2022 | Pebble Beach Auctions
1985 March 85G GTP
From The William M. Wonder Collection
$250,000 - $350,000
The First Racing Car Designed by the Legendary Adrian Newey
Sold New to DeAtley Motorsports and Finished in Iconic Budweiser Livery
Driven by David Hobbs and Darin Brassfield to 2nd Place Finish at the IMSA Miami 3 Hours
Competed in the 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring in 1985
Accompanied by Spares, SVRA Logbook, Photos, Service Records, and Receipts
367 CID OHV Chevrolet V-8 Engine
Kinsler Mechanical Fuel Injection
588 BHP at 7,250 RPM
5-Speed Manual Transaxle
4-Wheel Ventilated Disc Brakes
4-Wheel Double-Wishbone Independent Suspension
Neil DeAtley, Vancouver, Washington (acquired new via March circa 1985)
Mr. Callucci (acquired from the above)
Mr. McLendon (acquired from the above)
Ed Mueller, New Jersey (acquired from the above)
William M. Wonder (acquired from the above via Jack Deren in 1999)
24 Hours of Daytona, February 1985, Byrne/Brassfield/Roe, No. 29 (DNF)
IMSA Miami 3 Hours, February 1985, Hobbs/Brassfield, No. 29 (2nd)
12 Hours of Sebring, March 1985, Brassfield/Luyendyk/Brassfield, No. 29 (DNF)
IMSA Road Atlanta 500 Km, April 1985, Brassfield, No. 29 (DNF)
IMSA Riverside 600 Km, April 1985, Brassfield, No. 29 (DNF)
IMSA Laguna Seca 300 Km, May 1985, Brassfield, No. 29 (DNF)
24 Hours of Daytona, 1987, Roe/Brassfield/Bauer/Gaston, No. 25 (DNF)
In 1980, new rules governing international sports car racing were implemented for both IMSA and the new Group C category for Europe. March Engineering astutely decided to develop a flexible model that could be adapted to both sets of regulations, and be fitted with a multitude of engines. The design of what would become the March 82G was penned by a young Adrian Newey, who went on to become one of the most successful race car designers of our time.
The 82G’s construction was based on a rugged aluminum-honeycomb monocoque carrying 120 litres of fuel between the passenger compartment and engine bay. The ground-effect aerodynamics are accentuated by huge diffusers adorning the rear of the car. As an innovative and versatile design, the 82G and subsequent 83G and 84G models proved incredibly successful on track, winning the IMSA Camel GT Championship both 1983 and 1984.
For the 1985 season, determined to remain competitive against the influx of Porsche 962s, March introduced the 85G, fitted with new bodywork, hubs, and a narrower, stronger gearbox that added reliability and allowed for the rear suspension to have a better roll center. These later March GTP cars are the finest of their breed, and offer incredible performance and easy dynamics.
The March 85G offered here, chassis 85G-4, was sold new to Neil DeAtley, a new car dealer and racing team owner from Vancouver, Washington. DeAtley Motorsports had successfully campaigned in the Trans Am series with Corvettes, and later developed a Trans Am version of the R107 Mercedes-Benz SL. This stunning, Budweiser-liveried, Chevrolet-powered March became the team’s first prototype.
Following a DNF in the car’s first outing at the 24 Hours of Daytona, 85G-4 posted the best result for any March GTP car in a 1985 IMSA competition with a 2nd Place finish in the Miami 3 Hours. The DeAtley 85G ended its career with a string of DNFs in its five remaining races, which included the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1985 and the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1987. Retired from professional use, it passed through two owners before being purchased by New Jersey-based Ed Mueller, who used the March for vintage racing in the late 1990s.
Expanding his wonderful stable of significant race cars, William M. Wonder purchased the March from Mueller in 1999 through Jack Deren, who had been supporting it in Mueller’s racing efforts. In current ownership, the car has been well cared-for; it has received an engine rebuild and has only been run at private track events. Accompanying the March is a spares package and second nose, as well as a significant file of paperwork. This March 85G clearly benefits from the careful sorting and loving care that is a hallmark of all the cars from Mr. Wonder’s incredible stable.
*Please note that this vehicle is sold on a Bill of Sale.