A Formula One car from the turn of the century is set to go under the hammer auction – and it could be bought for as little as £150,000.
The 2002 Jordan Honda EJ12 will be sold by classic car auction house, The Market, at the end of the month.
Its original 3.0-litre V10 engine has been hauled out and replaced with a motor from a Formula 3000. Why? So it will start at the push of a button and the new buyer can pay to drive it at trackday events at race circuits without the need for a supporting crew of mechanics in tow.
The F1 car anyone can use: This heavily-modified Jordan Formula One machine has a simpler engine and gearbox setup so a user can take it to a trackday and drive it without the need for a supporting pit crew
The 18-year-old F1 car will be available for bids in an online auction that’s due to take place from 22 September to 29 September with an estimate of £150,000 to £250,000.
The racer was piloted by Japanese driver Takuma Sato in the 2002 Formula One campaign – his debut season – with flamboyant millionaire businessman Eddie Jordan at the helm of the team.
It still sports its DHL-sponsored yellow exterior and original ‘Suzuka Legend’ livery from that year.
Sato’s best finish that campaign was fifth at the final race of the year in his home country.
The car is one of five chassis built by the Jordan F1 team in the 2002 season and was piloted by Japanese driver, Takuma Sato. The racer finished fifth in the final race of his debut season at his home race at the Suzuka track (pictured celebrating)
The F1 car still sports its DHL-sponsored yellow exterior and original ‘Suzuka Legend’ livery from the 2002 season
But the 2002 Jordan is most infamous among F1 fanatics for the incident between the Japanese rookie and Italian team-mate, Giancarlo Fisichella, who collided with each other at the second race of the season in Malaysia.
This particular car, chassis number one, was driven and tested by Sato at its Silverstone debut in January 2002 and appeared at the team’s subsequent launch event the following month.
It was one of only five chassis built that year by the Jordan F1 team and, aside from another one housed in Honda’s museum, is the only known surviving example.
The car was used at the launch event for the 2002 Jordan Honda F1 team at Brussels Airport in Belgium where team owner Eddie Jordan (middle) unveiled his driver line-up for the season, Takuma Sato of Japan (left) and Giancarlo Fisichella of Italy (right)
The team-mates infamously collided with each other – Sato crashing into the side of Fisichella’s car – on the second lap of the Malaysian Grand Prix that season
‘As one of just two known remaining chassis built by the Jordan F1 team in 2002, this car’s rarity already makes it incredibly attractive and desirable,’ says Tristan Judge, director at the auction house selling the car.
But unlike the original specification, the ten-cylinder powerplant has been removed and replaced with a less potent – and simpler – Formula 3000 engine. Still, it will rev to 10,000rpm and produces around 520bhp, which isn’t to be sniffed at.
The motor was rebuilt in 2017 and has covered just over 300 miles since. It has a predicted lifespan of 1,900 miles, so could be used at various trackdays before needing the touch of a skilled mechanic.
The smaller engine has been mated to a five-speed paddle-shift gearbox that’s also more reliable and doesn’t require the fine-tuning that’s demanded of Formula One cars of that era onwards.
The three-litre V10 engine originally fitted to the F1 car has been removed and replaced with a Formula 3000 motor, which is easy to maintain, start, drive and run
It will be sold in a UK online auction with all the supporting equipment to run it. That includes extra wheel rims and tyres, and a selection of spares including wishbones and various tools
‘The modifications mean the car still retains blistering performance but is significantly cheaper to run and much more useable,’ says its description.
Accompanying the car is everything you need to run it, including further sets of wheel rims and tyres, and a selection of spares including wishbones and various tools.
It also sports the signature of the team boss, Mr Jordan himself, on the carbon-fibre front wing.
Mr Judge explained: ‘With the engine changes that have been made, the car is much more useable than most top flight race cars, meaning that the new owner can practically turn up to events alone and enjoy the stunning performance.
‘The vendor keeps telling us how astounded he has been at this car’s ability to open doors to fantastic events and remarkable people, including many ex-F1 drivers.’
Takuma Sato himself went on to have a relatively long F1 career, racing in the championship for a further six seasons with a best-placed finish of fourth before making the trip across the Atlantic to compete in the US IndyCar series, where he twice won the legendary Indianapolis 500.
The Market, a classic car auctions specialist, has put an estimate of £150,000 to £250,000 on the rare F1 car
The car sports the signature of the F1 team boss, Mr Eddie Jordan, on the carbon-fibre front wing
Want to feel like a Formula One racer? This is likely to be your best – and most affordable – way of doing so…