Baja 1000 in 2004 and the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2005. People may be more familiar with his Indycar team which he founded with Carl Hass in 1983. That organization won 97 races, 7 series titles, and claimed 100 poles.
He passed away on September 28, 2008.
The car to be offered at RM Amelia Island was initially built by Riley and Scott for Tom Gloy Racing. Driven by Butch Leitzinger in the 2002 Trans Am season, the car claimed 3 wins, 5 poles, 8 top-fives, and 9 top-tens while wearing yellow Tommy Bahama paint and #88. In 2003 Newman and his partner and codriver, Michael Brockman, purchased the car from Gloy and finished it in the current red, white, and blue livery. It received a complete rebuild including a new body in 2007. The number 83 currently on the door represents Newman’s age at that point in time.
Motivation comes courtesy of a 346ci V8 topped with electronic fuel injection which churns out 700 horsepower. The Jaguar-fighter weighs in at just 2,680lbs. As expected all the racing-spec items are present including 4 wheel disc brakes, independent racing suspension, and a six-speed manual transmission.
The sale also includes the SCCA logbook which is critical when it comes to helping document racecars like this.
RM estimates that the selling price will be between $250,000 and $350,000. We think that’s a little strong and that $150k-$175k could take it home. The racing pedigree and celebrity heritage will surely add to its appeal.